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June 11, 2021

E209 - Can we use Mobile Technology to Monitor Mental Wellbeing?

Recorded live on June 10th, 2021, hosted by Nick …

Recorded live on June 10th, 2021, hosted by Nick Roome & Blake Arnsdorff.

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Welcome to human factors yeah your weekly podcast for human factors psychology and design. Hey what's up everybody this is episode 209 you're listening to human factors cast and we're recording this live on 6/10/2021 I'm your host Nick Rome I am joined across the internet waves by Mr he's that way Mr like ours or if. What's up decals everything going today ma'am Hey man things are good things are good it's a it's a Thursday I am excited to sit here and talk even factors with you let's get into some programming notes really quick just a follow up to last week please do check out our deep dive on how work space culture affects our behavior with respect to sickness presenteeism we had a nice conversation last week play tonight about this but now we have a deep dive with the science and stuff to back it up so go check it out on a blog will put a link down below in the description Fauria and just as a quick reminder we have opened up the digital media lab here over human factors cast there has been quite a lot of interest I'm actually really excited about the folks we brought on board and there's only a few spots left in the lab so if that is something that you're interested in please reach out to us we're kind of all over feel you know we're monitoring all of our channels so please feel free to reach out anywhere you can find us best way is probably our contact form on our website but we'll get it anywhere really like I said just a couple spots left so it's it's again a great opportunity for anyone looking to get involved in a lab you know looking for X. real world experience looking to share your work do some research projects or even if you're a designer or coder working on a portfolio it's there's some opportunity for you there. Yeah anyway check that out Blake we know we know why everyone's here right you know absolutely you know what they're here for. Yes they are here for human factors news this is the part of the show where we searched all over the internet we look through all of our sources we go live we can collect the resources we have our patrons vote on and we bring it to you this is all the things going on in the community the field of human factors this could be anything related to you know medical privacy security we are a little bit of everything in there this week Blake what is our story for this week all rights are up this week we've got technology to monitor mental well being a might be right at your fingertips so to help patients manage their mental well wellness between appointments researchers at Texas a and M. university have developed a smart device based electronic platform the could continuously monitor state of hyperarousal which is one of the key signs of psychiatric distress they have uses advanced technology that could actually help to read facial cues analyze voice patterns and integrate readings from Bilton vital signs sensors on smart watches to determine if a patient is indeed under stress Furthermore as these researchers have noted that the technology could provide feedback and alert health care teams if there's an abrupt deterioration in a patient's mental health state mental health can very quite rapidly and a lot of changes remain hidden from providers or counselors so this technology could help provide counselors with continuous access to patient variables and their status and it's likely to have a potential to be a lifesaving implication being able to understand how somebody's doing how you can impact them in between sessions and overall just keep their mental health up so Nick this is pretty incredible and I know a long time ago we talked about some similar technology here but there seems like there's a lot more computing power going on in this particular solution yeah I'm trying to remember what that story was that we talked about if. You like it was some sort of algorithm behind the scenes where it looked at your app usage or something and it kind of consolidated all that stuff it looked like it your battery life in your phone and you know how much time you spend on each app and it kind of consolidated that information. But this seems like it's a little bit different in the sense that it is pulling from other sources so it's looking at things like your heart rate monitor it's looking at your Fitbit it's bringing in all this data consolidating it and throwing it through a machine learning algorithm that then brings forward some sort of picture on your mental state I think this is really cool. So I mean like that's really quick let's just kind of describe what this study is right you want you want to describe the study here Blake or actually at let me let me hear your thoughts on this and then we talk about the study how bout that absolutely so this is super exciting to be I'm a big fan of wearables and like gathering more data about yourself and being able to you know use that in a passive manner to potentially help you because I think this particular application like it is definitely it's mental health based but I can imagine you know leveraging stuff like your fit better your smart watch whatever brand you kind of like you use could still be like you know gathering markers throughout the day to use things like call emergency services if you needed to or even do you know what kind of give you a better estimate of like how you're doing throughout the day because I think Nick the the thing that we had actually looked at was a an application that was trying to you know give you different like pick me ups there your phone depending on like how you your phone usage throughout the day and its predictive markers about how that might be me meeting that you're feeling yeah in this case we're taking you know a bunch of different potential variables including I guess facial cues in some cases and trying to understand how mental health is being impacted which this has a lot of potential impact for sure in that like it could help you between visits if you will and when things might not be going so it. Yeah that's a good great distinction I'm looking back through some of our older episodes to see if I can find it I am not finding it but that was it that that's a