As I’m wrapping up my internship at the Spelke Lab, I’ve been reflecting on my time here and trying to visualize myself as a psychology graduate student. Originally, I was hoping to use this experience to see if graduate school would be a good fit upon graduation. After being able to interact with the current students at the Spelke Lab and hearing about their journeys, I’ve been able to gain a very insightful view of what it’s like to do research. I’ve decided that after taking some time off school, I’d want to pursue graduate studies in the developmental neuropsychology realm to continue to do research that supports children in their homes and education.
As mentioned, in my first blog, I was looking forward to data analysis to have a better understanding of our results. Unfortunately, the specific project I’ve been working on has not yet completed data collection. However, I was able to get a rough idea of the results by making graphs along with my mentor of the preliminary data for my poster! My poster describes the project I’ve been working on and so far we have been getting surprising results that are different from previous literature. I was excited to put my work into writing and describe the purpose behind our project during our poster session. I also saw my colleagues present on their very different yet interesting projects related to children’s perception and language.
I was also looking forward to presenting a psychology article for our weekly book club meetings. A peer and I focused on articles that had to do with how emotions may affect our memory of prominent events. We chose this topic to step away from developmental psychology for a bit and read about a different aspect of psychology. These book clubs have definitely helped me become more comfortable by learning how to read valuable results from academic literature which was one of my goals coming into this internship.
While working in academic research, I’ve discovered just how flexible you have to be as an experimenter. Especially, when it comes to scheduling participants and seeing how to fill in the gaps in your data. I’ve also been surprised to see how much collaboration there was in the lab. My specific project was collaborating with a neighboring lab as another principle investigator had already done extensive research on the topic previously. My advice to future research assistants at the Spelke Lab is simply to have fun! You get to work with brilliant students who have a deep passion for developmental psychology and you get to learn so much from them. The entire lab consisted of some of the kindest people as they are willing to share their experiences in research and teach you some valuable skills. I’ll definitely be remembering my time as a research assistant in the Spelke Lab while doing research of my own.