Week 4 – I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore

Mansfield Foundation Fellow in Social Psychology (In memory of Merlin "Pat" Dreibelbis '39)

Ft. Hays State University | Hays, Kansas

June 29, 2017

Well, another week has flown by here in Kansas. This week I focused on the steps for designing my study. This required me to look up scales and questionnaires that would be relevant to my topic as well as come up with a procedure for the study. It was pretty exciting deciding all the little details that go into designing an experiment. Such as determining what order the scales should go in to reduce the chance of participants figuring out the purpose of the study. This isn’t the first time I’ve had to come up with a design for an experiment, my research methods class gave me plenty of experience with that. However, this was the first time I had to come up with a design on my own. Of course, my mentors had input on the design itself, but for the most part, they let me come up with everything.

A few of my notes/ideas

It’s incredible how things have played out so far. I came to Kansas expecting to be a research assistant. I thought I would be collecting data for the three of my mentors and helping them with their designs. Instead, I’m preparing a design for my own research project, and soon I’ll be preparing a proposal for the IRB (Institutional Review Board) to approve my study. I know that the Cornell motto is “I can do anything in 18 days”, but I’ve helped collect data for my advisor’s research and I know that realistically it will take longer than a few weeks to gather all the data we need. I’m not worried though, my mentors and I have already made plans to continue our work in the Fall. I’m sad that in another four weeks my time here will be over, but I’m definitely glad that I was given this opportunity in the first place.

The Dallas city skyline from a night out with old friends.

It’s almost become a habit for me to wait until the weekend to go on some type of adventure. I guess that’s what the weekend was made for though, right? Well, this week’s adventure took me to Dallas Texas to visit some old alumni friends. It was nice to see some familiar faces. It also felt kind of nice to be back in a city with a population greater than 20,000 people. I think I mostly missed the skyscrapers, also that unique kind of peace you find in wandering around a city, especially one you’ve never explored before.

City view from my friends’ apartment

I also got to explore what I assume is the art district of Dallas, Deep Ellum. This area reminded me of a part of Chicago I normally hang around when I’m home called Wicker Park. Deep Ellum had this hipster meets artsy meets punk-rock vibe that I really enjoyed. Plus, I found this really cool bookshop that sells local writers’ work and I bought a really interesting mystery novel, which I definitely needed because reading only psych articles gets kind of tiring.

The Deep Ellum mascot sculpture


Kind of wish Mt. Vernon had one of these…
Nealy professional headshot

Aaron Nealy '17

Aaron Nealy is a psychology major from Chicago, Illinois.