great distinction I think that you make is that this one is is certainly focusing more on yeah the intervention right and and sort of bringing it full circle to the people who might be able to intervene in your life like the counselors or therapists that need that type of information and when to reach out to you that type of thing so. Well I mean let's let's talk about what data we're gathering here right because I think. What we want to look at face or or I guess this thing is looking at facial recognition voice recognition applications and sensors already built into your smart watches so this is using the devices that are already part of your life presumably if you use them and it's it's basically. Yeah yes looking at things like heart rate to its bringing in all these variables and I guess it doesn't you know pulling things from the phone is is what I'm understanding there it's already it's just using things that you're already gathering data on using these devices and potentially gathering other things too if if possible right like not all these devices have facial and voice recognition. They do have you know some have like virtual assistants bill 10. The it could collect data on your voice and like things like tone or things like that I don't know but anyway that the idea here is that once these are trained the algorithms. Can monitor and and look at readings coming from the sensors. And certain these other applications basically to determine if. The help is needed let's just say that right yeah that's absolutely right so actually going to ask you is it cool if we go through the use case of kind of like where this comes from and then talk a little bit about the intervention of the technology itself yeah please do all right so check this out so this is kind of really the the thought process that I think led to the development here and that we can tease apart some of the the cooler parts of the technology as well so one thing to consider like as a patient potentially with anxiety disorder let's say you maybe expert you could experience a stressful life event that may trigger some you know extreme error bill irritability or any kind of other related symptoms that would require immediate medical attention but let's say that your between you know mental health appointments are going to see a psychiatrist or you're psychologist so in this particular case you're if you're not gonna like see somebody with the next 2004 hours you may be left to your own devices and not know that it's the best option is to go to the hospital or go talk to somebody. And that without something like this they can like deal with people and help them while they're you know in between like seeing doctors are in between doing those subjective assessments whether in the doctor's office talk to like give a little bit of metrics about how they were feeling while they were you know pursuing treatment outside of the doctor's office prior it's really hard to eat you know one keep track of how people actually feel outside of the sessions they have with a professional so it's it's a little bit less data for them but something like this platform which is really focusing on like Nick said it's taking existing wearable technology which it sounds like it has the potential just to leverage whatever you're either allowing it to have access to or do you do you have access to some of it's just heart rate variability or if it goes all the way through the gamut of force face recognition. But the real thing that it seems like they're they're kind of measuring here with all these different potential sensors it's just hyper arousal. And so that's really what's what's giving you the per the markers like 3 software into your voice and all and your heart rate variability that could mean that you might be experiencing some kind of traumatic event outside of a doctor's office. So that's really the the the big thing here is like it's it's a it's providing a technology solution when with all with already existing I'm like kind of widely used tack and then providing healthcare professionals with the capability to potentially help you when you're maybe not going to see them or like just in a time when you're having kind of a crisis yeah I do I do want to touch on a couple things right so I think the key here. Is that that's a great use case and I'm I I want to talk about what this might actually look like right so if there's there's a correlation between. Your physiological response and mental well being is is kind of what is being. I'm alluded to here right there there's a correlation between some of these things and so. You know you can. Determined that you know if somebody has an elevated heart rate and maybe they're I don't know maybe they're not taking a whole lot of steps they could either be watching horror movie or they could be experiencing like anxiety attack or something like that and the idea behind this algorithm is to train it to know when you're watching a horror movie versus when you're having an anxiety attack or when you are you know like let's say somebody who needs anger management might be having a rage fit and the application here is that in those states where you are let's say mentally. Compromise not the right word but like. You need some sort of intervention I can very much imagine a situation where you these wearables are on your wrist and so it's like you know as you're having these episodes B. they manic depressive anger anxiety any of these. Sort of ailments if you wanna call them that right as you're having these your your. Your your what you might be able to go Hey. Have you have you done your mindfulness exercise today and it's like that's almost like a subtle reminder that like your device has picked up on the fact that you are in an altered state from normal and you need to do something about it there we can talk about like what those messages look like because that's a whole other human factors issue how do you intervene. You know they're they're saying here in cases where you are already seeing somebody for mental health. Then you know that that might warrant a call from your professional say Hey how you doing I'm just calling to check in right. Lilia the other part of it is well if your if your mental health professional is busy or with another client or something how do you then intervene it by using like push notifications to somebody right though that there's a whole messaging about that that's like how do you present