Because half of my project depends on the psychology of decision-making in sports, half of my research has been dependent on sifting through long, somewhat dry, academic research papers. It’s not that they aren’t interesting; it’s just that the layout in which the information is presented isn’t very enthralling. I feel like I’m lucky to have the background knowledge to know how to approach understanding a research paper, or I would feel pretty lost right now. In UROP, I had to read and analyze research papers all the time, including writing abstracts from time to time, so at least I have that part under control.
When it comes to the other half—the part that depends on choosing certain moments or athletes to explore—it’s been pretty fun. I really enjoy pop culture, and a lot of sports moments (like Hail Marys, buzzer beaters, and shootouts) that people love or hate are fairly apparent in pop culture. I’ve been searching Twitter for moments like these because it would be fun to include something more recent. I’ve also just been searching random phrases on Youtube, like “Hail Mary” or “insane shootout,” just to see what comes up. I’m still looking for one or two more moments, so I’m excited to find those and then really bunker down and look into them.
Overall, I feel like I’m gaining a great experience from doing research for this project. I picked a genre that allows me to do both formal and informal research and I think that the combination of the two is pretty cool.