24 January 2010

Subject Pools

The other day, we finished an experiment that I was running with someone else. Finally. Then, I sat down in front of the computer, and ran the stats. After a half hour, I got my printout. Well, truthfully, I was a little disappointed.

I mean, I was disappointed because the results mean that we need to revise some of our items, since it didn't pass the norming criteria that we had. In other words, some of the items had to be dropped because they were confounded. That means, we have to go back to the drawing board for half of the items and do the norming experiments again.

Anyway, I am looking at it as a learning experience. Nobody said that research was easy. That is the basic nature of research, one sometimes goes by a process of trial and error.

Anyway, the research team is thinking of enlisting the help of another faculty, so that we can gain access to a subject pool. That means, running the experiments would be faster, since there is a pool. Instead of the way we currently run it, where we are posting fliers all across campus and people who are interested contact us, and then we pay them, if one has a subject pool, then subject recruitment is streamlined that it is just so easy one can do it while asleep.

It made me appreciate the benefits of a subject pool. How convenient having one is. Unfortunately, my current department doesn't have one, that's why I am collaborating with a department that has one. Which made me think, that when I come to the point where I am in the job market, what would be the factors that I would consider important? A good insurance program? A university that is in an urban setting? Should I pick a university that is located say in Boston or Washington DC, because it is in a good metro area, but it doesn't have a subject pool? Or what if there is a university in the middle of the boonies but it has a subject pool? I think I'd prefer the latter.

Playing with people's heads is awesome, you have no idea.

(Avant-Garde Museum, from my Hirschhorn Museum Series)


  1. So, are you going to stay in the US after you graduate?

  2. I would prefer big city life to a subject pool ! :-)

  3. Zhu,

    Well, I am not sure. If there is a good academic job for me here in the USA, then I would probably stay, but if there is one somewhere else, I wouldn't mind going elsewhere. In short, it is not my ultimate goal to stay here in the USA for good.


    Hehe, I know. The benefits of living in a city are immense, but you have no idea how convenient and academically beneficial having a subject pool is. :-P