some information without making the problem worse. And like is there a whole another machine learning thing around that that will then determine what's a more effective message for certain types of people and once you meet a profile marker then they can assign those types of push notifications to you anyway I'm talking about the application here but I think there's a lot of exciting things about this because it's using existing data that's already there. Making that correlation some mental health. Issues going on and then you know kind of. Bringing it all together and sort of trying to intervene I love this story by the way and and one thing really quick I should mention this. This research was done by a friend of the show from the podcast vars incising Gohar and if you haven't already Elise did a fantastic interview actually went and listen to it again earlier today. From the healthcare symposium in 2019 so it's a. It's a really great listen you know he talks about some of his research the rads he talks about things like telly health systems and talk about continuous data monitoring and how it relates to predictive medicine so very kind of foreshadowing of this critical it was really fun to kind of listen to that and know what was coming down the line it's it's so it's an excellent companion piece to the story I will put the link down below in I guess in the description of this episode or wherever you're at so. Please do go check that out too Blake over to you. What what do you think about just the application bet. So it like going actually back to the that some of you brought about the interview right in that's the telehealth aspect of it so I the thing about this application is that right I think it's getting us closer and closer to creating an entire eco system that helps people deal with their own mental health when they can't always be you know excessively meeting with you know a psychiatrist or psychologist in that light like you said you could potentially like if if you're getting you know precursor markers so that the benefit here of M. L. is that it can start to learn behaviors over time and under would stand and interpret data but it also could start even getting a little bit more a little bit smarter right so in understanding when you're kind of in a precursor stage before like meeting for hyper arousal over from trends over time in this case maybe that means it starts suggesting like you go for a walk you do exercise you do the mindfulness you know app you have on your phone. Before you actually reach that state of like okay I mean hyper arousal but something interesting you brought up is when you start connecting them with. Health care professionals what's the messaging look like what's the push notification language that you know keeps people in the loop but also makes them feel empowered that they can that they are like actually trying to do something better for themselves and reach out well one way around this too in the instance that like maybe your health care provider is busy or things are just like they're not gonna be able to like see you even even that day will telehealth could be another option where you're actually if if it's if it's a term and like by potentially the algorithm this is like a really bad a bad maybe they just connect you with somebody to kind of guide you through some potential steps are things that you might consider doing so again it's it's like this providing an entire ecosystem for you to deal with mental health through digital solutions which is why the application part of it is so much fun because it's it's just taking your own data and kind of learning a little bit about you. Yeah I do want to talk about some potential drawbacks to this right there's. Well let's start with the easiest to talk about so in terms of what this actually looks like so this is an application that you install on your phone and if the application and then reads all the data presumably from like fit bad or whatever you know Garmin or what other service that you're using reads all that data and chugs the algorithm on your phone and so right now it's done the algorithm is done locally on your phone which means it eats a lot of your battery life that's something that they bring up in the article and so because it's using a lot of battery life they need to figure that out you know eventually it could be done on it somewhere externally like a server you know it pulls in all this data sends it externally that doesn't take a lot of power brings it back in with the analysis. You know and there's the usability issues of course that you know prohibit patients from using their technology so like you know difficulty navigating in their application you figure that out. And then there's some more obscure drawbacks to this as well like well how do you communicate what data this is gathering to people how do you make sure that the people using this application. Feel safe what their data is protected. How you know is it is I'm gonna ask this to you Blake is this an invasion of privacy to you if like so so walking through this example right somebody willingly. Install this on their phone this application like let's say it's the apps store or whatever they install it on their phone they don't read the user and end user license agreement they had items that they go down all their data is getting sent to a database somewhere the machine learning algorithm chugs on it and comes back and and produces some interventions for them is this an invasion of privacy. Well I think the messaging odd about the application how works would have to be very clear and how these kind of like how this data and how these notifications and suggestions are being created which it may not be because it's not like a lot of user agreements are very like you know up front about what the technology is doing although I think I I think it's become more commonplace that like data privacy sharing is you know more up front but in terms of is it a violation of your privacy or not it's hard to say because it's collecting data that's already being collected from potentially your smartwatch and so you're agreeing to that and I would imagine if you if you wanted to use the service or this application eventually. Then it wouldn't provide that much of a barrier to entry because the data is there now you're just using it in a different way so from my perspective I wouldn't feel like it was a breach of my own privacy mainly because at that