Sorry for the delay in postings guys – the last two weeks have been really busy, but have shown me the value/power of communication and diligence. Like all research assistants, I carry out a variety of tasks, but I’ve also been privileged enough to lead the Eye Tracking Analysis (ETA) Team…just in case you didn’t notice, psychologists really enjoy a good acronym! With this job comes the responsibility of delegating tasks and ensuring that the data that is collected for eye tracking is properly collected, organized, and accounted for. Each member of the team has to be aware of potential obstacles, and encouraged to give feedback concerning possible remedies.
Leading this group of researchers has helped me hone my communication skills and has also taught me that you can never ask too many questions. I have been in constant e-mail correspondence with other researchers, my lab manager, and even the primary investigator of the lab while she’s away in Africa! I’ve also learned a lot from steady communication with an eye tracking expert in Boston. While I sometimes feel like my questions concerning the data are stupid, I’ve discovered that most of my questions lead to productive answers, (if not more questions) that will hopefully improve the project in the end!
My eye tracking team has also helped me realize that it’s important to include multiple perspectives when searching for answers to problems. On Wednesday, we scanned 5 different researchers using the eye tracking technology, and because of our combined efforts we were able to rule out numerous possible reasons for an occasional faulty data set. This experience reminded me that science as a whole is a collaborative work, and it requires many dedicated individuals to ensure that great research is carried out.