Take the Scenic Route

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Fly my pretty

The whole purpose of my job is basically to sift through old data, and get it into the public arena. Also, generally speaking, I also have an ethical responsibility to ensure that something similar happens with the data I collected prior to my current job. Further, doing so is likely to advance my career prospects if I stay doing what I'm doing.

So anyway, it's over a year since I last sent something out, but today, finally, I got off my first manuscript that I've been working on almost since I started this job in May. It was quite weird. In the past, it has always been making copies in quintuplicate, and entrusting them to the courier gods. This time, electronic submission meant that less than 20 minutes after I'd finished, I'd been assigned a number and and administrator. However, it took me even less time to discover the first glaring error. I hadn't changed the running head, which very unfortunately reflects a now de-emphasised theoretical aspect. Oops. So I've sent my first "I'm very sorry" email already. Grrr. Oh well.

So what's it all about you might ask? Well, it's quite a theoretical paper (i.e., it's not going to seem directly interesting) on prospective memory, which is your memory for things to do in the future (like an appointment at 4pm, or buying milk on the way home). The paper is mostly concerned with the cues which trigger you to remember that there is something you have to do (like a post-it, or seeing a dairy and remembering to buy milk). Basically, a cue elicits a sense of "significance", some discrepancy from other items you encounter, and triggers a search for an associated action. The paper, broadly speaking, is considering how we assign every day things this sense of "significance" so that we view them as a cue, and how we differentiate these from the general environment. As I said, it's kinda theoretical.

But it is exciting to have it out there. Hopefully some more of my pretties will follow it soon. I don't want to have to wait another 12mo+


At Thu Jan 20, 10:51:00 AM GMT+13, Blogger Jessie said...

It does sound pretty interesting! Although I expect it's lots of data and figures and statistics and big words? I prefer your summary, if that's the case!


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