now this is kind of like to fall I guess mainly because I feel like I'm well enough informed by downloading the application and understanding potentially what it's doing that that's kind of what I'm signing up for however without having read well having read this article and maybe being like suggested that I use this app by my health care professional who probably who may or may not explain to me how it works or kind of like the the potential repercussions in terms of holding on to my data. That's that that is a bit of a different story book from your perspective neck I mean do you feel like this is a breach of privacy in anyway I don't I think the privacy breach would be like if. A company like Fitbit took your existing data without your knowledge and used it to feed it into this machine learning algorithm even if you weren't a result of. I'm sorry you know even if you didn't get the intervention you know if they used it as kind of like a data set to help standardize the other people who opted into this. I think that would be an invasion of privacy I don't think this you know if you're opting into the application it compares you against people other people who opted in or agreed to share their data at the very least then I think it's okay. I'm. You know that that privacy is a whole nother conversation. When it comes to data and it's we can't tackle it all on this episode but man I don't think this specific application is it the weirdness comes when you're using other people's data and they are unaware of what it's being used for. Yeah I in terms of making people feel safe using this technology I don't I think messaging is important here again you know it's like Hey we're never going to. I don't know we're never gonna share your data. With anyone that doesn't need it but then there's also like. There's there's the safety of your data but then there's also the safety of your well being like how do you know. That the company that has this data eventually is going to do the right thing. That are now at yeah I mean look at the ethics of companies is you know really and it feels impossible for alright Sumer perspective for sure and died I think one thing to consider about the trust side is maybe that comes out there how it's being suggested like what's coming for a while like a health professional that did it because they they had some level you got a partner with hospitals to do this yeah and so that baby that helps but also if the design is seamless enough you're not going to know what the technology is it's running behind it either and that's a scary to write because maybe this is just my cynical mind going but what I am thinking of here is like okay this thing detects that I'm stressed because I'm going through a move right now. I'm gonna throw you the most expensive Amazon ad I can find about moving boxes and put it in your feed somewhere. Some potential wow okay that's that's some serious like. The ad and I I've it's totally possible right like a I think that is. More of the concern that I would have is the sharing of data with other things you know it's like we're gonna share this data with Amazon so they can provide to you. Advertisement in the moment where you are most vulnerable to buy like that is the scary part to me. Mmhm I do wanna talk about this triangulation of of data here and what this actually means. In the future right like I. You know I I think of it yeah we work we're going to the Marvel movies or watching Loki stick around for the post show if you want to hear spoilers on that. But you have like Jarvis in Iron Man you know who is this A. I. assistant and he can pick up on things like Tony stark's physiological response to certain things. In the universe and and you know often Jarvis will make snide comments about them and suggest you know gently that he doesn't fly at high altitude or something like that you know and. You know there's we kind of talked about the nefarious applications but sort of the. The way that this could be used in a variety of different applications outside of just intervention for. It's it's you know the these episodes right I think there's some interesting applications that we kind of talked about it with the. With with the Amazon purchase and the artificial intelligence assistance anything else that you can think of in terms of like. Applications outside of the intervention space. Yeah so one thing that it kind of jumps to mind is it I I don't even know how easy this would be to do it because I'm kind of reading through how the triangulation is working and the the mental or the premise here is that it's trying to use a bunch of different data markers to to avoid what next kind of alluded to like it starts sig it suggests like maybe yours maybe or more stress than you are based off of just one physiological marker. But then you're not necessarily in a full hyperarousal state but I can't imagine that this would be like in a fitness solution like really valuable so understanding kind of where people are in terms of sitting on the specter of fatigue and being able to tailor workouts for them like from your virtual assistant by providing you with different information based off of how it's picking up your biometrics how you sound or even if you're using facial recognition like how you look in the face so I think this concept of triangulation can have a lot of benefit in terms of making things more personalized especially as we get like more and more in depth and more more wearables are gonna be our bodies in different forms and fashions. Like this this type of triangulation I think it's going to be kind of key for you to be able to sense what's going on in your environment yeah one thing I just thought of interactive media can you imagine if like there is a Hey you know you're you're watching a movie at some point and it's an interactive movie set plays on pathways and it reacts to based on how your physiological state is at any given time or an aggregate of everyone in the room's physiological state like let's say you're watching something and it's like one person is super freaked out and another person is totally fine well it might you know based on machine learning profiles of those people give something that calms one person down and riles up another person and then it could even adapt on that to get both of them riled up and then bring it back down with all these intersecting pathways that would be super cool like almost like customized tailored content