Wednesday, December 4, 2019

STIP Student Freddy Lopez Assists in the Eye-tracking Research to Examine Alcohol Product Packaging's Appeal to Youth

 This summer, we were research assistants on the Summer Team Impact Project “Eye-tracking Research to Examine Alcohol Product Packaging’s Appeal to Youth” under Dr. Matthew Rossheim and Dr. Matthew Peterson. My partner –Erica Harp –and I focused on recruiting participants for the study throughout the summer. We targeted GMU summer camps for the 12-17-year-old age range and undergraduate and graduate summer classes for the 21-25-year-old age range. We sent emails out to professors and camp directors asking if we could recruit their students for our study.

Upon approval, we visited as many camps and classes to hand out flyers with information about the study and directions on how to participate. Although we managed to recruit a good number of participants, our recruitment efforts were hindered by a variety of obstacles. Some of this included lack of responses from professors and camp directors, accommodating 12-17-year old’s needs such as transportation and parental consent, and lack of attendance from participants who had signed up to take our study.

As someone who hopes to conduct my own research in the future, this study gave me a great insight into how one goes and conduct recruitment efforts for a study. Although this project is very different from the one I wish to conduct, I am grateful that I got to see the ups and downs of a research project. I learned that there will always be obstacles that may put one’s work behind schedule, but I also learned strategies on how to combat that. This research can also have great implications on policy development and it reminded me why I love research in the first place. Research is such a unique way in which you can find a solution to a problem you find interesting, and I hope to do this once it is my turn to conduct my own study.