Two months ago, I was looking for participants for my psychology research. It took me six weeks to convince 50 people (students) to fill out my questionnaire. Not a great success, if you ask me.
A new semester started. I sent out new invitations. BOOM. Five new participants in two hours. Three more in another hour. And again. Wow. What was going on?
Believe it or not, I think that the most important part of data collection is timing. I think that since students like to
procre– procrastinate during the semester (especially if they have some homework due!), they are many times more likely to participate in studies (and fill out questionnaires).
Quite honestly, I am not sure. On one hand, it might be interesting to look at volunteering and participation at studies during the holidays vs. during the semester (I would LOVE to write a paper about that), on the other hand… yeah, you guessed it. Homework. Essays. Compulsory readings. Sometimes I wish *I* didn´t procrastinate…