This summer I have been working on a project that will test the validity of a social psychological theory in measuring human moral judgment. To facilitate my research project, I began by constructing a survey that was posted on Amazon Mechanical Turk to pilot the test. My survey presented participants with moral transgressions, where they were asked to rate the stimulus on a scale from -5 (Extremely morally wrong) to +5 (Extremely morally right) on how morally wrong or right they find the action. Through the course of my fellowship, I learned a lot about what makes a strong online survey and areas that need to be carefully considered when collecting data through online surveys. This experience taught me a lot, not only about methods, survey design, and online data collection, but also about time management, flexibility in project planning, and how to respond to unexpected challenges and hurdles.
Over the next few weeks, I plan to turn my attention to practicing other important skills for facilitating digital scholarship. Firstly, I plan to find creative and compelling ways to visualize my data to best share my research findings. This is a skill that I believe will assist my research presentation now, but also be critical to my success in research throughout my career. I also want to spend time creating a narrative for my research that can be shared with specialists and non-specialists, alike. This has been one of the bigger challenges of the current project because the theory that I am testing is very complicated and not intuitive to understand. This is the most technical project I have completed in my career, so far. In trying to explain my project to others, I have struggled to communicate effectively. I believe that through compelling data visualization and reflecting on presentation and communication, the presentation for the fellowship will allow me to practice these very important skills of research communication.
For me, the studio fellowship has been a great opportunity to practice skills that will be crucial for me as I continue my career. In the future I plan to present this work at the American Sociological Association conference in late August. The dedicated research time and presentation practice will go a long way in my being ready for the presentation. After this, I plan to adapt this work into my Master’s Thesis and hopefully into a published academic paper.