Facility

The Media Effects Lab (MEL) leverages some of the latest in research technology to conduct studies geared towards understanding the cognitive and emotional effects of mediated messages and formats on individuals.

The facility is divided into three main spaces.

 

The Computer Lab Area

The Computer Lab area is equipped with 16 Mac-mini and two Tobii eye tracking stations. The Mac stations allow for cross-platform (OS and Windows) usage.

Noise-cancelling headphone and partition allow participants to engage with content and technology at their own pace and free.

 

All Mac stations come with the following software:

      • MediaLab – a psychology software tool that allows creation of computerized, multimedia experiments and questionnaires
      • DirectRT – tool designed for cognitive and perception tasks that require millisecond precision (e.g. reaction time tasks). Also present sound, video, images and text with exacting precision. Keyboards are millisecond-sensitive keyboards designed for precision key presses.
      • Online access to Qualtrics – online survey platform
      • Online access to Millisecond –  tool that enables administration of precision psychological measures over the web
      • Microsoft Office
      • Internet browsers IE, Safari and Google Chrome
Heat Map of Eye Fixation

Click the Picture to Enlarge

Impact and engagement factors were examined for each section:

  • Impact:
    • Time to First Fixation-how long it takes for a participant to fixate/focus on an area for the first time
    • Percentage Fixated/noticing-the percentage of recordings in which participants have fixated at least once on an area
  • Engagement
    • Total Fixation Duration-the sum of the duration for all fixations on an area
    • Time to Click-how long it takes for a participant to left‐click with the mouse on an area
    • Percentage Clicked-the percentage of recordings in which participants clicked at least once on an area
Gaze Plot of Eye Fixation

Click the Picture to enlarge

Impact and engagement factors were examined for each section:

  • Impact:
    • Time to First Fixation-how long it takes for a participant to fixate/focus on an area for the first time
    • Percentage Fixated/noticing-the percentage of recordings in which participants have fixated at least once on an area
  • Engagement
    • Total Fixation Duration-the sum of the duration for all fixations on an area
    • Time to Click-how long it takes for a participant to left‐click with the mouse on an area
    • Percentage Clicked-the percentage of recordings in which participants clicked at least once on an area

For those studies interested in in-depth data of web and computer usability, the two Tobii eye tracking stations feature Tobii Studio 3.2 research analytics software designed to measure impact and engagement through measures such time to first eye fixation and eye fixation duration. Stations can also measure degree of usability through measures related to mouse-click activity.

 

The Living Room Area

The Living Room area is designed to create a real-world media-viewing experience. The featured amenities include a 42-inch television, DVD player, XBOX, Wii and Playstation 3 gaming systems, and a surround-sound speaker system.

The Living Room area provides researcher with real world setting for experiments.

The Living Room area provides researcher with real world setting for experiments.

 

The Observation/Office Area

The Observation/Office area consists of four additional computer stations. Researchers use this space as a base of operations, creating study materials, monitoring study sessions, or analyzing collected data.

MEL also comes equipped with psychophysiological recording capabilities. Researchers can go beyond the paper-pencil questionnaire and explicit measures, to examine participants’ responses in regards to cardiac, muscular, brain and ocular activities. These responses can be recorded in either the Computer Lab or Living Room.

Recording of Heart Rate & Skin Conductance Activity                                            Electrode Attached to Wrist to Record Heart Rate Activity