It’s a Trav-IGANZA

by Ken Rosenberg

“I have always enjoyed Halloween and dressing up, the whole role-play aspect of it,” said Travis Ross, PhD student and party-throwing master. “Growing up, I was into D&D and that kind of stuff, so the idea of getting to put on a costume – to make a costume – it’s all really fun. So, to have an excuse to do that, I decided to start hosting Halloween parties.” With his wife, Emily, on board, Travis had his first party in 2007, the first year of his PhD program.

Things started out small but, over the past few years, Travis’ Halloween party has become a staple of graduate social life. There used to be competing parties; some people left early. Now, “we’ve earned our place,” Travis said. Word of mouth and a years-long reputation have made the party an unofficial Telecom event for grad students.

Graduate student Steve Burns and his wife have attended every party, as have Steve’s sister and her husband—who drive from Michigan to Bloomington every year. “It’s extremely flattering.” Travis said. “That sort of stuff makes my day. The fact that people would drive from Michigan for my party, it’s cool. Since they’re driving all that way, though, I don’t want to disappoint them.” Travis and Emily have been hosting for 40-plus people the last three parties. Surely, Steve, his sister, and everyone else have a great time.

The night before each party, friend and colleague Matt Falk comes over to the house to help prepare. “I always say to Matt, there are three things that make a party good: lighting, lots of people, and music. “I’m a big proponent of lighting,” Travis said. “If you want to have a good party, you should have good lighting, and so we’ve accumulated tons of strip lights for the party, as well as different colored light bulbs.” Travis enjoys selecting music and making playlists for himself and others, and the party is a great way to share his passion. Though he now uses a computer, Travis has had turntables for several years and used to play DJ with them. “Emily has always been helpful,” he said, “and we’ve collected more and more decorations each year.”

Of course, since it’s a Halloween party, there is another oft-unspoken prerequisite: costumes! Plenty of people get costumes just to attend Travis’ party. “That’s cool,” Travis said. “I make mine just to go to my party, too.” He has gone as a Rubik’s cube and Jack Skellington (from The Nightmare Before Christmas) and, this year, he’s going as the prodigal son of Gallifrey.

The scariest costume, without contest, belongs to Teresa.

“She wasn’t in the department at the time and a lot of people didn’t know who she was,” Travis said. Quickly, she made an impression. She dressed up as a nurse from the horror video game Silent Hill (as seen in the photos) and it “scared the crap out of a lot of people that year,” Travis said. “She would just stand next to people and stare at them. It was so scary, it was downright terrifying. She had a mask, so you couldn’t see her – and it looked like human hair. Creepy, creepy stuff.”

“Nic and Teresa always have great costumes, though,” Travis said. Last year, they went as Margo and Richie Tenenbaum .

The scariest music? Well …

“Every year, Bridget Rubenking always requests the worst songs, at the worst times – and then demands that I play them. And so, I play them. Sometimes, they’re okay but, sometimes, it’s the most inappropriate song at the most inappropriate times – which is, was, a good thing for the Halloween party. I guess we won’t have that this year.”

“The new class seems like they’re excited about it, so I hope it works,” Travis said.

“Every year,” he said, “I think about whether or not we’re going to have enough people. I think there’s a threshold of people that makes it feel like a party. If you don’t have that, it’s not crazy enough. I always want that. Every year I worry – except this year.” Right now, Travis is working on his dissertation. “I haven’t really worried at all,” he said. “I hope people hear about it, because of the reputation and the fact that it should, hopefully, have its own legs by now.”

“There’s a lot of buildup for me,” Travis said, “because I enjoy planning and, now, I’ve got a system in place. I think my favorite parts are getting ready for it and setting up. The party itself is great. I enjoy DJi-ing. It flies by, it happens so fast. Then, the next morning – well, everybody’s been helping with cleanup the last few years, so it’s great, too. There are a couple of spots on the floor, but that’s about it and they’re totally worth it.”