based on your physiological response that's like way futuristic but some I just thought of any any other closing thoughts on this one Blake. This is just a really cool man like I'm really I'm just excited that there's there's this whole movement that it feels like you're around like mental health both like just in general world awareness content that a lot of companies put out but now but I and of course like technology solutions that are trying to be built around it tell people kinda cope in the world we do live in so it's like it's a it's a great application and I'm glad they were able to talk it through on the podcast yeah I agree great story and again go check out that interview with bars and from the health care symposium 2019 it's a great companion piece to this also thank you to our patrons this week for selecting our topic and thank you to our friends over at Texas a and M. university for a news story this week you know follow along we do post links all of our original articles in our weekly recap blog as we find them as well as on our slack and discord so go over there for more discussion we're gonna take a quick break and then we're gonna be back to see what's going on in the human factors community. Human factors cast brings you the best in human factors news interviews conference coverage and overall fun conversations into each and every episode we produce but we can't do it without you. The human factors cast network is 100 percent listener supported all the funds are going to running the show come from our listeners our patrons are our priority and we want to ensure we're giving back to you for supporting us pledges start at just $1 per month and include rewards like access to our weekly Q. and A.'s with the hosts personalized professional reviews and human factors minute patrie on only weekly podcast where the host breakdown unique obscure and interesting human factors topics in just one minute patron rewards are always evolving so stop by Petri slash human factors cast to see what support level may be right for you thank you and remember it depends. Yes the patriotic huge thank you as always to our patrons and especially our honorary human factors cast staff Michelle Tripp patrons like you keep the lights running over here we are we are having trouble paying our electricity bill and you are doing it for us to thank you so much I do. Human factors minute kid continues to chug along. Over the last month we've we've seen some pretty cool stories. You're not stories they're they're human factors minutes that we see him pretty cool topics here I guess if you want to talk about that way we talk about HFE tag if you don't know what that is check it out environmental design augmented cognition Kanzi method. Some fun stuff over there anyway yes yes if you're interested you know what Blake I this is like almost show notes on the podcast but apple is. Paying for these. Either they're allowing you to do paid podcasts I think I might throw human factors minute up there it'll be the same price as the patriotic on patriotic and other things like access to our weekly Q. and A.'s you get to choose the news but if you want to just buy on apple I guess you could do that too so we might do it that way anyway enough about patriarchy and all that stuff so let's go ahead and get into this next part of the show. All right. Let's get switch gears and get to it came from yes this week like I mentioned in the preshow we got our stuff handed to us on a silver platter tonight this is the part of the show what we search all over the internet to bring you topics the community is talking about so we just mentioned patria we just mentioned are honorary human factors cast Michelle trip well Michelle right then she says I have a question. Should I get my PhD I'll be finishing my masters soon and I'm trying to decide if I need a PhD will it make me more successful in my human factors career I've heard mixed answers from multiple people I've spoken to about this some say it's unnecessary and others say it will make you the ultimate expert in your field. I'm an add on so so there's like 3 levels here right there's masters PhD but I also want to back up and and talk briefly about what you can do with a bachelors in human factors or psychology so I'm gonna pass it over to you what can you do with each level how do you measure success those types of things go. Yes Sir this is not going to be an easy answer and I'm afraid if we I'm gonna get a pop unpopular opinions but there's not a whole lot I can do but be myself and answer the question here so in terms of like which degree makes sense I think I didn't really know about human factors and I definitely didn't know that you could get an undergraduate degree anywhere near me when I was learning about psychology so if I'd gotten the opportunity to do that I probably would have and I don't know what I would have done from from there I it all depends on what I'd learned because well I've talked about this on the show before the masters program that I went to it it was invaluable like the methods teaching what is everything that I do today it it basically is a foundation for my job. And even though like I do a lot more U. acts design in front end development now like it's still like understanding those research insights and translating it I couldn't have done it without my masters and the program itself but I think one I think the thing here that I'm getting hung up on that I don't really know how to I guess answer it is I'm not sure that it's going to guarantee you that you're going to be more successful no matter what level degree you have I think that level of success is going to be much more dependent on you. And I think it I mean you may learn more skills for a PhD program you may get more skills for a master's program but I think it depends on where you end up you were in your job and if you like the the industry you're working in the work that you're doing and you're seeing impact and you want to continue to grow and spread the word about the stuff that you do more so than that it's going to be impacted by the degree that you have having said that I'm you're coming to somebody who does not have a PhD I don't know what it's like to go get it go get my PhD I have my masters and that's kind of where I'm at. But I'm glad you're hearing mixed answers because I that's really where I would what I would want you to be hearing because I think I think it's ultimately up to you and