The end of March is when we actually started running our study. Earlier in the spring semester we were finalizing our measures and participated in training to practice running the study. We also had to wait for some of the computers to be set up by IT since we were in a new lab space.
When finalizing our measures we came across some challenges. One of the tasks we had worked on preparing for our participants was included in the IRB but needed to be eliminated for the study. We had technological difficulties regarding this task. The task that was eliminated was supposed to be used as a measure of self-control for the participants. We did however have an alternate task to measure this. A downside to our secondary task is that there are other factors that can influence the measure (such as conscientiousness). However, the lab will continue to work on developing the initial measure of self-control for future work.
In regards to successes I believe that Dr. Gosnell and I were successful in coming up with topics for the participants to discuss with each other. Since the participants have two conversations, the first conversation really allows for the participants to get to know each other personally and academically, making the second conversation less awkward. Before running the study we tested the conversations amongst the research team and continued to revise and make changes where necessary to make sure that the conversations flowed more naturally.
So far, I have learned that conducting research is much harder than it looks. This was my first time ever assisting and conducting actual research, and it is very time consuming and it must be perfected in order to get the best results. Before coming into this project I had prior experience writing a research paper and conducting some research, which definitely helped me a lot in regards to this project. I was once someone that hated research and now after gaining the experience from this project, I feel like I may want to continue conducting research in my graduate studies.