Monday, October 25, 2004

It really amazes me that people can screw up the simplest things.

So, I work in a Psychology lab on campus, and I run experiments on students that need credit for their classes. I don't expect much from students in General Psychology (who comprise much of the subject pool), as they are usually freshmen and are still getting acquainted to college. But the system here for signing up and doing experiments is about as fool-proof as possible. Still, I get at least 6 people a week who 1) Do not know the name of the experiment they signed up for 2) Do not know what room their experiment is in, and/or 3) Do not know what time/day they signed up for. Most of these people aren't even doing my experiment, they just walk by the room, decide to enter, and ask me about dozens of other experiments that I didn't know existed. I mean, come on, you at least need to know what, where, and when your classes are... can't you just write down the information you need for the experiments???

As for the ones that manage to make it to our experiments on time, ... well they aren't the brightest bunch. Although I tell them the buttons they need to press are the ones with "Y and N" written on pieces of paper and taped onto the keyboard, and not the actual "y and n" buttons, and although they read the instructions, people still hit the wrong buttons, and subsequently contribute essentially no informative data for our experiments. Then, I tell them to keep hitting the space bar for this one experiment, because words come up one at a time (also in the written instructions), 40 minutes later, they come out, having let the computer program advance the words on its own, leaving us with no useful data, and getting me behind in scheduling.

And then there are the post-experimental forms. Don't even ask me about the forms.

On the plus side, my last two subjects on Monday didn't realize that they signed up for the same experiment twice (this happened to me about 9 times already... if you do sign up for the same experiment twice, why sign up for the same day in the same time period twice, so I that I know you've already done this experiment because I recognize your face????), so I got to leave an hour early.

AND, you can't tell me this is hard stuff to do, because I'm doing it. I'm also in General Psychology (tearing it up BTW), taking experiments (other than the one I'm running) and getting credit for it. So, there's no need to screw it up, guys. Seriously. ... That reminds me, I have to go to an experiment right now!

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