Monthly Archives:: May 2013
1) How to design a thorough experiment that test the hypothesis well without being too complicated and troublesome.
2) How to compile raw data to yield meaningful ideas.
3) Don’t be a jerk and treat people nice. You really need a lot of friendship to get work done.
The sexual selection project is my first experience conducting experiment based on our own topic/interest. It was not easy off course, but I learned so many new things from this project. First, I learned how to deal with people and persuade them to fill out our survey. It was difficult to get people who wanted to help us with the survey; many of them rejected us. I know they might be too lazy to do it. Honestly, if I was the one who was asked to fill a survey, I might also reject them. So, from now on, I will try to help those who need subjects for their experiment if I can do it. Second, I realized that designing an effective experiment is not easy. Although we think about it and try to imagine the result, sometimes we still cannot get the result we want. In my group’s case, we had too many data that we did not need. I know it was far better than having too few data; however, if we did not include the unimportant questions, we might get more participants as the time to fill out the survey was shorter. Third, writing report of the experiment is not as simple as I thought. I have to have a sufficient background of the experiment we conduct. My problem during writing the paper is that I did not have enough background about what I was going to write. I did not have any knowledge about melanin (my paper is related to melanin distribution), so I had to study from the basic and it took a long time. I think in writing research paper, it is better to master the basic knowledge about what we want to write, so we can spend time more effectively.
I learned that despite the urge to resist, your senses and hormones will always have an impact on your behavior! Intra and inter sexual competition is much clearer now, cyclical fluctuation’s in females changing their attraction… Human sexual behavior is simple yet complex…very interesting stuff! We all think with our brains, but a lot of times our behavior is ruled chemically…
I learned that preparing and conducting experiment should have been done more carefully. Most of past research shows that they succeeded in collecting participants and items necessary for the experiment as a matter of course, but this preparation was much more difficult than I expected. We needed T-shirts with scents, so we asked males to wear T-shirts during night with some rules, but some of them didn’t do it. This taught us that we should have asked more males for preparing the case we might receive all of the T-shirts.
Also, this experiment needed more preparation time. To get enough scents, each male had to wear T-shirts in 3 nights only while sleeping, but the day we started was Tuesday and the day we conducted this experiment was Friday, so only three days were left to prepare this experiment. We first found all of the males required for getting T-shirts, but this is not a easy task: as a result, only two nights each male wore the T-shirt and the scent was not strong enough. If we had had more time, then we would have solved this problem, I think.
Finding participants was also more difficult than we expected. Our experiment required females to smell T-shirts, so many females refused to take part in our experiment due to the behavior, smelling. Moreover, getting equal number of females in each range age group was hard. In addition to the reason mentioned above, only a few females in 30-40 range age group were in school compared to females in other range age group. Females outside school were much more likely not to join our experiment unless they knew us. Consequently, we had to decrease each population size about half, and we had done this experiment for four days to get more participants over 25 age.
Well, today was our final and afterwards everyone said their goodbyes and good luck wishes! It is sad knowing that I probably won’t see 90% of the people in the class anymore, because we’ve kind of grown onto each other. Spending hours together everyday and studying together, as well as hanging out over the weekends or after tests, we have all really become close. Not only that, but I’ve learned so much from this class, and not just biology and chemistry. Our professors taught us valuable problem solving skills, and I have also learned many other life things from my classmates. I will really miss being close to everyone like this in a class, and I’m pretty sure something like this will never happen again. It was a fun semester, and one that I will always remember! Goodbye :]!
During this project, I learned many things! One of them was how much thought we actually put into choosing our mates. Usually in normal everyday life there’s no deep deep cognition over who we like or don’t like, it just kind of clicks. However, during this project, it was like analyzing why we like certain people in every detail and how it relates evolutionarily. Another was how to solicit people for surveys. It was my first experience doing anything like that, and I was somewhat nervous at first but I got used to asking people all these things and approaching random people. It’s a valuable skill to have :]. Lastly, I learned how to try to fix things when they go wrong. We read many scientific articles on people who perform their own experiments and collect sample sizes; I never really had a sense of how easily it could become complicated. At some points it seemed easier to just take an easy way out but in the end it is always better to figure out the best way to support the hypothesis.
I learned three valuable lessons from the sexual selection experiment. The first of it was that people are not susceptible to solicitation. It was extremely difficult to have strangers partake in the experiment, and even with friends it was difficult to have them participate in the experiment. Another thing that I learned during the sexual selection experiment was that it was difficult to isolate the tested factors in a randomated experiment. During the experiment the fact that there were many different factors that were not able to be controlled were difficult. The last thing that I learned was that it is extremely difficult to please everyone in a group completely. No matter how much I tried, it was difficult to please others.
The sexual selection project was very interesting and fun to research. In our experiment we decided to investigate the value that different groups hold on personality and physical traits. My group and I found a lot of research stating that men and women value what their partner looks like more than their character. From our research we found that our idea was not completely true.
This was a really cool result to find, because humans have such vast cognitive abilities that I had imagined it would be impossible to not consider what a persons character is like. I would love to research the further, since humans sexual selection is far more complex than any other.
The sexual selection project was probably the greatest learning experience I’ve had all semester. The three most important things that it taught me was: how to write a research paper, how to survey people, and how to turn raw data into useful data that communicates a result. One of the most challenging parts of the project (besides writing the paper) was surveying people and constantly getting denied.