|TITLE:||INTERACTIONS WITH WEBSITES AND TEXT-MESSAGE ABBREVIATIONS|
|PRINCIPLE INVESTIGATOR:||STILL, MARY|
|OTHER INVESTIGATORS:||JEREMIAH STILL|
File Created: September 11, 2012|
Department Chair Action Date: September 20, 2012
Current Status: Expedited Approval Granted
Action Date: September 20, 2012
Approval Expiration Date: September 20, 2013
|Confidentiality||Data are not linked to individuals|
STATEMENT OF PURPOSEThe purpose of this research is to investigate the ways in which individuals respond to electronically-based modes of visual communication. The first part of the study tests webpage design, while the second part of the study tests understanding of text-messaging abbreviations. The purpose of the webpage portion of the study is to test the design of a webpage. Many factors affect how quickly and easily one is able to navigate a webpage; some of these factors are not well understood. This study examines automatic processes that guide attention through a web page. To do this, we will measure how fast and how accurate participants are at finding information on a web page. These data will be used to improve a website’s usability and facilitate the development of web design best practices. The purpose of the text-messaging portion of the study is to investigate whether or not text-messaging acronyms and abbreviations elicit an automatic emotional response. With the pervasive use of text-messaging, it has become increasingly important to understand text-messages as a vehicle for communication. Acronyms and abbreviations are part of that communication. We are interested in whether or not these stimuli can elicit emotional responses comparable to the words they represent. For instance, does LOL carry the same “emotional weight” as the words laugh out loud? The results of this study will be used to help determine the effectiveness of text-messaging as a form of communication.
STATEMENT OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGYParticipants will interact with a computer for both parts of the experiment; the experiment will be presented using E-Prime (experimental presentation software) which will also be used collect data (reaction time and accuracy). In the first part of the study, participant’s will be shown a web page and asked to report targeted information (e.g., What is Brian’s phone number?) as quickly and accuracy as possible. Halfway through the study, participants will take a demographic survey soliciting information including age and sex as well as their use of technology for communication – e.g., frequency and perceived utility of instant messaging and text messaging. After that, participants will complete the web page portion of the study (same as the first half of the study). After completing the web page portion, participants will complete the text-messaging portion of the experiment. They will be asked to name the color of stimuli presented on a computer screen, ignoring the stimulus meaning. The stimuli will consist of common text message abbreviations, words, and phrases. The stimuli will have positive, negative or neutral connotations (e.g., LOL is an example of an acronym with a positive connotation). Taboo words and their meanings will constitute a portion of the negative stimuli. Participants will complete practice trials (10) and experimental trials (60) that use the following procedure: a fixation cross will be presented for 500 ms followed by an acronym/abbreviation, word, or phrase that will remain on the screen until the participant responds. The participants say the color of the stimulus into a microphone. Response time and accuracy will be recorded. After the computerized portion of the experiment, participants will be asked to write out the meanings of all of the abbreviations used in the study. Participants will be debriefed and given the opportunity to ask questions at the conclusion of the experiment.
ANTICIPATED RISKS AND BENEFITSThis study poses minimal risk to participants. The physical risk is no more than a participant would encounter using a computer, visiting a web page, or reading a text message. Some text-messaging abbreviations/acronyms and their translations may elicit emotional responses in participants, therefore, they will be informed of the presence of these stimuli at the beginning of the study before they agree to participate. The benefit of this experiment is twofold: 1) it will increase our understanding of the mental processes that underlie web page use which will lead to advances in website usability and best practices for design and 2) it will provide emotive data on text-messaging acronyms and abbreviations which are currently extremely limited.
SUBJECT SELECTIONMissouri Western State University students enrolled in entry level psychology courses will be given the opportunity to volunteer to participate in this study. Students will be given course credit as determined by their instructors for their participation.
CONFIDENTIALITYParticipants will be asked to sign their names on informed consent documents, but that document will not be associated with the results of the study. Each participant’s data will be associated with a number during data entry, but that number will never be linked to the participant’s identity. Therefore, the results of the study will be anonymous. Informed consent documents will be kept in a secure location to keep participation confidential.
PRIMARY SUPPORTING DOCUMENTClick for Word Document
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