Symposium – Ashley Gross

I thought the Symposium was very interesting because I saw that the methods we talk about in class are the methods used by the students I talked to. I felt lucky to be able to talk to two students who had Dr. Hoyt as research advisors, which I thought was good because I was able to hear about how she does research with students and what their overall impressions were (which were through the roof). The student I talked to that I got the most out of was Brent DeShields’ because he gave me insight into more than just his research. He looked at how people who are lower class tend to be rated higher than those of middle or high class in leadership positions. He found, through Mechanical Turk, that reading about someone from modest backgrounds tended to skew readers towards a more legitimate administration. He also found that they tended to be rated higher for conscientiousness. When I asked him what the hardest part about the research was, he said analyzing the data. That made me equally excited and nervous because I like analyzing data so I know that that won’t be too difficult, but nervous because I know that I’ll have different challenges. I was happy to hear that getting his responses (I think there were 320, I can’t remember exactly but it was in the 300 range) only took a day and a half. That made me happy because I may end up using Mechanical Turk. He also said it was relatively cheap because he paid each participant $0.50. Another student I spoke with expressed her frustration over the fact that her data ended up not being significant. I thought about how frustrated that would make me, but then realized that I have to know that might be the case going in. Overall, I’m very glad I got to see different students’ research and have the chance to talk and ask them questions!