While working with Sadie and Elise, my respect for survey data was furthered. Their surveys were much longer and more personal than the survey Madison and I conducted, which made it even more difficult to receive a decent participation rate. Even when analyzing the survey answers, I noticed that many people leave answers blank, or answer them incorrectly. I also noticed that some questions we asked were confusing or needed to be more specific after already sending them out. By gaining data through surveys, I have realized how important survey data is in research, yet how difficult it is to make good surveys and get people to participate and give accurate answers, which means it is important to stay positive, persistent, and just learn from your mistakes so you can fix them quickly.
While doing research in this internship, I have also noticed that whenever I hear people talk about studies they've heard of, I am immediately skeptical and question the validity of the research. How big is their sample size? How did they word their questions and answers in their surveys? How did they recode the answers for their data to analyze? Depending on these answers, the results can greatly vary and change the overall findings. Even though I trust scientific research, I also believe it is important to stay skeptical and always question what you think you know in order to keep improving your understanding, enhancing your skills, and keep advancing forward. I am so excited to keep learning new things in this internship and keep gaining confidence in my own work so I can possibly become a well respected and influential researcher or worker in general!