March 19, 2018
In my previous blog I reported that all the studies were completed and the next step was to code the data. That is still the current stage I am at in the research project. My faculty leader Dr. Gosnell, other research assistants, and I have collected an amplitude of data from the study which is great for our results, however analyzing this data will take time. As I get started on this point of the research project I am more anxious to find out the overall results and conclusions our data will bring us to. In order to begin working with the data I had to get use to the SPSS program which I have never used before. This program provides advanced statistical analysis. I believe knowing how to use this program now will put me at an advantage for future courses and in the psychology field as a whole.
Something I have learned from this experience so far is how much time, people, and effort goes into each psychology research study. There is much work that is put into these studies, however the results help humans on a daily basis. Results from studies such as this one which is focusing on positive event support has the ability to teach us new ways in which we can motivate ourselves to reach personal goals. Psychology surrounds us in every aspect which is why I am a profound respect for this area and I am proud to be helping with this project!
Undergraduate Student & Faculty Research Program – Blog #2
Working as a research assistant for the past three months has taught me a great deal about how psychology studies are conducted in the lab. The study I am currently assisting Dr. Gosnell with is titled “How Recollections of Positive and Negative Support Provision Experiences Influence Goal Motivation”. It is a rewarding feeling knowing that what I am doing may provide a new finding on this topic that may be applied to people in their everyday lives. I know this study will add to the body of knowledge regarding experience and goal motivation. This study has the potential to be exceptionally beneficial. While running the studies, usually four days a week, I became extremely eager to review the collected data.
Now that all the studies have been completed and the data has been collected, the next step is to code the data. I am going to examine all of the responses from the study participants and collate the responses. I will note different variables that I want to examine further within their responses. There were different parts to this study including listing semester-length goals, responding to questions, writing about personal experiences, and answering scale survey questions. After the coding of this data is completed, the next step is to analyze and report the findings. It would be gratifying if the results supported the hypothesis that providing positive support or even recalling a time when one provided positive support for someone’s positive has an effect on the supporter in their own life and goal motivation. Overall, the study was ran smoothly and I am eager to advance into the next steps leading to the end results!
Recently, positive psychology has caught much attention and is a thriving field. The specific area of positive event support is a major topic being studied. Most of these studies, however focus on the benefits of receiving support rather than how providing support can motivate oneself. The title of the project is “How Recollections of Positive and Negative Support Provision Experiences Influence Goal Motivation”. The purpose of this study is to determine whether providing positive support or even recalling a time when one provided positive support for someone’s positive event has an effect on the supporter in their own life and goal motivations.
I expect to learn that recalling a time of providing support for someone’s positive event will motivate the supporter to work harder and more enthusiastically to reach their own goals. In addition to hoping to learn the expected outcomes, I hope to learn and gain more experience about running a psychology study by coding data and conducting analyses on this work. Overall, there are numerous opportunities to expand my psychology studies through this project and I plan to take full advantage of them all.
The methods that will be employed in this study include participants coming to the lab for a two part study. During the first part, participants will be asked to describe personal and health goals they are planning to work on throughout the semester. The study participants will be asked to return to the lab weeks later to complete the second part of the study. This consists of writing and reflecting on a time when they provided positive support to someone in response to either a positive event (e.g. receiving a good grade) or a negative event (e.g. failing a test). In addition to that some will be asked to write about a neutral topic (e.g. describing a dorm room). After this the participants will respond to questions regarding their goals from the first part of the study. This will allow us to see how recalling past events affects how motivated one is to achieve their own goals.
It is exciting to be working in a field that is growing at a fast rate. Positive event support is important in many areas and can be used in practical ways. This research has the power to help students and employees enhance motivation and assist them to reach their full potential by knowing that providing positive support boosts their motivation to reaching their goals.