• Question: would you ever use yourself as a test subject

    Asked by 492strk47 to Chris, Georgina, Kristi, Laura on 14 Nov 2017.
    • Photo: Kristi Sawyer

      Kristi Sawyer answered on 14 Nov 2017:

      Great question! In theory, I would have no problem being a participant in one of my own studies and I regularly volunteer to be tested as part of other research studies.

      However, the problem with being in my own study is that as an organiser of the research, I know what I am hoping to find from the results! So, as a test subject in my own study, psychologically I would probably exhibit what is called ‘demand characteristics’, where I subconsciously alter my responses to suit what I think the researchers want to hear. This would have a negative effect on my results, so this is why researchers don’t tend to be part of their own studies!

    • Photo: Laura Ginesi

      Laura Ginesi answered on 14 Nov 2017:

      I think Kristi has given a great answer. Like her, I have been part of other people’s studies right through my career and I will probably continue to do that right through my life. but I wouldn’t be a volunteer in my own reserach.

    • Photo: Chris Tyler

      Chris Tyler answered on 15 Nov 2017:

      Kristi has answered the q very well. I am usually/always a test participant and so serve as a practice subject. I think it’s important that where possible you only ask people to do something that you have done yourself