Unforeseen Incidents from Unexpected Sources

Slight change of plan.

This post is about some of the unforeseen problems that I had to deal with so far as an experimenter.


Most of the sources of the uncontrollable problems stem from the participants.

It is the human factor. Some people have no problem following instruction while others simply ignore the instruction, even when the instruction was given to them in the same way.

However, additional explanations and making the instructions extra clear can solve or prevent most of those problems.


One of the most commonly faced problems dealing with the participants was the arrival time of the participants.

More specifically, the unexcused no-show to the experiment session.

Some participants come earlier than the others, while some simply do not show up.

Coming late to the session is a problematic, but no-show is much more of a problem for this research project for it involves group activity.


The mp3 players used for the research also was another source of unforeseen problems.

They sometimes run out of battery or simply break down.

Since the resource is limited, it is less than ideal to waste any of the experiment session.

Therefore, such incidents force the experimenter to flexibly change the condition of the session from the predetermined one on the spot to manage the situation, but not waste any session.



I find it to be impressive that even with the influences of these kinds of uncontrollable factors, researchers do find significant results from their researches.