Follow SIOP Member Chris Rosett as he makes his way through sessions, speakers, and receptions at the 26th Annual SIOP Conference. Chris kept a journal of his daily experiences to share with those who couldn't make it or who are just looking to see what someone else's experience was like!
By Christopher M. Rosett
To be honest with all of you, I’ve never blogged about anything in my life. But I like trying new things so here we are- I’ll give it my best shot.
How does one make a value-added SIOP blog? No idea, but I’m going to try and provide good information, but make it bite-sized and simple– I’ll do my best to keep points short, just providing what an old professor of mine used to call “soundbites” as well as trying to find the applicable takeaway from the messages. Also, I’m not going to attempt to cover everything, just a few things from each day. You don’t have to read everything at once either… just grab a bite and go!
Hope you enjoy.
Day 1: Thursday
Topic: Event Experience: We’re Not in Kansas Anymore
Wow. Experiencing this conference as a professional has been a LOT different than as a student.
For one, the work from my job doesn’t really stop. As a student I remember the conference being the focal point for entire month of April- I knew my schedule inside and out. I could tell you my plan A, B, and C for which presentations I wanted to go to. This year, juggling what I want to see and staying in tune with demands of work has been much tougher. It felt something like this:
It’s really amazing that so many professionals take time to come to this… while there is so much to do, everyone still finds the time to come here and learn- the conference obviously has a ton of value.
Second, I find my frame of mind is totally different. Switching from student to professional has really made me look at the conference in a different light. When I was a student, I arranged my schedule around what I wanted to learn about- what could I take away from listening to these really smart people? This time I am finding myself more interested in mining information in order to help my team- what things can I take back to PepsiCo that will help us achieve our objectives? It’s a different way of looking at the same information- I feel like I have a mission this year.
Day 1: Thursday
Topic: DOES and POEMS
From: Doing Research that Influences Research and Practice
Presenters: Wayne F. Cascio, Gary P. Latham, Susan Albers Mohrman, Denise M. Rousseau
“Keep your eye on the dependent variable!” – Gary Lathem
In medical research, studies are conducted in two ways. In “Disease Oriented Evidence Studies” (DOES), the researcher focuses on the disease. If Jane has congestive heart failure, how can we make her heart work better? This paradigm misses something important- nobody really cares about an efficient heart. An efficient heart for the sake of an efficient heart is useless. People care about quality of life: can I walk up stairs? Can I live by myself? Can I play with my grandchildren? The DOES approach simply assumes that if you fix the heart, all those other things follow. But at the end of the day, an efficient heart is NOT the dependent variable that really matters.
“Patient Oriented Evidence that Matters Studies” (POEMS) on the other hand, focus on the outcomes. Instead of measuring a dependent variable that is corollary at best, it measures the thing that matters in the first place. Instead of measuring heart function as the DV, let’s measure quality of life because (hello?) that’s what we are trying to improve.
In I/O, this analogy translates remarkably well. Research focused on the abstract theory, at best, has practical implications- we are focusing on an efficient heart, not quality of life. Many in the industry are building beautifully sophisticated and empirically driven models that don’t have any tangible application! Without several levels of translation and assumption, all these beautiful results fail to make an impact on the real world. What’s the point? Why not start with the end in mind?
“No research without action, no action without research” – Kurt Lewin
Takeaway: research should inform practice should inform research. Let’s design studies with the end in mind- try and get the DV as close to an applicable variable as possible.
Day 1: Thursday
Topic: Event Experience: Social Butterfly
I’m quickly learning that as much as this is a knowledge sharing event, it is also a great opportunity to reconnect with friends and colleagues as well as to meet new people. At last year’s SIOP, I was adopted by my professor’s alma mater and spent most of the time being introduced to her colleagues. This year, it was so much fun to meet up and catch up with all these acquaintances I hadn’t seen in a year. Also, meeting some new faces and putting faces to names with some others (PepsiCo people I’d worked with virtually, but never met before) was great. I highly recommend getting to the receptions and meeting as many people as you can.
Stay tuned to read about Chris's Friday and Saturday adventures!