His advice: “Have as much fun with it as you can, because Halloween only comes once a year and it’s a great excuse to let go – not in the sense of losing control, but of letting your barriers down to meet people. Let yourself have a good time. Laugh, and dance – and dance! Every year, I work so hard to get people dancing.”

“I hope that people in the department can get to know each other better,” Travis said, “and reflect on having a good time spent together. I know people are already doing that on their own, but I think that this is a great opportunity to get everybody together and just have an event we can all enjoy.”

The sixth annual Spooky-Scary Halloween Costume and Dance Em ‘N’ Trav-IGANZA will be on October 26.

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Skyrim, Dissertation-style Resolutions, Brown Bag

The Call of the Dragonborn: Skyrim, by Mike Lang

A collective groan filled the room. In the throes of the December crunch Professor Mark Deuze, curious about the hype, played the official trailer for Bethesda’s fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series – Skyrim. Released on November 11 to the detriment of every gaming graduate student with some hope of remaining in good academic standing, watching the trailer just salted the wound, a fresh reminder of what we couldn’t yet have. In the following weeks, the internet, buzzing with arrow the knee memes and screenshots of epic dragon battles just added to the sting of Skyrim celibacy imposed by end-of-semester deadlines. December 15th loomed. Circled in red ink, the date not only signaled the end of the semester, but the beginning of my adventures in Skyrim.

Although not a massively multiplayer online role playing game like World of Warcraft or Everquest, Skyrim is massive. Featuring a main quest line that adopts the “epic hero saves the world from peril” storyline, in which the player must save Skyrim from dragons and their vicious leader Alduin, the main quest represents only a small part of the overall game experience. With an infinite amount of side quests, 300 places to find, 150 unique dungeons, and a monstrous world map that can take hours of real time to traverse, no two Skyrim experiences are the same. Just ask Teresa Lynch and Nic Matthews.

Both Nic and Teresa ignored conventional grad student wisdom concerning Skyrim and purchased the game on its release date. Demonstrating a laudable amount of patience, Teresa waited until Nic came home so they could watch the opening sequence together. With only one copy of the game, Nic got to play first.

After a long introduction, Nic got to design his character. Character options in Skyrim extend beyond just name, gender, race, and hairstyle. Instead, a wide array of sliders allow players to determine the distance between a character’s nose and lips, the coloration beneath a character’s eyes, the shape of a character’s eyebrows, and the perfect tattoo. Between the two of them, Nic tends to devour the pre-release material which provides insights into character builds, game mechanics, etc. Teresa then depends on watching Nic to figure out her options so she can design her character. Teresa’s character, modeled to look like a Native American, pays homage to her Lakota mother.

Despite sharing a copy of the game, both children of Skyrim have invested at least 70 hours into the game, and it is precisely because of this sharing that Nic and Teresa have been able to successfully manage both the demands of grad school and the temptation of Skyrim. Each round of Skyrim requires a substantial time commitment. Most quests require at least thirty minutes to complete, and with the amount of distractions between the start of the quest and its completion, they often take much longer. Between the level of immersion, and the length of quests, hours fade quickly, and where I would have drowned, Nic and Teresa stayed afloat. On somewhat opposite schedules, Nic’s play time would be Teresa’s work time and vice versa. In order to not get distracted while working, both would wear earphones that play white noise.

Like most graduate students, most of Nic and Teresa’s play time came over Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks, where they could rack up 10 straight hours of play undisturbed. However, now that school is back in session, the hours alloted to Skyrim have decreased, but that doeesn’t mean there won’t be occasional time for dragon hunting. The game is just too great.  As Teresa states, “it’s worth squeezing in those extra hours.”

Changing the way we say the things that mean we want to change: A (hopefully) humorous spin on resolutions, by Ken Rosenberg

Let’s face it: for all the insistence on clarity and parsimony, academics often confound issues with wordiness. As we exit the first month of this new year, many people have already failed their overly ambitious attempt to alter their life with one simple list. To pay homage to those who have fallen, here is a list of the most popular New Year’s resolutions according to USA.gov… reworded in the vein of theses, dissertations, and other such scholarly works.

