Dissertation Year: Day 172 -- Preliminary analysis, auditing
This is a blog series on my (hopefully) final graduate school year, detailing my dissertation project from beginning (ish) to end.
Go to the next day... soon!
TL;DR my experiment is working and all my money for my project is accounted for -- all good things!
Preliminary analyses indicate experiment is working!
My committee asked for preliminary data to make sure the analyses I've proposed are actually going to work. With the data I've currently collected (two groups, 8 participants in each), the behavioral results are showing group differences, as well as the neural results. Which means the experiment itself is working!
This is a long time coming for me. Social neuroscience, and Theory of Mind in general, is very difficult to study. Even more so when Theory of Mind is only possible to detect for humans (it's actually unclear as to whether any other animal has Theory of Mind). Three previous experiments were unsuccessful -- this particular experiment looks like it will be successful (assuming the current trend of statistical significance and effect size continues).
With grant money comes auditing
This is the first grant I've ever had to use for my own research. Since there's a lot of participant compensation money set from this grant, I have been requesting cash advances (well, actually my research assistants have been requesting these) so we can compensate participants when the come in. Thus, since we have money out that is not spent yet, we have to account for what we've given out and what we still have.
Our audit was successful, albeit stressful. There are three people who are helping me work on this project, meaning three hands touching the cash advance. Meaning three sources of potential error. But as I've been realizing in the last year, trusting my assistants more and more is less of a luxury and more of a requirement. Not a requirement in the sense of like... I need the help. A requirement in the idea of being able to trust others who were completely trained by me in everything. These are people with the all the abilities I have. So this is sort of like... me trusting myself. And that's probably a whole different type of blog post.
Coming up: whether or not we're going to a conference with this project, feedback about my preliminary analyses, and drafting.
And hopefully I'll post my what the heck my project is next post.
Check out my next post here... soon!