The core mission of FindingFive is to make the life of behavioral researchers just a little bit easier when it comes to conducting online studies. We are curious about how much success we have achieved, and how much work there is left to do. To that end, we asked a few researcher users of FindingFive for their thoughts on the FindingFive experience.
Hey, who are you? Please tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Lila Abreu, and I am a senior at Princeton University. I am studying Psychology and completing certificates, Princeton’s equivalent of minors, in Computer Science and Cognitive Science. I’ll be graduating in early June and moving to NYC.
What did you use FindingFive for?
I used FindingFive to conduct a survey for my senior thesis on race and romantic attraction. I was curious about the existence of racial preferences in both low-level attraction (an immediate, physiological response) as well as higher-level dating preferences (a slower and more deliberate thought-process). The study was designed to gather information on the differences in racial preferences between the low-level attraction and higher-level dating preferences, with the underlying question of whether attraction preferences drive dating preferences.
Race and romantic attraction sounds like such an interesting topic! What is your motivation for studying it?
The goal of the study is a first step in ultimately investigating hypotheses about why these preferences might exist and if they are conditioned in any way. Ultimately, people who are considered more attractive are considered to be more sociable and more successful, so understanding and perhaps combating racialized perceptions of attractiveness may have broad impacts for people.
Let’s talk about the logistics of conducting the study a bit. Is this the first time you have done a web-based study?
This was my first time running any study outside of a classroom setting. It served as the basis for my senior thesis.
How challenging was it to set up a web-based study, either generally or specifically on FindingFive?
As FindingFive’s user interface is quite different from other survey platforms, I think there is a bit of a learning curve in familiarizing oneself with the platform. However, FindingFive provides an incredibly detailed crash course that has all the relevant information presented in an easily digestible way. After spending some time going through that (and pestering Ting Qian, one of FindingFive’s wonderful co-creators), the process became much more intuitive. It’s like learning any new program, but with much better instructions.
Thank you for your kind words! Here’s another leading question then: looking back, what do you think would have been quite difficult without FindingFive?
For me, it was certainly worth putting in that little bit of extra time to learn the platform because it provided certain functionality that I wasn’t sure was possible on other platforms. Namely, it facilitated my somewhat complicated (at least for a newbie like me!) randomization and blocking design. In my design I had four blocks, presented to participants in a randomized order. FF made it very easy to pull elements that were consistent between blocks and swap out elements that were different, without recreating any items. That way, whenever I needed to make changes to an element that was consistent across the blocks, I simply had to make the change once rather than once per block.
What do you think of the coding process on FindingFive?
I liked the coding design of FindingFive because I find it more intuitive than alternate platforms where a limited set of features can be selected from a drop down menu. I also liked the variety of templates available for survey items, which again seemed more customizable than competitor platforms.
If you could ask for one feature on FindingFive, what would it be? How will it make your research easier?
I think a video tutorial to serve as reference for people new to the platform would be helpful. It would make the process slightly less daunting and give new users an idea of all that FF is capable of!
What’s your next step? Grad school, job, or something else?
Next year, I’ll be working as a research assistant for a depression-focused laboratory in the Psychiatry Department at the Weill Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan. I am ultimately keen on completing a PhD in Clinical Psychology with the hopes of one day doing some combination of therapy and clinical research. As of now, the plan is to start applications in the coming year and see what happens!
This interview was conducted by sending our questions to FindingFive researchers via email. Responses were edited for length and typos. Researchers do not receive any compensation for participating in our interviews. If you’re a researcher using FindingFive and are interested in sharing your experience with us, please reach out to our researcher help team at firstname.lastname@example.org!