There has been quite a lot of viewing of this item so I thought it might be useful to put up an illustration of what I mean by public involvement in research. Here’s a possible situation to think about. It isn’t an actual study but it parallels some of the problems that can arise:
Supposing a research team looking at stress management approaches a small workforce, 10-12 people max, and says they want to teach stress management techniques to everyone. Then they want to come in regularly over the next few months to give them questionnaires and interview them about how that’s working. All but one person thinks it’s a good idea and wants in but one person would rather not take part.
Here are the questions:
1. What thoughts do you think it might bring up for the person who doesn’t want to take part?
2. What can the research team do to make it easy for the person to opt out?
3. What else would you like to say about this situation?
This is an experiment. If we post research questions and ideas, would you folks out there, the public, think about them, comment and help us shape our work? Well, let’s give it a go shall we? The first question is about this very thing and it’s on its own page, where it will stay because it’s over-arching.
New questions will be posted here so the comments can follow on in order. And if you have ideas for mental health and learning disability research you think should get some attention, why not tell us? All your comments will be read and, unless they are offensive or off-topic, they’ll stay on the site.
Photo credit: Martin Haswell.
Richard Gregory was one of those extraordinary individuals whose ability to think creatively about complex neuropsychological matters was matched only by his ability to communicate his ideas to the rest of us. As ‘A’ level zoology students, his seminal book ‘Eye and Brain‘ was our key to understanding the complex relationship between visual apparatus and visual experience and later, as a student nurse, I remember using it to gently explain this to a tutor who had (wrongly) failed my essay on the neural structure of the optic tract.
Much later, giving my first paper to the Experimental Psychology Society at University College, London, I was ‘refereed’ by Richard Gregory who was chairing the session. Large and eagle-eyed; keen interest oozed out of every pore for every presentation, most of them delivered by distinguished academics far further up the food chain than me, a trembling PhD candidate. Insignificant as I was, he accorded me the same courtesies and respectful commentary as he had everyone else. Not just an exquisitely bright, vibrantly enthusiastic researching psychologist but a gentleman of the old school, dignified and courteous.
While a very luminous source of inspiration has gone, Richard L. has undoubtedly set the fire of intellectual inquiry in so many others as to ensure a legacy of ideas well into all our futures.
I was just about to post about an upcoming meeting with the innovator behind a telehealth service for people with dementia when I realised that Dem Tigerpaw will not be a part of this research if it comes off. She won’t have a lot to do with another project bubbling under either, involving digital cameras and positive psychology. There are more potential SL related projects in the pipeline so she’s hardly going to become redundant but should she be compartmentalised I wonder. I’m for giving Dem the role of mediator or ‘front woman’ for all the tech-based research I would like to report on. Let’s hope she doesn’t want a pay rise!
Today I’m having a rationalising session and that has included coralling several of my disparate online presences (if there is such a word) into one enclosure. WordPress has a nicely manicured lawn, tidy edgings, and neighbours with eclectic tastes so it makes sense to move in and put up the curtains. I came here on a visit from MySpace, hauling along a nascent blog offering views on the world that may or may not be shared by others. It liked what it saw and pitched its tent so I went back to fetch Dem and now I won’t get lost making my way in the dark between the two late at night. If you’re here and wondering what the heck it’s all about, go to the MySpace link on the right and entertain yourself with a bit of catch-up. Having got the hang of tweeting without inadvertent indiscretion (mostly), I have become more inclined to post snippets for public consumption and those can be found also over on the right of the page.
Off to design a SurveyMonkey survey (well what did you expect?!) and take a tour of the Brighton sim before we go back in tomorrow with a study participant.