Nuffield Research Placement Week 2
Updated: Sep 25, 2018
Along the journey of research
From Monday-Wednesday Carrie and I helped Sirma with the experiment’s procedure. Sometimes we would have up to 3 participants per day but on average we would have only one or two. The first session of the experiment included two parts. The first half consisted of informing participant that their data is protected and their right to withdraw; entering the unique participant ID code; signing the consent form. When the study begins, the participants are instructed to fill demographic and pre-mood questionnaires; practice games and the trauma film are later presented. The second part of the procedure consisted of introducing the participant to the music filler task following which they play the actual games (Sea Hero Quest or Tetris). In the end, some diary app information is presented. If I did the first half of the experiment, Carrie would do the second half and for the next experiment vice versa. I found being a ‘researcher’ myself very useful as it strengthened my ability to communicate information in an easily understandable manner.
On Friday, Carrie and I worked on gathering literature for the introduction of our lab report using Google Scholar and UCL’s online library. This was very interesting as I was used to referring to textbooks/Wikipedia for information; in doing this task, I have now accessed other sources that will be helpful for when I revise and want to research more info on that topic. With the aid of Victor and Sirma we also worked on enhancing our teamwork-building skills (i.e. how to understand the others personality for more effective teamwork). This was helpful as working as a part of a team and respecting and understandings each other’s ideas is very important academically and socially.
The entire second week was spent at 26 Bedford Way, primarily testing participants for the Sea Hero Quest vs Tetris study. After testing several participants I had become confident in carrying out the experimental conditions; providing participants with information and getting their consent for the study, monitoring participant performance on some of the tasks and explaining to them how to use the diary app that they will use for the week prior to the second session.
In between testing participants I have been working on my final project report. In order to best prepare myself for this, I analysed two of Sirma’s lab reports: one on the differences in aspirations between males and females, and the other on the framing effect. Reading these reports gave me a better understanding on the structure of a lab report and what common mistakes I should avoid when writing my own. By the end of the week I had written up a draft of the method section for my own report and had begun to prepare the literature for the introduction by searching the internet for psychology papers.
My favourite part of the week was meeting Prof Hugo Spiers. This meeting gave me an insight into what I may be able to achieve in the future when I pursue a career in psychology and has inspired me to become an academic myself.