Hello everyone! I’ve just been to see my dissertation supervisor to discuss my data analysis. Guess it’s time I let you know how testing went!
The past couple of weeks have seen an endless amount of hours spent sitting in a room in the Maurice Shock Building, where the psychology computer rooms and labs are. I’ve heard they’re going to be moved into the new building when it opens in September, and I’m kind of sad I will never get to see it! Oh well, I’m just happy new Psychology students will have a new and pretty lab! 🙂
Testing has its ups and downs, and it all depends on the participants. I’ve been lucky, because I only had a couple of people who didn’t show up without warning me in advance, while some of my friends had to deal with that quite a lot. It’s horrible. If you’re reading this blog and you’re a first or second year, please realise how important this is for us third year students! We have to sit there all day, for days and days of data collection, and not showing up just shows disrespect towards us and our work. So yeah, I’m a bit bitter about that. But as I said, I was lucky, and most of my participants showed up on time or just asked me to reschedule our appointment!
Something else that really made a difference was the attitude of my participants. Some were really detached and distant, but most of them were really friendly and chatty. This made the experiment so much easier and more pleasant for both… and overall just brightened my day! 😀 Especially during debriefing, it was lovely to see people actually listening to what I had to say, and showing interest for my research!
My actual experiment involved using a microphone – which gave me a hard time occasionally – and my GSR equipment! I had to work out how to use it by myself, so I took it home with me over Christmas and tried to get used to it. It records Galvanic Skin Responses (or Skin Conductance Responses), which occur in the presence of emotional arousal. That could be anything, from a scary noise to a pleasant image, and it’s also (allegedly) an indicator of lying behaviour (but that is debatable). Of course, in my experiment I’m looking specifically at GSRs in the presence of threats or fear inducing stimuli. The differences recorded from the baseline can be minimal, especially if one is not phobic, but I’m hoping they will make sense (fingers crossed).
Now I’m almost done with my data collection, I will get some more just in case I need to discard a couple of datasets (due to equipment malfunctioning or something like that). But even now, my data analysis can technically begin! Help.
p.s. I forgot to mention my dissertation presentation went really really well! Shame it only counts 10% towards our overall dissertation mark!