Thursday, February 25, 2010

Smartest thing I've done while dissertating

Hiring a statistics grad student to run my numbers. You know, the ones I've been struggling to figure out since SEPTEMBER? The ones that could've been done then, if my husband I hadn't been so reluctant to hire them out, and therefore potentially have been done writing this thing by now?

I didn't do it earlier because this is part of getting your degree, you'll need to know them in the future, yadda yadda yadda. Guess what? When none of the professors know it, that's a sign that you won't actually have to know it. And when you aren't familiar with research methods and setting up an experiment so you know what stats to run ahead of time, you end up with much more complicated tests to run. Complicated things that even your psychology committee member, who teaches a stats class himself, can't do.

Then it's time to bring in the big guns. Well, not the really big ones - I checked with an online company that wanted to charge me $2400 to do it. $2400! What a joke. Then of course they said they could do less for half price (which is what I wanted them to do anyway - I don't really want someone else to write my results chapter), but that was still way over the top. Enter stats grad student - smaller guns but the bullets are just as effective.

The happiest day of my dissertation so far was when she emailed me the results.

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