Monthly Archives: July 2014

New Technology brings Emotion Research Online

Emotional understanding has always been the “holy grail” for qualitative research.  Focus groups, IDIs, ethnography and other methods have long been favored techniques to understand the emotional underpinnings of consumer decision-making.  Qualitative experts consider body language as a significant, and often more reliable, indicator of true feelings than the words people use.  Just how significant is hard to pin down.  In his paper “Silent Messages,” Albert Mehrabian contends that 55% of communication is through “facial liking.”  Whether this percentage is correct is debatable.  However, most agree that non-verbal interpretation plays a significant role in understanding emotional reactions to stimuli. Read More…

Facebook, Inc. Ethical Dilemma

What happens when a research study has 689,003 participants?

Recently Facebook and Cornell University partnered to study the spread of emotions in social media.  They conducted typical A/B testing with one control group and another group where the news feeds were altered and to see how positive and negative emotions were altered based on Facebook’s changes in the news feed.  They found that users who saw more positive posts tended to post more positive messages; those who saw more negative posts tended to post more negative messages. Read More…

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