the question becomes like why do you want to get your PhD or why don't you or do you want to go get some work experience and then see if like maybe getting a PhD is something that you want to do depending on the industry you want to go into and that's that's what that's kind of the last thing I'll say on the topic is think about the industry and look at the landscape of you know what you're seeing out there because I know personally so that the places that I'm really interested and they are in tech giants and a lot of people have PhD is on a lot of you know job postings will not require but they will say it's an added bonus to have a PhD so that has made me kinda like think I don't know if I should have got my pizza you're not or is that something I should pursue now. But anyway I I've I've thought of course miss a one more thing the other kind of flask concept here is it your there's no like time limit for when you can go get your PhD. So if if you're interested in like just seeing what it's like to apply what you've learned you can always go back to school or if you're just like super interested in a program that's really where I would kind of jump in and say yeah let me get my PhD because I'm interested in these ideas these people to work with that kind of stuff but Nick tells a little bit about your perspective here so I am in a similar boat to you Blake I also have my masters that is where my level of education is that no PhD here however I do wanna talk just briefly about success and. It's it's a weird metric how do you measure success how do you define success. For me it's do you I have fun what I'm doing with what I'm doing do I make enough money to support you know Matt myself my family financially. Mmhm and really do do I have a network of people that I can rely on if something falls through those are my metrics of success I'm am I happy doing what I'm doing do I have enough money to support myself financially do I have a network of people and you know I think I am I would consider myself successful by those standards I'm I a I think. Everybody has their own levels of success right do you want to be do you want to attribute success to a certain position in the work force do you want to become a director of you know research at a tech company do you want to just be a busy B. U. X. research I say I say that and it's not derogatory at all it's just do you want to be like a a mid level you axe researcher or do you want to direct to the way something is going on I think. That is also another way to define success you can also talk about success in terms of money you can attribute a certain financial value to that and measure success by that metric. And so. You know I in terms of what each of these levels of degrees do you for success and get largely depends on. It largely depends on what you want to measure success by right so let me just briefly talk about at least generally this is general. It sort of is a generalization here and this is by no means like a definitive categorical Buck getting of each of these degrees but this is what I. Have experienced out in the field for each of these degrees you know the types of jobs that you would get with a bachelors might be like a junior you axe role you can work your way up. Mmhm you know it's it's something where you're not going to be in complete control the research it's going to be more of a assistant position to begin with once you get out right now at the master's level you have a little bit more. Freedom what that you might be like a you might come out into like a mid tier role where you might have some say in the direction of the way something is going you might work at like a human factors research firm you might do. You know more targeted human factors research that is a little bit more broad I would say you could probably specialize in some domain like the fans or healthcare something like that. But you know you're still not at the top right and P. H. D.'s they are the ones who are directing the research at these places they are the ones that are. Raking in the money for the company they are the ones that are driving the. Objects and I will say you know it like the masters level you might get like a a project manager level. That you know might happen after a couple years of work or depending on your experience I'm just saying these are general buckets now there's no reason why you know somebody who has their bachelor's couldn't work their way up in B. director some day. It's just if you have your PhD you're more likely to get that type of position after getting it it's just I I think of them generally as more or less. Pathways. I'm. To that research I I I I I don't know how else to say it I think. It it really just depends on how you measure success and that's kind of where I'm going to land on this is find out what is your measure of success determine which of these is most in line with that you know for me I got success by getting my masters in calling it done and my metrics of success may change some day I may decide yes I want to be the one who directs the research. And if I'm not getting that in other ways and I might need to go back and get my PhD someday and that's fine. At U.. But that's because my metric of success is change that's where I'm at I don't any other closing thoughts on this one Blake. No I think I kinda wraps it up really good I mean L. to me comes down to what do you really want to do you in the human factors breath of stuff out in the world and that I think that will really help you gonna guide whether a PAC makes sense but I mean the the best thing I think of all the advice here's what Nick is said like write down what success means and kind of see what that what that kind of pans out as for you. Yeah all right let's go and get into this next one this next one is from our discord by he who shall not be named lord Voldemort himself. Let's see here so he writes for anyone who might have any insight how far behind will a distance program put me from an in person program I'm still active duty military so I can't attend the full time program now but I get a stipend to help with the cost if I take classes while still active duty. If I pursue a master's from a distance program versus a traditional in person program will it affect my higher ability or mess with the actual education I received assuming I go to a reputable accredited program from a brick and mortar school that offers the program. Blake let's talk about the