Originally Posted by opalescent
I was frustrated by the currently in a relationship requirement. It's not like my experiences were erased upon becoming single. Designing a scientifically valid study that produces useful data is difficult - I have sympathy OP! But I would have liked an explicit disclaimer saying participate only if in current relationships and why this was necessary for the study.
Thank you for the feedback; I'm sorry about the frustration! If I can figure out how to edit my first post, I will rephrase our statement that we need our subjects to have been in a relationship for at least 3 months to make it clearer that it must be a current
relationship, and will use the new phrasing in my recruitment from now on.
I did not even think to explain the reasoning behind the relationship requirement. I'm always hesitant to put even more stuff participation requests than I already do, in the fear that people will get bored and annoyed by the length, but I will think about how to try and integrate it into either our recruitment or the 'disqualification notification' in the study. I really want to be as transparent as possible on this process, so I'm perfectly willing to put out as much as people care to hear. (And I'll happily talk about couples research for much longer than just about anyone
wants to hear.)
For anyone who's run into this issue 'pre-fix':
We've found in psychology research that asking people to recall past behaviors and feelings produces much
poorer results than asking about current ones. Since some of the questionnaires we used in this study do refer to specific relationships rather than personal traits, we had to limit the study to current relationships, so, yeah, like you said, Opalescent, it's totally a design issue. If my upcoming study focuses on an ones' own traits instead of how one is in a relationship, I will be able to make it open to more people and get information on more experiences. Unfortunately, since I do couples research specifically, my studies do tend to be relationship-specific ones, in which case I do have to stick with the current-experience format to do 'good' science. Or as good as science on complicated humans can be.