Ok now that Christmas is out the way and the New Year is well and truly underway, many Psych Students are starting to think about that scary dissertation project. Recently, we have had a huge surge in Psych students asking how they can get more participants for their research project as time is very precious at this stage. Never fear, PsychAssist is here and within this post we will give you 3 tips on how you can ensure you have enough participants for your study. If you follow these tips, you’ll have people queuing up to complete your study.
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Go to lectures within your University
Now this may sound super obvious but the majority of people who complete studies at university just so happen to be students themselves. Within many universities, there are systems in place that will offer the researcher access to a participant pool which also happens to be psychology students. Utilise these services and you’ll see your participant numbers soaring. However, you may be thinking “I already use the service but no one is taking part in my study” and the answer to that could simply be that you’re never around for people to complete your study. I remember being an undergraduate and I would camp outside a 2nd year, yearlong module and would wait for the students to come out of the lecture. Once they came out I would pounce like a shopkeeper at a market to draw people into my study. I did this for around 3 weeks and I was one of the first people to get enough participants to start analysing my data. This technique really helped as students don’t really want to go out of their way, just to complete a 10 minute study.
PsychAssist Tip: Speak with one of your lecturers and find out when a 2nd or 1st year lecture is and go there with all the equipment you need for people to complete your study. In many cases you don’t actually need to speak to your lecture as the timetable is probably the same from when you were in 1st or 2nd year.
Advertise on Social Media
This is something that I feel isn’t utilised enough. How can you be a Psych Student in 2018 and not be utilising social media sites to gain participants. In recent years, we have seen an increase in the use of Social media to advertise studies as this gives you the reach of lots of people. This doesn’t have to necessarily be restricted to online studies but could provide advertisement for time and location of where you will be so people can come and see you. Recently we had a psych student that asked us on Twitter to help drum up participants. We were more than happy to help and within 4 days, she hit her quota and was ready to start analysing. This is the power of social media.
PsychAssist Tip: Ask the Psychology social media heavyweights if they could give you a Retweet or maybe like your study poster to help raise awareness. This has been very effective for many psych students and is one of the quickest ways to gain participants that are genuinely interested in your project.
Like for Like
Have you ever heard of Like for Like or Follow for Follow? This is exactly the same. We used to ask everyone in our year to complete our study and in return, we would complete there’s. Now the only downside to this strategy is that more often than not your classmates will know what your study is about and therefore can skewer outcomes. Nevertheless, if you’re secretive enough about the real motives of your study then this shouldn’t be a problem (just remember to debrief them afterwards!).
PsychAssist Tip: You don’t have to restrict yourself to psychology students. Everyone in your academic year has to complete a final year project and most need participants. If you’re worried about skewing your data then you don’t have to use psychology students but other subjects that you may have connections with.
THANKS FOR READING THIS WEEKS PSYCHASSIST POST! TUNE IN NEXT WEEK FOR MORE GREAT ARTICLES!!