Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Day 5- Tuesday 7/12

This morning I got here at 8 again and did my blog.  Then, it was time for the meeting.  We visited Kelsey today to see what she was doing, and Betsy was very cool!

Prati and I then went to our lab, where we continued reading "Eye movements in reading and information processing: 20 years of research" by Keith Rayner.  It took FOREVER!  We were only skimming, and it still took us 3 hours to read.  In fact, when we finally finished, it was time for lunch.

We punched out and went down to look for everyone, but they weren't there.  I was convinced they had already left (we were 2 minutes late, after all), but Prati wanted to look around after stopping at the vending machine.  So, we punched back in and looked for everyone in their labs.  We found Kelsey, but everyone else had left like I thought.  We punched out again and walked to Global Village as usual.  We went back a different way this time, and I didn't really know where to go.  At least I was with a bunch of people who knew the way!

After lunch, Prati and I watched the videos we made of Kurt, Mike and Karen on Monday.  We decided that we needed one more video to make the experiment better, and we asked Nadya to do a word search for us.  Thankfully, she did!  If you're reading this, Nadya, happy birthday (yesterday)! Thanks!

Nadya and Kurt tied, finding 7 words, Karen found 15 words, and Mike found 12.  Nadya and Kurt had similar strategies to finding words.  Prati and I called their method "line by line," which was the slower method.  They went line by line to look for words.  Karen and Mike picked a word to look for, scanned the whole letter grid, read two lines at a time, and while looking for one word found another.  They also looked at the list of words more frequently so they knew what to look for.

When we finished, we talked to Karen about our results.  She told us that if this was a real study, we would probably need to try forcing people to use different strategies.  If it was just the strategy, Karen and Mike would probably find fewer words.  However, if Karen and Mike were just better at finding words, the reason for Karen and Mike beating Nadya and Kurt might not be different strategies.  This is called a confound.

We decided that since this wasn't a real study, we wouldn't bother running more tests to make sure it wasn't a confound.  However, today we are going to look at the videos we already made and look for other factors, such as time spent looking at the list or grid, continuing to look at letters they know are wrong, where they started searching, and changing strategies.  Karen is also going to teach us how to use a program called Semanticode, which will tell us the number of fixations, the length of fixations, and specifically what everyone is looking at.  

We then asked Karen about the article we read, and by the time we had asked only a few questions, it was time to go home for the day.

Some highlights of the day included Harry Potter hangman and tic-tac-toe while waiting for Nadya to do her test and waiting for her video to finish rendering, discovering the existence of a Pirate language on facebook while looking for Amanda Kearney, and then finally meeting Amanda Kearney!  No more creeping for us!!!!

By the way, thanks to everyone who has started following my blog! Sorry it's so long...I just get on a roll! Wish me luck at boot camp today!

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