differences between in person programs and online courses or online programs go. Yeah the only way I can really talk about this is giving you up a kind of my perspective all right and what I think is going to be the difference and I know there are plenty reputable programs that I've actually now recently heard of that are doing the kind of like distance masters I know Embry riddle is one of them. Super reputable school in this particular case might be you a lot of interest to you because I know that this particular discordant likes aviation. And do you know what I need I want to address the one party in here that I think is probably most important is will will it change my higher ability if I doing it in person versus not I don't think the the like the degree that you get I don't think it's gonna say in person versus not it's just going to say you're out you have a masters in you've achieved this level of education I think what is going to be different and will require probably a lot of proactivity is my guess is the the networking side of it that really helps you kind of make a lot of those connections to get you know get that first job or you know get into a lab or be a part of different you know P. man factor style organizations like a GPS is a student. That will be completely different now you're an interesting situation though because you're you're already employed your active duty so maybe that's not as big of a deal the other thing that I would be a little bit concerned about and this is only my like take on it is it was invaluable to me to work in the lab that I worked in. Me because it let it lets my first internship gave me my first set of leadership experience it let me apply the methodology I was learning it as I was learning **** and do you know it it made you know callous connections and friends that I I wouldn't have without the experience and on top of that it also led me to my mentor who I ended up doing my thesis under so without that in person experience it was all centered around the work I was doing in addition to learning I'm not sure how that's gonna pan out or how it works now I know there's a lot of reputable schools out there with master's programs online there has to be some way they're supplementing this because they still would I would assume still would have to make you do some kind of thesis work and work with the professor and maybe potentially contribute to a lab somehow or in some fashion whether that's like writing or whatever it may be doing data analysis for a far. So ultimately I think you're gonna get the same education but the experience is going to be different in the applied the you're applied experience of that knowledge is not necessarily going to be the same early's that that would be by like biggest markers of difference from you know in person versus traditional brick and mortar but Nick give us some of your thoughts here yeah you know I I'm largely in the same boat as you Blake I think the main difference between the 2 is going to be the networking aspect so I actually reached out to him separately and talked him a little bit about this earlier so forgive me if any of this is duplicate from what we talked about but just just going to the questions how far behind will a distance program put me from an in person program it kind of depends like Blake said on how proactive you would be but in terms of the actual paper that you get that says you have a degree not at all. In terms of you being active duty military now this is a great advantage to you I think this gives you a lot of experience in a certain sector so if you were to go into DOD work you ought to have already have that massive knowledge that you can bring in you know from the perspective of a previous user of a system let's say you worked on flight controls or something like that you know your you could be used almost like an SME subject matter expert that could then inform the design you're too careful with that because systems change over time and you don't want to bring in sort of antiquated ways of thinking about something years down the line right. In terms of stipend that is pretty big for some people and so I would strongly consider maybe using that if you can there are also options to transfer credits so let's say you are taking this online version and you know who your your your service ends and then you might want to switch over to a PhD program like we just talked about with Michelle's question right kind of depends on your path that's life and is gonna be really great at least to get in and get your feet wet you might want to try a couple classes while still active duty in terms of. Distance versus traditional in person program let's break this down right. You mentioned higher ability. Or mess with an actual education that you received so let's talk about higher ability I think that you will be. It. It depends on what you do with it right now if you just do the program don't get into any internships don't get any of that real world experience don't work in a lab even remotely then it might not do as much for you. You know there there might be you might get less opportunities than you might like Blake said you know he got his first internship from working in a lab I had a very similar experience where my internship with it would not have happened if I wasn't at an in person. Program and so. I think having those connections working in a lab with the professor of your choice working on projects that you interest you and then lastly sort of having your professor be able to make those connections for you I think that is huge especially just getting in the field. You know the having that introduction introduction of like Hey you know I know so and so and they they might be a good fit for you why don't you give him an interview that's huge you know getting the door open. In terms of the actual education you receive now there's been a ton of studies on you know whether or not remote working is at sorry remote learning is as effective as in person learning and I think with cove it the way things hit it's just really different now the way we all view it and so there's still some research to be done on that perspective I will say there's an undeniable effect that you have from being in person. You know you lock eyes with somebody else in a physical space at when they call on you forces your fight or flight response to go yes I need to dig up this answer right now or else I'm going to be