  1. Quit smoking / Drink less alcohol OR Lowering consumption: a post-modern look at the “social substance” phenomenon
  2. Eat healthy food OR Effects of nutritional enhancement in relation to attitude and performance
  3. Get a better education OR Back to school: An exploration of pedagogical alternatives after compulsory education
  4. Get a better job OR Important correlations between vocational and socioeconomic variance
  5. Get fit / Lose weight OR An exercise in exercise: an ethnographic analysis of ground-up fitness programs
  6. Save money / Manage debt OR A less-than-zero sum game: plotting out an optimal budget in the context of financial imbalance
  7. Manage stress OR Strategic balance of  positive and negative environmental stressors 
  8. Reduce, reuse, and recycle OR Improving methods for achieving optimal input/output ratio of material consumption
  9. Take a trip OR Leaving on a jet plane: The effect of agency-driven shifting in place and space on well-being
  10. Volunteer to help others OR Self-motivate to participate: motivations for unsolicited societal reciprocation

Brown Bag

Doctoral students Travis and Bridget presented at this past Friday’s seminar, while Dr. Eliot Smith of the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences shared his input after their talks. The audio recording of the seminar can be found here: Brown Bag 2 (January 28, 2012 – Travis and Bridget)

Dynamic disgust: Dimensional underpinnings of responses to blood, brutality and politics – by Bridget Rubenking

This preliminary study explores summative and over time measures of dimensional emotion responses (positivity, negativity, and arousal) and the discrete emotion of disgust to disgust-eliciting television messages. Responses to different types of disgust eliciting content – from body products and gory deaths to higher-order, socio-moral disgusts, such as overt racism, and suggestions of sexual abuse are explored across 102 participants. Additionally, individual differences in trait motivational activation, gender, and political ideology are explored in response to these disgust-elicitors, as well as content featuring opposing political viewpoints and gay male characters.

The Impact of Norms on Player Behavior – by Travis Ross

Research regarding player motivation in video games has typically focused on how the content of games taps intrinsic and extrinsic motivations. However games have become shared social experiences, and so it is important to understand how the social context contributes to the perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors of players. Research in sociology and economics has identified that norms serve a number of roles in social/cultural interaction. They can provide information and/or carry expectations of what is, or is not, socially acceptable. Research also indicates that norms are sensitive to contextual factors such as the network connections, incentive structures, and framing, so therefore only have salience under certain conditions. Beyond their interesting cognitive and economic consequences, norms can provide game developers with a plausible motivational tool. However, if this is to be the case then norms must be understood at both the individual and societal-level.  Research at an individual-level should identify conditions where norms will have an impact and contexts where norms are a better solutions than other motivational features. At the societal-level research should examine if and how the norms of an online social system can be changed, and if early adoption and information cascades can lead a community to a preferred outcome. This talk discusses early results from Travis’ Dissertation, which examines the impact of norms on player behavior.

Bios:

Bridget Rubenking is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Telecommunications at IU. Her research explores the relevant individual differences of media consumers and the content and structural features of media that influence cognitive and emotional processing of media, as well as attitude change and discrete behavior outcomes.

Travis Ross is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Joint Ph.D. Program in Telecommunication and Cognitive Science at Indiana University. He focuses on two research paths. The first examines the motivational aspects of design – particularly decision structures in game and interface design. The second examines how social and institutional forces shape behavior via social norms, rules, and laws.

Eliot R. Smith, Ph.D., is Chancellors Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Indiana University, Bloomington. His research interests include the emotions that people experience when they identify with social groups and their role in intergroup behavior; the cognitive processes and representations involved in perceiving other people and groups; and embodied and socially situated cognition.  His research has been recognized by the 2004 Thomas M. Ostrom Award for lifetime contributions to social cognition, as well as the 2005 Theoretical Innovation Prize from the Society of Experimental Social Psychology (SPSP).  He is Editor of Journal of Personality and Social Psychology: Attitudes and Social Cognition.

