And Now for Something Completely Different

In addition to my research project, I have been helping proctor an experiment in the SNaPP Lab. Proctoring an experiment with real live participants, and real time data has been a welcome change of pace and scenery!

While I cannot disclose very many details about the experiment itself as it is still being conducted, I can say that it takes an interesting  approach at combining American political behavior and psychology.

At the beginning of the Summer session, members of the SNaPP lab team that developed the experiment met with those of us who would be proctoring the experiment, to go over experiment protocol, the equipment we would be using, and the stimuli we would be administering. I knew that running an experiment in the lab would require attention to detail and percision but I was surprised at how detailed our final protocol handout was. Every last detail, including a script for when we first met participants and detailed instructions of where to put up signs for people to find the lab around campus were included. Helping to proctor the experiment has given me a whole new appreciation for the work that goes into planning and running and experiment.

When reading studies that involve experiments, there is normally a few paragraphs about the experiment set up and methodology, but all of the details, the protocol, and what temperature the room should be at, is not included. One can only imagine how much work is put into these studies, and how detailed the authors must have been in setting up their experiments. Regardless of the findings, it makes one respect those who developed the experiment, simply because of the incredible amount of work they put in to make it happen.

Aside from providing a break from writing my lit review and working with R, proctoring the experiment has been a humbling experience, showing me how much time and effort really goes into developing a lab experiement