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CMC: Day 3: “Weird Science”

(Patrick Whelan) This morning I attended a session called “Weird Science” with speakers Jaqueline Harding and David Kleeman. I thought this session was pretty cool and interesting. The main focus was the studying of human reactions to different elements. It started off with David Kleeman talking about his profession in which he gathers research of human reaction by sensors attached to the subject which record their true emotion based on various different things. The subjects are all adults and they have not decided to do these types of tests on kids for a number of reasons, one being that it is an uncomfortable situation. This set the stage up for Jacqueline’s presentation. Jaqueline does research on children’s reactions to various media by recording them while kids watch a show and watches for different factors that tell her whether they are engaged in it or not. It was interesting to see the two vastly different ways that both David and Jaqueline implemented tests to conclude their research results. I believe that Jaquelin’s approach was very qualitative for a number of reasons. One thing that led me to this thought was that she recorded the kids in their familiar environments which is described as an aspect of the qualitative approach in the book. It also is a qualitative approach because she not only watched them but she also asked them questions and talked to them while studying signs of engagement. One topic that was brought up during this session that I would like to learn more about is the different signs of positive engagement versus those of negative engagement. I found this area of the session to be very interesting. Though Jaqueline discussed different positive ones and showed a few pictures in which there were some examples I would like to look more in depth in this topic. I would like to see more examples of positive engagement as well as negative. I would also like to learn more about what producers and broadcasters do with this information when they are given it. I am curious to see their process of creating or updating different shows to keep children more engaged and just that whole general process. Overall this was a very intriguing session in which I learned a lot from.

Here is a picture of the process Jaquelin performs:

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