Audio Books Cure Boredom, October Glory in the Rugby World Cup, Kinsey Brown Bag

Multi-tasking with Audio Books

Over the past few years, general availability and ease of use have increased the popularity of audio books.  Professor Annie Lang is an avid “reader” of audio books.  She shared with us some of her personal experiences with audio books.  She has been listening to audio books for over ten years –first on cassette, then on CD, and now digitally.  She joined audible.com around six or seven years ago and has since accumulated over 475 books in her personal library, books she can pass on to friends or choose to read again.

Annie has noticed several things about her reading habits since embracing digital audio books.  First, she admits she is more than willing to read “trash” on paper, but doesn’t have time to listen to it in audio book form.  Conversely, she explains, “I’ve been reading better-quality books on audio.  Classics that I’ve never had a chance to read because they were on paper – the beauty of the language ties you up.  It’s a different experience for us media folks.”  Second, Annie finds herself listening to audio books whenever she is involved in an activity that doesn’t require a lot of cognitive effort.  Now that she is “reading” while walking, gardening, and knitting, she is reading more books than ever before.

Her productivity at work has increased too.  She has been scanning work and course-related readings into .pdf format and uploading them to Amazon’s Kindle converter so they can be transcribed to audio.  It is important to note that the converted audio file is a text-to-speech algorithm that generates an automated voice and not a human one.  While this might be off-putting for some, Annie says she has been listening to it long enough that she can no longer tell that it’s a computer-generated voice.  “My brain fills in the gaps and I don’t notice the automation or the words that it mispronounces.  My brain just fixes them.”  You can listen to a text-to speech sample, one that Annie has completely adjusted to, below.

Doctoral student Bridget Rubenking didn’t start listening to audio books until she started taking long road trips by herself.  One of her road trips is an annual event, a family reunion of sorts that happens every summer in Ogden, Iowa.  Every July, her family would make the 12.5 hour drive from Cleveland, Ohio to Ogden and now, as a graduate student, Bridget has been making the trip from Bloomington.  “It’s a 9.5 hour drive from here.  I listen to audio books on the way there and back, with some music mixed in.”  Bridget explains that audio books are versatile, as you can choose one for whatever mood you are in.  She usually chooses more light-hearted selections, if only for the reason that she has listened to some books that have left her in tears while driving.

As for her book selection process?  “I posted a Facebook status asking for suggestions this past summer.  I got a dozen good suggestions and confirmations of the collective favorites.  Also, I always ask my mom because she knows good books and what I like.”  Her favorite audio book to date is The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, which she found to be funny, thoughtful, compelling, and satisfying her penchant for precocious children.  When it comes to actual readers of the books, she has enjoyed self-narrations by David Sedaris and Chelsea Handler, but her ultimate preference is for readers with accents.  “It doesn’t matter from where.  I just prefer to hear people with lovely accents to read me lovely books.”

October Glory: The Rugby World Cup

October is here. In the American sports world that means two things: football, and playoff baseball. Between stadium shaking upsets, fantasy football frenzy, and ritual Saturday tailgates, no other month offers such sweet sports satisfaction. Yet, amidst the coverage of Peyton Manning’s neck injury, the record-setting collapse of the Boston Red Sox, and the collective groans of fantasy owners who took Chris Johnson in the first round, the world’s fourth largest sporting event is unfolding in front of a rabid international fan base. The Rugby World Cup, trumped by only the FIFA World Cup, the Olympics, and le Tour de France in terms of global popularity, is largely swept under the rug by American sports media outlets and ignored by Americans too occupied with the big two. However, a few in our department are displaying their rugby spirit, providing a brief look into one of the coolest sporting events in the world.

