Sunday, January 06, 2008

What would you do for $3300...

Here in Boston, there are always ads in the Metro free paper looking for subjects for research studies. I've always been sorely tempted. Compared to what I do all day, answering a few questions or having blood drawn seems like a piece of cake.

In this week's New Yorker, there is an article (don't get excited, it's not online) about the practice of guinea-pigging - being a human guinea pig. Apparently, college students, illegal immigrants, low-wage workers and other people who have time on their hands will participate in invasive research studies in order to get cash.

The downside, in addition to boredom, is occasional risk of debilitating injury or death. Yikes. Maybe this is less sexy that I originally thought.

From Guinea Pig Zero, I bring you the story of a woman who lived in a research facility taking meds used to treat bipolar disorder, depression and schizophrenia. In exchange for 23 days in the facility, she earned $3300.

For $3300, I might:
  • Write a bunch of articles.
  • Allow someone to draw blood, presuming they were not a lousy phlebotomist.
  • Teach a bunch of kids something vaguely educational (that's what I do.)
I would NOT:
  • Take any medications that could suddenly kill me.
  • Pee in a bedpan (just too gross).
  • Share a squalid room with 7 or 8 others.
  • Take on crazy diet or water restrictions. (They banned CAFFEINE!)
This leads me to ask: What would you do for $3300?


At 10:00 p.m., Anonymous J! said...

...For $3300...I would read your blog...$3300USD, that is ;)

At 10:01 p.m., Blogger Aliza said...

I'll give you 17 cents and a cup of coffee.

At 10:07 p.m., Blogger Tammy Korolnek said...

A comment already...I hold myself responsible ;)

At 8:41 a.m., Anonymous Smitty said...

For $3,300, I would most certainly pee in a bedpan (or anything else, for that matter!).

I'd also do almost anything that wasn't unhealthy, embarrassing, or likely to leave a permanent mark (physical, emotional, or reputational).

(This is coming from someone who participating numerous 'bait & switch' psych experiments in university for a cumulative total of around $95 over four fears).


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