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A lot of Red Raiders were hard at work Sunday night researching the way you watched the game, whether it be the touchdowns, half time show or those commercials. In a newly built lab for students and professors to research all kinds of things, they were gathering data on how viewers watch and respond to the Super Bowl.
The Super Bowl is one of the biggest media spectacles of the year, and now there is a new place to study viewers' behavior during the big game.
"But one common critique of a lot of laboratory research is it's not a very natural setting where the research takes place. So we needed a space that was much more naturalistic, much more like your living room at home," Glenn Cummins, Associate Dean for research in the College of Media and Communication said.
The researchers at Texas Tech University's College of Media and Communication unveiled the in-home simulation lab Sunday.
"So what we can do is bring people in, have them sit there in a natural space, make them feel comfortable, have them eat snacks, pizza, whatever the case may be, and then remove ourselves from the equation," Cummins said.
Researchers can study the subjects through observation cameras, microphones and even watch what they do on iPads.
"So this room allows you to see exactly what they're doing, how they're doing multiple things at once, and how maybe, hopefully some of those multiple things are engaged together. So I'm hunting for something about Chevy trucks, because I just saw a commercial about Chevy trucks," Shannon Bichard, chairperson in the Department of Advertising in the College of Media and Communication said.
The subjects are asked to rate the commercials on a scale of zero to 100.
"Super Bowl advertisements are very expensive," Bichard said. "So any research that could indicate what parts of the commercials, or which commercials in their entirety are more successful. You can rank higher or lower with this little device, and it allows advertisers to see if their money is well spent."
The subjects can also be hooked up to a device that monitors skin conductance. So it could show their heart rate, or their emotional response to things like commercials or touchdowns.
"There really are no limits to the types of research that we can do in there," Cummins said. "In this situation, we're looking at sports. But we can look at just about any type of message, any type of context, and bring it to bare in that lab."
To learn more about the College of Media & Communication's Center for Communication Research, click here