If this summer has taught me one thing, it’s that a lot the work you put into research is invisible. Looking at my project now in the data collection phase, the method is very different from how we thought we’d originally approach the experiment. There were several stages along the way where we had to look at our process, criticize, reevaluate and change our path significantly in order to explore what we had in mind. In the end I think that this has given me a taste of the true essence of research – that you must constantly question everything and adapt to new information as it presents itself.
So far we’ve gone from a basic idea that we wanted to explore all the way to data collection. Before this I had never collected data on this scale. We’re actually paying subjects to carry out an experiment that we designed. It’s simultaneously nerve-wracking and tedious, especially after two solid days of collecting. The hope is by this point to make a push down the home stretch and finish analyzing data for a poster to be ready a week from now. It’s a lot to ask, and very little time to do it in.