As life here in Berlin seems to be going at an ever-faster pace, I realized yesterday that I forgot to blog last week! “Oops” is my only defense. To make up for it, I’ll discuss this work week that just ended today as well as last week’s events.
A (not so bad) Screw-Up:
As of this week we are officially done with the first round of our project: the literature search. Between the 3 of us we looked through around 1,000 keywords that yielded tens of thousands of research articles. Some keywords turned back 50 results…others 100…others still over 1,000. While doing my searches, I saved the best for last: a whopping 1,002 result list. After that one, I would finally be done.
I got going on it, and I was being very productive; feeling inwardly pleased with myself after reaching the 400 mark, I stopped to take a quick break. That’s when I saw it: I hadn’t set all the filters properly for the search. Cue expletives. I would have to start over from the beginning with the proper exclusion criteria in place. *tear*
The good thing about this mistake is that I caught it and hadn’t made it TOO far, I suppose. The other thing about making mistakes like this is that I’m mostly the one who suffers, not really the project. The interns and I in my office work independently and generally at our own pace, although we have weekly schedules as well as a broader one for the summer; we rarely have discrete tasks that must be finished that day. So, not the end of the world, although at the time I wasn’t happy with myself. Oh well, I will certainly be more attentive to things in the future.
Progress and the Promise of What’s to Come
Now for some nice, positive things. Even though we’ve only just completed step 1 of the project, I’m feeling really proud and good about what the other interns and I have been able to accomplish so far. I’m feeling wholly more confident in my abilities and I’ve learned so much; not only about the topic we’ve been researching, but also various psychology research methods and operationalized terminology.
I’m excited about what we’ve started this week and what we’ll be doing for the next few weeks. Now, instead of just reading the article titles and/or skimming the abstracts, we’ll be diving into the actual articles to see if they meet our inclusion criteria for the study. This is already quite interesting and we haven’t even reached the point where we’ll read the entire article all the way through (right now, the methods and results are sufficient).
Finally, I’m really looking forward to the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften meaning quite literally, “the long night of sciences.” The event is hosted by Humboldt Universitaet, goes on from about 5pm til midnight, and will feature an incredible number of research projects being undertaken by several departments. We’ll be there to recruit participants, gather data, and spread the word about the project in general. I crafted a poster for the event (kinda proud of it) and learned a little bit more about what our role will be at the event. I’m excited because it will be a nice change of pace from our usual weekly tasks, and I’ll have the opportunity to speak lots of German since our participants are likely to be older German adults. Hopefully I’ll learn a few new words too 🙂
Well, thanks for listening folks! I’ll do my best to be more prompt about my posting in the future…