2B WednesdayMarch16,201 // The Statement
I Wednesday, March 16. 2011 // The Statement
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random student interview by stephen ostrowski
Welcome to the Ran-
dom Student Inter-
view, where the line
rity and personal boundaries
Did you hear George Clooney's on
I did hear George Clooney's on
Have you tried seeking him out
or stalkinghim? In the strictest,
er, least strict,legal sense of the
I have not tried to stalk George
Clooney. I'm not going to be an
extra. I don't have time for that.
Oh, is he seeking extras?
I didn't hear about that.
Is this part of your interview?
Are you supposed to say that?
Because how have you not heard
Um, ifyou could use two words
to describe George Clooney, and
they're not "silver" and "fox,"
what two words would youuse?
George Clooney? Oh man. I don't
want to say "old" because I'd also
say "attractive" and that'd be a
weird combination, but I'll just say
Old and attractive. Which is a very
I guess you could say it's up in the
Bad pun. He made a movie called
"Up in the Air"...
I'm not educated on that.
Yeah, well that won't go in the
interview. It probably will.What
about Rick Snyder coming to
campus to speak? Has that affect-
ed your plans ofgraduating?
Not really, because I'm a freshman.
Do you fear that you'll get a grad-
uation speaker that youmight or
I don't know. I meanI understand
why people are upset because he's
to speak, and people say he's hypo-
critical so there's that issue there,
but I also think a graduation speaker
is such a minute argument to have
and to protest it is stupid.
So you could, in a utopia kind of
world, who would you want as a
I was actually just talking about
this earlier. I'm really against the
idea of a utopia. So...
Interestingturn this has taken!
I mean, just to say that it was my
graduation speaker, Jon Bon Jovi,
but that's just because I'm a girl,
and I think he's the greatest person
I think you're describing a dysto-
pia now. Um, so...
As far as if you want like, "Oh my
god, I had him speak at my gradu-
ation," and if you want you know
your successful political figure
much about because I don't know
how your graduation speaker
affects the rest of your life, I don't
know who I'd want. I don't know.
Name any colloquial figure you'd
For graduation speaker? I mean, I
don't know. I really don't know I'm
We'll go with Bon Jovi. So what
opening anthem would he sing to
start off the ceremony?
I will go with ... I don't know, I don't
know any Bon Jovi song that has
any relatability to academia at all.
"Living on a prayer"?
That was my graduation song from
Interesting. So this is coming full
Yes, it is so there we go. That one
Sylvan is an LSA freshman
it didn't bother me because it was pretty cool.
I get to say, 'I got a bronchoscopy, and I know
what my lungs look like."'
In another study, for which she received $200
dollars in compensation, Collins underwent an
MRI and pressed a button every time she saw a
red dot in a group of colored dots.
Collins tries to participate in as many studies
as she can that don't have restrictions like "must
not be a female in her reproductive years."
When it comes to doing your homework, sit-
ting in a room wearing a contraption resembling
headgear that traces your eye movements for
30 minutes isn't exactly the typical assignment.
For LSA freshman Diana Dodge, that's exactly
how she fulfilled part of her five hour research
requirement for her Communications 102 class.
"It was an uncomfortable study to partici-
pate in," she said. "You literally couldn't move
your body or else the whole machine would be
thrown off because they had to position it in a
Roughly seven different pictures of people
positioned alongside blurbs flashed before her
eyes. The study aimed to learn how the subjects
associate the people they see based on their
appearances. Another in-person study she par-
ticipated in required her to watch an hour-long
episode of "Desperate Housewives" and then fill
out a survey afterwards.
To fulfill the rest of the requirements, she
participated ina variety of online studies.
Dodge's only complaint was that the studies
she was eligible to participate in weren't posted
until halfway through the semester, making it
difficult to meet the five-hour requirement.
Dodge said she probably wouldn't have par-
ticipated in the studies if they weren't required.
"I understand why they make some required
because no one would do them if they weren't,"
she said. "I remember them being just a com-
plete hassle. There weren't enough studies
available until late, and it was hard to scramble
to get them all done."
LSA junior Cindy Wang also participated in
a few studies for the same Communications 102
class and though she agreed the studies were
often time-consuming, she also found them fun
One of the studies had her choose the letter A
or B, with each letter representing a video game
of a varying level of violence. After playing the
game she was given $2 dollars and told that after
the researcher left the room she could either
donate to a jar that sat in front of her through-
out the game or keep the money. The hypothesis
was that those who played the less violent game
were more likely to donate the money.
Wang said she realized the importance of stu-
dent participation in studies.
"It's really interesting and pretty fun," Wang
said. "Sometimes I'd sign up with my friends,
and I feel like the school needs participants for
experiments so it's understandable that it be
mandatory even though I'm not interested (in
participating outside of class)."
LSA sophomore Scott Shapiro said he fulfilled
his class requirements by doing a few in-person
studies and a few online studies.
"For some of [ o
studies, it's basically
paying you to take
a nap, which is great."
- LSA senior Adam Mael
Shapiro said when he was alone he felt com-
fortable doing whatever was required of him in
"Usually you were alone so if you were to
do anything weird there was no one around to
watch you," Shapiro said.
Throughout the studies, however, he found
himself questioning the validity of psychology
students participating in psychology studies,
since he feels that psychology students will alter
their answers depending on what they think the
researchers expect to occur.
"When psych students are taking (the stud-
ies) they're thinking about what's going on with
the study so they might alter their answer, and
that messes with the result," he said. "I don't
recall consciously doing that, but if that could
have been happening to me, it could happen to
other people afterwards."
Overall, Shapiro said he valued the studies for
allowing him to see what "real research" is like.
"I've done a little research on my own, and
it was kind of good to see a template of what is
supposed to be done," he said.
Shapiro said he would have enjoyed seeing
cutting money, and then he's coming which I don't necessarily care so
the results of the studies in which he had par-
"I always left (the studies) thinking that I
kind of wanted to learn more about the study
and see the results," Shapiro said. "It would
have been cool for them to go out of their way
and e-mail you with the results and thank you
Because the same students are participat-
ing in studies over and over, some might ques-
tion the legitimacy of research using the same
population pool. However, Huesmann said that
though it is contingent on the type of research
beipg done, this doesn't affect the reliability of
"A lot of the studies done are reaction times or
memory based," Huesmann said. "So when the
students are subjects and are challenged to do
things pertaining to the way your brain works
in psychology, there's not much room for bias."
For studies involving the brain, he said it
makes no difference at all whether or not a stu-
dent partakes in one study or 100.
He added that "any good researcher" would
thoroughly screen their subjects to ensure that
the data isn't providing false information. Ask-
ing the subject if they have ever lied is a ques-
tion often used to identify false answers. When
the subject says no, their results are discarded
because everyone lies. Therefore, they must also
One of Huesmann's concerns is the represen-
tativeness of the data.
"There is some room for some concern about
the validity of the data, but the biggest concern
is the extent of which University of Michigan
students, particularly underclassmen, are rep-
resentative of a population of people," Hues-
mann said. "That's more of an issue to me than
the concern of whether people are faking the
According to Huesmann, having subjects
participating in more than one study doesn't
affect the results since, in addition to screen-
ing for accuracy of answers, a researcher also
screens to see if the subject has participated in
similar studies in the past that might influence
For students like Mael, participating in stud-
ies is a positive experience.
"It's been fun," he said. "I think it's cool to
be a University guinea pig in a sense. There's
all this incredible research being done here and
even though I'm not doing it, I get to partici-
pate in some way and contribute to that. It also
doesn't hiurt that some pay you for your time:"
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