How/Why Research? I decided to take part in research since I thought it was a unique opportunity to have a deeper understanding and appreciation of my studies. It feels different than learning in class and it’s gratifying to participate in each step of the research process. I initially reached out to several labs by visiting their websites and reading posted paperS to see if their interest areas matched with mine. Then I contacted the lab directors, whose email address was also public on the website, to express my interests in joining lab as an assistant and ask if there is any open position. I eventually got a yes from CASL and have joined it for two semesters.
Research Experiences: I’ve been assisting in Dr. Kristen Lindquist’s Carolina Affective Science Lab (in the Psychology and Neuroscience Department), where I have contributed to several emotion studies, including examining the interaction of concept knowledge and core affect, looking at how children choose emotion images under the influence of a sentence frame, and analyzing participants’ performance under trier social stress test. I have run over 50 participants in one semester and evaluated 3 participants’ performance in TSST in last semester, imported data for almost 300 participants’ data in one month, and used Qualtrics to help design kid study’s questionnaires, etc. They proved to be tremendously helpful because encouraged self-reflection: what was the goal in doing TSST, what were the levels manipulated, how were the manipulation presented in the session, etc. Doing research not only trains me to think “how am I going to do this,” but also to ask “why am I doing this?”