embarrassed and then if you are embarrassed that you go and research that so you don't be embarrassed next time there's a whole social aspect of being in person that happens in terms of the information that's. Being presented to you I know in several cases it's the same a lot of the time they record the in person sessions put it up on line and you watch it later or get at your leisure whatever and but you don't get that interaction you can't ask questions in the moments and have them elaborate on it you can ask them questions post hoc but the context might not be there you can say things like Hey in class tonight you mention this that the other thing they're not in that mode anymore they're an office hours mode they're doing other stuff but you know question might come in and so they might answer it but they might not answer it the same way that they would have done in that context those are the major difference is that I can see. And so just in terms of content you'll be fine but the the interaction bet adds a little bit more to it if you think you can get beyond that then that's that's fine right I think we'll be all right with distance learning anyway that's that's my $0.2 anything else to add to this one Blake. No I think it was a really great break down there can hopefully this helps like with some of the decision making either way you're you're likely to end up with a very good education regardless of kind of what you're doing it in person or you know from afar. All right and now it's time for one more thing this thing needs no introduction is just where Blake and I bring up one more thing like what's on your one more thing this week. All right so this week I don't think I talk about this on the podcast very much but I am doing it on Monday evenings like from 4 to 5 I'm doing portfolio and resume reviews to try and help people get out tighten up the stuff they're doing so they can go through the job application process so that's something you find interesting or you need help either in the human factors realm or the U. X. round where you just want somebody to talk to about career stuff I'm happy to do that I do that through 80 P. so I have to do is create an account it's free you can book 30 to 15 to 30 minutes with me and we can go over your content so that's okay I just want to throw out there I don't know if I've even said that on the show before but that's that's kind of my one more thing yeah and if you want a more personalized professional review we do have that as a tier available on patrie on so 15 to 30 minutes with Blake or you know check us out on there and that helps the show financially anyway my one more thing. Let's see here what what do you want to hear about Blake we can go with any of these I'm gonna go the first one actually so a couple weeks ago I mentioned that I had a mouse that really had some trouble with the buttons but what he had to blow odd to make it go yeah that's the one. That is now my son's mouth he has now a defunct keyboard and a defunct mouse any other areas around and he's like a little office it's cute he's it's adorable anyway my new mouse is great except actually. I grab a little prop here SO the old mouse. You can see the difference in the buttons yeah well you can't see the new mouse but the old mouse here are these buttons are very thin profile there like right next to the thing and yeah and they're like old pushy buttons they almost feel like the squishy they're they're not mechanical right there old pushy busts on I can't I can't bring up my new mouse high enough for you to see on there anyway they're more raised than the other one they are they protrude a little bit further and they are more clicky and it's a very different experience than I've been used to for the last 7 years I'm still getting used to it and I'm still clicking buttons accidentally so I've now had to go and make different profiles for when I'm just you know Idoling or doing regular stuff there's a profile that disables all my buttons except for the back buttons which I don't press very often that shifted into a different mode. Hello and so like you know Rick and I press 11 on this key pad it shifted into a different mode. And I can you know cycle through them by pressing that button or disable it by pressing another button thankfully I have those buttons free but I have to disable my buttons because I accidentally press it all the time because I'm still getting used to this new input method so anyway that's that's my one more thing and you know what that's going to be it for today everyone let us know what you guys think of the news story this week you can hang out with us on our slack or discord great discussion going on over there or you can follow our news blog to keep up with any of our articles going out there. You can visit our official website sign up for our newsletter stay up to date with all the latest UN factors news you like what you hear there's a couple ways that you can help support the show you can leave us a 5 star review that is absolutely free for you you can like subscribe the follow do all that wherever you're watching or listening to this podcast that really helps the algorithm say yes they like it show it to other people tell your friends about us that is something that is also free and helps people discover the show we want to be more than just a podcast guys were trying to become a resource for human factors professionals if you like what we do and our message you can always support us financially on Patreon I mentioned it a couple times it is what keeps the lights on over here it's what allows us to do fun things like re stream or even just post on our website or you know soundcloud is our way of doing things and that costs money too so anyway all that goes right back into the show and always as always thanks to all of our socials and our website or in the description of this episode Mr Blake are stark thank you for hanging out with me on a Thursday night chatting with you where can our listeners go and chat with you if they want to hear about this 80 P. You guys can always find me across social media at don't panic you acts but also feel free to reach out me out to be in the discord or in our slack channel at the lake as for me I think his neck road you can find me streaming on twitch Tuesdays at 1:00 Pacific 1:00 PM Pacific not 1:00 AM profits hours in across social media at Nick _ road thank you all for tuning and human factors cast until next time. Hence.