One of the most interesting things that I’ve started to do this semester has been working with my Social Psychology professor, Professor Dickter, in her research lab. She studies person perception and as someone that wants to study psychology and sociology, it was right up my alley. I never would have thought that it would be so easy to join a research lab during my sophomore year when I hadn’t even filed the papers to declare my major yet. This week I start to run students on my own and will work with one of the graduate students to study the brainwaves of students in the study using as they do a task.
What I’m sort of getting increasingly nervous about is the “touchy-feelyness” that is required to set students up for the study, not in terms of sharing emotions…actually touchy-feelyness. In order to study the brainwaves, an electrode cap has to be put on the student’s head and electrodes have to be taped to their face in order to map the brain’s response to the stimuli. That means that I have to stand over a student and essentially hope that they trust me to not hurt them as I exfoliate the bone behind their ear and the area around their eyes and tape small electrodes to their face. Yikes. While I’m sure that it’s awkward for them, I have to put aside my fears and come across as incredibly professional while attempting to stick things to a person that I’ve only met about a half hour before. Hopefully all of the practice on other students that are working with Professor Dickter will work out, we’ll see!