Count me among the Americans who had never paid attention to Rugby. Outside of a brief introduction by my English co-worker over the summer, the sport hadn’t crossed my mind until MS student Craig Harkness walked into T505 wearing an English rugby jersey only to receive a ribbing by Professor Mark Deuze. Inspired by their zeal (and the deer in headlights look of the rest of the class, myself included) I figured the fourth largest sporting event in the world needed a little bit of American recognition.

For the uninitiated, a Rugby match is played by two teams, each fielding 15 players on a field roughly the size of a soccer pitch. For two 40 minute halves, players from each team attempt to score points by moving the ball into the team’s in-goal area (think running into the endzone), or kicking the ball through a set of uprights in the team’s in-goal area. Players move the ball by running, passing and kicking. Blocking is not allowed, and players can only pass the ball backwards or laterally. If you’re a football fan needing a visual reference, think the classic hook and ladder play from the 1982 Stanford vs. Cal game (when the marching band prematurely went on the field), but for 80 minutes. Opposing teams attempt to stop the advancing team by tackling the ball carrier. For this reason, Rugby is largely recognized by Americans for its brutality. The fact that most Rugby players match the biblical description of Goliath doesn’t help either. Tack forty pounds of solid muscle onto your prototypical well-conditioned soccer player, and have them smash into each other at full speed with no pads. And you thought football was dangerous. According to Deuze, looks can be deceiving. In football, pads provide an illusion of protection which encourages players to do dangerous things. Conversely, the lack of pads in Rugby encourages players to play fundamentally sound with an emphasis on protecting their body. While injuries do occur and it is still quite violent, Rugby isn’t the bloodbath that some make it out to be.

The Rugby World Cup, which started in 1987, takes place every four years and features twenty teams from around the world. Much like the FIFA World Cup, the first round consists of a pool phase. Five teams are assigned to a group (Groups A, B, C, and D), and each team plays every other team in their group once. Two teams with the best record from each group advance to the knockout stage, where the rules shift to single game elimination. The last team standing is awarded the William Webb Ellis Cup, which is popularly known as the Rugby World Cup.

While Harkness shouts for England, Siyabonga Africa, Mark Deuze, and Betsi Grabe all root for South Africa. Unfortunately, over the weekend, England fell to France, and South Africa fell to Australia, effectively ending their world cup dreams.

There is an old saying, “Soccer is a gentlemen’s game played by hooligans, while Rugby is a hooligan’s game played by gentlemen.” For Grabe, this saying embodies what makes Rugby so special. Despite the violent nature of the sport, and its potential to turn ugly at any time, Rugby players often possess a commitment to the game, and a level of sportsmanship rarely seen in other major sports. It’s not uncommon to see one player absolutely bury the ball carrier only to help him up a minute later. Team captains aren’t necessarily selected for their athletic prowess, but for their ability to manage a team. Individuals may shine as stars, but the concept of a team, and playing as a team, trumps any kind of individual accomplishment. This type of behavior is reflected in the ways the referees manage the game. According to Deuze and Africa, refs like to keep the game going. Therefore, when penalties are committed, it is not uncommon for the ref to let the play continue and scold the offenders with a line something like “come on guys, you should know better, play like gentlemen.”

Rugby is more than a game. For countries like South Africa, rugby has the power to bring a country torn by racial tension together. Grabe, originally from South Africa, comes from a rugby family. Both her father and her brother played rugby competitively at a very high level. Growing up, sports were largely the territory of race. Cricket was the sport for white Englishmen, soccer the sport for blacks, and rugby the sport of Afrikaners. In 1995 post-apartheid South Africa was welcomed back into the international sporting world, and President Nelson Mandela saw an opportunity to show the world that things had changed. Recruiting François Pienaar, the big blonde captain of the Springbok rugby team, who would represent South Africa on a global stage, Mandela went to work convincing the country that the South African Rugby team was everyone’s team. Mandela sent the Springbok team into the streets to play rugby with black children. The team learned the old song of black resistance, now the new national anthem, Nkosi Sikelele Afrika (God Bless Africa), and belted it out before each of their games. By the time of the final against New Zealand, the entire country was behind the team and after their victory, the entire stadium, regardless of race erupted into furious chant of “Nel-son! Nel-son!” While the racial tensions still exist, for one day, on the platform of the Rugby World Cup, the entire country came together as one. To this day sports in South Africa still serve the same function, providing its citizens an opportunity to experience national pride when the country is at its best. In the words of Grabe, South Africa does a good job rising to the occasion.

