It’s my second week back in Pittsburgh, which means I’ve been immersed in my project for nearly two weeks now.
What I’ve been up to…
- Lots and lots of reading. Basically, every day, I start off with reading new material, reviewing old material, looking for information online, reading through textbooks, and repeat. I’ve spent the good majority of last and this week delving into the research on relationship jealousy and security priming. It’s not the most exciting task, but certainly an essential one.
- For now, my work has been a solitary task, apart from these weekly meetings with my advisor and other Dietrich fellows. I don’t mind working alone, but it’s a good feeling to interact with people that understand and support my work.
- The beginning stages of the IRB proposal. Writing this proposal is my first (and big!) assignment. As I started writing two days ago, I have noticed what a huge and complex task this will be. The IRB proposal requires you to attach and explain everything you will use in your study, from the flyers, informed consent form, questionnaires, script, method, debriefing form, to twenty other things I have not listed. This means I need all these things done. For each component, I have a solid idea of what it’ll look like, but it’ll certainly take some time to write it out in the diction and format I envision. The smallest element can affect a participant’s answer to a question, so I need to extremely careful when writing these things out so my study presents itself neutral and unbiased. Also, the description of my study needs to be as tactful as possible, since I am dealing with human subjects and arising potential negative feelings of jealousy.
In these past two weeks, I feel as though I’ve found more about the way I work. First of all, I’ve absolutely loved working on my own time, which is not something many students get to experience. Each day has been different from the one before, which is partly due to the fact that I get antsy when I’ve been doing the same thing for too long. For example, I find myself switching locations throughout the day instead of staying put in one place. Walking around and moving helps me take a break when I’m in a rut, and I find it much more helpful than sitting and waiting for inspiration to come. I’ve hit up the usual work locations (Starbucks, the library, my lab) as well as outdoor locations (in front of the Carnegie Museum, by the fountain in Schenley Plaza) if outdoor Wi-fi permits!
Progress is coming slowly but surely. I’m excited to tackle on this proposal for the next few weeks and get my study rolling.