Less than 2 weeks left of my internship and it feels like I just started. From training how to run the study and collecting data every week in the lab and in the AAHOM has been challenging and also a great learning experience. Now we have two more participants to run to finish collecting data! My mentor has talked about the “last participant curse” when the research reaches the end of the study but it takes significantly longer to get that last participant for some reason. Hopefully we can finish without any major problems and completely focus on data analysis for the next couple of days. For me, I’ve never really done much data analysis besides learning it alongside my mentor when I worked with her during the school year. That was also with A LOT of help from her so I’m still really new at how to use all the programs (R Command, Excel, SPSS) so I hope this can be another learning opportunity for me as I continue on in research.
Today we met up as a team to start looking at the basic summaries of the data we’ve collected so far. These aren’t final results and we’ve only looked at it organized in Excel, but with the averages and percentages we’ve been seeing, there isn’t any significant data. This did discourage me at first because it felt like all the work and effort we put into the study was wasted, but I also realized that “null” data also can teach us something about children and how they learn. Also, we ended up talking about what types of follow-up studies we could do to compare the results of this study with. Even though there weren’t any patterns or expected conclusions from the data, I’m still extremely satisfied with the study design and how we were able to finish the study in just one summer term. Summer has had a lot of ups and downs with research and balancing my work and summer life, but I wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.