For those looking to watch the rest of the Cup, NBC currently owns the broadcast rights, and while it did broadcast USA matches (Yes, America does field a rugby team, and yes it did lose all of its games) on national television, the rest of the games are available in a pay-per-view format, usually for $25. While the pay-per-view option is available, many fans have taken to more dubious methods, usually P2P streaming services, for watching the Cup.

Brown Bag

This week’s brown bag presentation featured Erick Janssen, Senior Scientist and Director of Education and Research Training at The Kinsey Institute.  His presentation provided an overview of The Kinsey Institute’s workings as a research organization with an emphasis on how collaborative efforts with other schools, departments, and scholars can advance sexual health and knowledge. Telecom doctoral student Lelia Samson served as the respondent and talked about how she had benefited from her interactions with Erick and The Kinsey Institute.  She offered thoughts on how Department of Telecommunications and The Kinsey Institute could collaborate for research on issues related to media and sexuality.  For more information about Erick’s research, click here.  You can also visit the Kinsey Institute’s website at www.kinseyinstitute.org.

Listen to the full audio of the presentation:

The Kinsey Institute: Erick Janssen and Lelia Samson     

Credits

Mike Lang:  October Glory – The Rugby World Cup

Nicky Lewis:  Multi-tasking with Audio Books, Brown Bag

Roger Cooper Returns, Lelia’s Transnational Study Routine, and SPR Conference in Portland

Roger Cooper Returns to IU

It’s been 17 years since Roger Cooper has walked on IU’s campus.  After receiving his PhD from the Department of Telecommunications in 1992, Roger Cooper has gone on to become an associate professor and director of the School of Media Arts and Studies at Ohio University.  Last Friday,  he returned to Bloomington to present at the week’s brown bag.  Beforehand, he shared some memories from his time at IU and what it means to come back after all these years.  “It’s kind of odd that I haven’t come back, being that OU is only 300 miles away, but I think it’s because coming back is an emotional experience for me.  It was an important time in my life.”

Roger explained that making the decision to come to Bloomington to pursue his PhD was a big one.  “I was married, with two small children and we both had steady jobs.  On the surface, it didn’t seem like the best decision.”  His parents were particularly unsure about Roger’s decision to pack up his family and go back to grad school.  For him, the decision to come to IU was one of the easiest he ever made.  “I had a gut feeling that this was what I was supposed to do.  If you think too practically about these kind of things, you might not make the best choice.  The heart should lead the head.”  Now, Roger’s father often reminisces that he had it wrong and stands corrected.

While on the faculty of Texas Christian University, he spent a year in Japan as a Fulbright Scholar at Osaka University.  He described it as a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience another culture with his wife and young children.  Now at Ohio University, Roger was reflective about the similarities between Athens and Bloomington.  Both communities have a small town feel, where the university has a large impact on the town’s identity.  Looking back at his time at IU, he knows he made the right choice.  “I was encouraged to explore different methodologies and approaches by the faculty.  The faculty were truly supportive.  It’s the people here that made a difference.”

Roger Cooper’s Brown Bag Presentation

Active within Structures: Conceptualizing Post-Convergent Media Uses

Abstract: Post-convergence implies that media and communication scholars will increasingly need to develop theories and measures that consider uses, effects, gratifications, and structures across media platforms rather than to isolate concepts to a single media.  Today’s media offer video, audio, and text for users to access when, where, and how they want it.  Individuals use media simultaneously, share experiences and content (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, YouTube), and can access the same (or similar) content through a variety of delivery systems.  However, although abundant choices and broad access to content transfer considerable power to the use, individuals continue to function within structures that have important influences on us.

