First Participants

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As I described in my last post, it certainly took a long time to start actually running participants, but this week it finally happened. At last, empirical confirmation that I am indeed here with a reason and a purpose, and at halfway through my stay it was not a moment too late!

I had four subjects this week - all women, a bit probability-defying. Everything went smoothly, at least from my perspective.

Radboud University operates a webpage called the Sona Research Participation System which is what I've been exclusively using to recruit people. It's very well-designed, you can add your study to the list of ones being advertised and subjects-in-waiting can peruse it at their leisure and sign up for a certain timeslot. I've had it advertised for one week now and I've already had 25 people sign up, so I'm quite confident I'll reach the goal of 40 within the next four weeks. :-) I've not had any 'no-shows' thus far, and I don't believe that trend will stop, either.
The full study has been taking more time than my initial estimation, the average is around 50 minutes. I had initially advertised the study as 30-45 minutes, which I've hence edited somewhat euphemistically as '~45.' During the picture-naming task, audio input into a microphone should cause the picture to automatically change to next one. However, in my first three participants the microphone responded to the input maybe 4 times total, which meant we had to sit through the 5-second wait before it automatically progresses. Frustrated, I inspected the button box and noticed a microphone sensitivity dial with a very tiny notch for adjusting the pivot. It took me about 20 minutes to track down a suitable implement to adjust it upwards - by removing the steel part of my pen that can clip onto a pocket and using a part of it to adjust the dial. (I can't for the life of me conjure up an English word for the part of the pen that clips it onto a pocket, can somebody help me out?). Problem solved, and hopefully a couple minutes taken off the total.

My participants can choose between €8 (roughly $12) or 1-credit hour. Three out of the first four chose the hard cash. I suppose even in a European social democracy where school is a fraction of the cost of that of the States people need a little cash for a sandwich and a couple beers at the end of the day.

Nijmegen continues to grow on me. It has the relaxed feel that I associate with similar college towns like Boulder, Madison, or Ithaca in the States (but not so much State College), and it has a similar ethos among its inhabitants. I've made some friends here and am learning where the good hangouts in town are and the weather has been absolutely beautiful. It's truly a wonderful city.

The university is completely closed today and tomorrow, so it's a four-day weekend for myself and everyone else. There's a four-day music festival going on at a somewhat dilapidated area of the industrial part of the city where there are also some artist collectives and galleries, which also hold events/festivals from time to time. So I'll be checking that out on a couple of the days, I already have my tickets.

Thanks for reading, good luck to everyone out there!

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by JAMES RAY GRAHAM published on June 2, 2011 5:43 AM.

"Believe you can and you're halfway there" -Theodore Roosevelt was the previous entry in this blog.

Where are the Cooking Instructions?! is the next entry in this blog.

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