Today I was talking to a friend about some psych classes she took in college, and a random memory surfaced for me.
I took an introductory psychology course in college, and as part of the participation credit, we had to volunteer for a few research studies run by upperclassmen.
My specific memory is sitting in a small room with a very attractive woman who read 7-digit numbers to me. After a brief pause, I had to type the number into computer.
At the time, I assumed they were studying a person’s ability to retain 7-digit numbers (apparently the human brain is very good at remembering 7-digit numbers, plus/minus 2 digits. That’s one of the reasons phone numbers are 7 digits).
But tonight it occurred to me that they may have been studying something completely different, like:
I seriously wonder if the last one is what was actually happening. Even if it wasn’t, that seems like an interesting study to implement. If you’re trying to impress someone, do you perform better? Or worse?
What do you think? And have you ever participated in a research study where you realized afterward that they were probably studying something completely different than what they told you?