Convergence provides an opportunity for scholars to integrate divergent individual-level active-audience theories with (traditionally) macro-level structural theories.  For example, individuals “actively” structure their preferences (e.g., bookmarks, DVR settings) to self-organize their media and communication experiences in content-abundant environments.  This implies that structure can be, at times, an “active” process.  These choices may,in turn, impose or encourage external structures that further influence access and/or choices.  This presentation proposes an “active within structures” conceptualization of media use in converged media and communication environments, and will discuss measurement opportunities and challenges.  Results will be presented from studies that seek to provide explanations of uses in a convergent media world.

Lelia Samson’s Transnational Study Routine

Everyone has a “best place” for studying. For PhD candidate Lelia Samson, her special study place for her comprehensive exams wasn’t just one location—it was over 30 spots on multiple continents. Lelia, who spent part of the summer abroad after the ICA conference in Singapore, found herself studying for the exams while visiting Malaysia, Germany, London, and her home country of Romania, until finally returning to Bloomington for the final weeks of preparation, where she continued to jump from library to library across IU’s campus.

Lelia’s approach to studying was somewhat unconventional. She studied each topic or subject area in only one place, so she would associate each place with what she learned. And did it all sink in? “Sometimes when I think of Paisley, I think of my friend in Nuremberg when I was babysitting for his daughter. I have associations with most of the readings,” she says.

Successfully preparing for the exams, as other PhD candidates could attest, is bound to be no easy task, but Lelia points out that one comforting aspect is the subject matter. “It’s the stuff that you like. Most of the readings are related to what you’re interested in,” she says. In fact, according to Lelia, even the exams themselves were enjoyable. “The exciting part is when you get there. You’ve been stressing out and reading and all of that, and then you get in the room and the questions are awesome because they’re exactly what your interested in,” she says. “In those hours you realize that you actually know and you’ve actually become a scholar. And that’s why I had fun.”

SPR Conference in Portland, Oregon

Last week, Professors Julia Fox, Annie Lang, and Robert Potter and graduate students Rachel Bailey and Bridget Rubenking attended the Society for Psychophysiological Research’s (SPR) annual conference in Portland, OR.  SPR celebrated it’s 50th Anniversary in the City of Roses.

The conference kicked off with an opening reception at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, and the science party never stopped. Days were scheduled with themed panel discussions that linked physiological and psychological aspects of behavior. Evenings offered large poster sessions where researchers, including the IU attendees, presented new data in an interactive format. Here’s a list of posters from the department:
“The devil you know: The effects of screen size, pacing, experience and familiarity on attention and arousal responses to camera changes in television messages” -Di Chen and Julia R. Fox
“The effects of trait motivational activation and personal experiences on processing negative, motivationally relevant television content” -Rachel L. Bailey, Annie Lang, Gayle Marks, Sungkyoung Lee, Bernice Pescosolido, and Jack Martin
“The effects of trait appetitive system reactivity and personal experiences on processing TV messages about mental illness” – Rachel L. Bailey, Bridget Rubenking, Annie Lang, Gayle Marks, Sungkyoung Lee, Bernice Pescosolido, and Jack Martin
“Using HRV to measure variations in PNS and SNS activation during television viewing” -K. Jacob Koruth and Annie Lang
Also see pictures below from the week’s events:

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Random Thought:

“I see how it is.  You give Matt 2 minutes and 40 seconds and I only get a minute 30.  Is there not a time limit on these things?”

– Mike McGregor, in reference to the objects in faculty offices series.  Reproduced with permission.

Credits:

Nicky Lewis: Roger Cooper’s Return and Brown Bag Presentation

Katie Birge: Lelia’s Study Routine and SPR Conference

Special Thanks:

Bridget Rubenking: guest contributor for SPR Conference

Rob Potter: Photos of SPR Conference