I liked your study, let's hang out?
May 27, 2016 9:58 AM   Subscribe

Is it appropriate to ask out someone I met while participating in his experiment?

I'm doing a Masters at the moment, and actively taking part in various studies (because it's interesting to see what kind of research other people are doing). A couple of weeks ago I participated in a study at a research institute affiliated with my university. The researcher had an assistant, and while she was busy with some stuff, we (the assistant and I) had some time to chat. He seemed really nice.

A couple of days later, I got an email from him, asking me to take part in his own study (or, rather, pilot). He got my email from the previous researcher (I'd told her I was open to taking part in other studies, so no breach of confidence there).

So today I took part in his pilot; as it was a pilot study, we were quite relaxed, and it was fun. He seems smart and funny, and definitely the kind of person I wouldn't mind getting to know better. Now I'm wondering, would it be appropriate to email him asking him out for a coffee or something, or should I leave it strictly, well, "business" and forget it? Is it a valid question at all or am I overthinking it?

The reason I'm that doubtful is that it seems almost like a business transaction - you sign lots of consent forms and get paid for these studies and all. So I'd say it wouldn't be cool if HE asked ME, since he's in charge of the situation. Would it be more appropriate coming from me, or not?
posted by Guelder to Human Relations (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
As someone who used to run psych studies as a grad student: totally appropriate, especially so if you're not expected to do a follow-up session for the study or something (in which case I would say wait until after that). Go for it.
posted by brainmouse at 10:06 AM on May 27, 2016 [2 favorites]

He can't ask you. It's fine for you to ask him. If by some chance it's one of those things where you need to come back for a second study session, or you have to wait two weeks for a study payment to come through, or whatever, wait until the study business is totally done before you ask, but otherwise, go for it.
posted by Stacey at 10:11 AM on May 27, 2016 [7 favorites]

I went to the wedding of a couple who met this way. I'm not sure who did the asking out in their case, but it's definitely better for you to do the asking rather than the person running experiments.
posted by jujulalia at 10:26 AM on May 27, 2016

I think this is probably OK, but you should probably do some kind of transition hangout first. This is practically the ONLY situation where I think you should invite someone to coffee. But the coffee isn't a date. It's just to create some kind of framework to see each other outside the context of academia. If the coffee goes well, THEN ask him on a date. With the usual "use the word date" caveats that tend to come up in these Asks.
posted by Sara C. at 11:11 AM on May 27, 2016 [1 favorite]

Yep, he can't initiate but there's nothing holding you back from asking him.
posted by porpoise at 11:13 AM on May 27, 2016

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