Q&A with December 2016 DLABSS Gift Card Winner

The latest winner of our monthly $50 Amazon gift card lottery agreed to answer a few questions about her experience working with DLABSS on multiple experiments. We have posted his responses below:


1. What is your occupation? Tell us some basic background information about yourself.

I work in the field of People Analytics, which combines data science and organization science to help companies manage the people side of their businesses in more evidence-driven ways. I have an MA in Industrial Relations, and have worked in the HR and talent area for 20 years -- but I also am almost finished with an MS in Analytics, and have spent the last 5 years growing deeper in the data space as well.

2. How did you first hear about Harvard DLABSS, and why did you decide to participate for the first time?

I heard about it following an event I attended at Harvard, I believe it was at the IACSS. I do a lot of survey work in my day job, and have had to design research in my own graduate work -- and I know how critical it is to get decent data for experiments, especially in social science research. It seemed like a good way to give back for all the cool seminars and lectures I've attended (for free) over the years at Harvard.

3. Why have you continued to participate in experiments on DLABSS?

Frankly, it is almost a superstition thing for me -- I feel like if I don't keep participating, my own survey efforts will start to fail, like some kind of cosmic payback. 

4. What is one thing you have learned from one of the experiments you participated in?

I'm always intrigued to see what people are working on, and how they are setting up their studies to get at their research questions. One of the more memorable ones had to do with implicit racial bias, which is something I think about a lot in my work, and it was interesting to participate in the experiment to see how the researcher was trying to test this construct.

 5. In your opinion, what is the best feature of DLABSS and/or its website?

I like the open quality to it, and the fact it feels like you are helping to advance research on important social issues. My hope is that it is a great resource for the researchers as well.

6. What about DLABSS do you think could be improved for experiment participants?

The quality of the studies seems to vary a bit, as does the length -- some experiments seem to involve a much bigger time commitment than others, and I have wondered occasionally whether there is some kind of peer review process prior to releasing the studies. Not often, but once or twice I felt like the construction of the study was pretty poor, and should have gone through another round of edits before it was shared.

7. If you were talking to someone considering participating in DLABSS for the first time, how would you describe your overall experience?

It's fun! Well, nerdy fun, at least. It doesn't take a lot of time, and it's a neat way to participate in what's happening at the university level in the social sciences, and give back. Anyone who has ever had to develop their own experimental research study should definitely support this effort!