Behavioral Research Blog

Learn about people by observing them

Posted by Jacqueline Martinali on Oct 3, 2016

Everyone is unique; everyone behaves differently. What is more fun than sitting somewhere - on a park bench, at a cafe, or on a terrace, and watching people go by? Postures, movements, nonverbal and verbal behavior - all can be observed.

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Topics: Observation lab, usability lab, psychology, ux lab, Observational research, controlled observations, usability testing

How to use FaceReader in the lab

Posted by Guest blogger on Mar 24, 2016

By Marret K. Noordewier, PhD – Leiden University

Are you interested in using automatic facial expression analysis with FaceReader software in a standardized lab setting? Here are some tips to consider in addition to Leanne Loijens’ tips to optimize facial expression analyses.

 

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Topics: emotion recognition, FaceReader, facial expression analysis, Observation lab, usability lab, emotions, facial expression recognition software

Consumer research – what determines food satisfaction?

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Nov 17, 2015

My mother makes the best apple crumble. The top is crunchy, the apples warm and mushy (but not too mushy!), and the level of cinnamon is in perfect balance with the sugar and the apples. Honestly, I’ve never tasted a more delicious apple crumble, which  sets a high standard for friends or restaurants offering me an apple crumble dessert.

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Topics: video observation, Observation lab, media recorder, consumer behavior, consumer behavior research, Eating behavior, Observation

How to develop your training and education facility

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Oct 19, 2015

Many professions, such as counselors, medical staff, and others, require you to have developed the necessary practical skills prior to starting the actual job. In educational or clinical psychology, for example, it is important to be able to observe interactions in a systematic way in order to be able to assess behavior. These skills are defined as core competencies for practitioner’s psychologist training.

Delaware Valley University - Counseling Psychology Master’s Program

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Topics: video observation, medical encounter, Observation lab, Viso, video feedback, video recording, counseling psychology

Alcohol makes men smile

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jul 1, 2015

“Smokers Wanted.”  That’s exactly the statement I read in the Pitt News, the daily student newspaper of the University of Pittsburgh. U Pitt’s Alcohol and Smoking Research Lab was looking for study participants, and at this specific laboratory, “Smokers Wanted” is not an unusual request. Some time ago the lab recruited around 700 (!) participants for a drinking behavior study.

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Topics: The Observer XT, video observation, Observation lab

Behavior and emotions of older adults

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Mar 25, 2015

With the predicted increase of the elderly population worldwide, it has become increasingly important to develop user-friendly products and services to assist elderly people in daily activities and improve their quality of life. Did you know that it is expected that in 2050 an estimated 1.5 billion people will be 65+, representing about 16% of the world’s population?[1]

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Topics: The Observer XT, Observation lab, living labs

Adolescent Motherhood – observing mother-infant behavior

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jul 25, 2014

Teenagers have the perfect life, right? Living at mom and dad’s, eating without worrying about gaining weight, and relaxing all the way through high school. Unfortunately, not all adolescents have an easy-peasy life. Some have to study to achieve good grades and others have to deal with grownup problems on top of dealing with the emotional ups and downs of adolescence. What about teenage moms? Next to dealing with a newborn, adolescent mothers are tackling their transition to adulthood (taking more distance from parental figures) and the transition to parenthood (the nurturing of an infant and caring for his or her physical and emotional needs). This is called the double risk for mother and infant, inherent in adolescent motherhood. (Riva Crugnola et al. 2014)

Double risk – invest in a solution

Current research from Prof. Cristina Riva Crugnola, University of Milano-Bicocca tells us that adolescent mothers as well as their babies (vs. adult mother and infant interactions) spent more time in negative engagement, meaning that the mothers showed more pushy behaviors towards the infant, even hostility. The infant also showed more negative behaviors, such as protesting with expressions of anger and crying. 

Riva Crugnola and colleagues state that it is important to train skills and competence in adolescent mother-infant interaction by setting up prevention programs. Young mothers should be supported in learning how to be a mother and regulating emotions (in particular, negative ones). Also, timing is everything - the researchers explain that it is also important to start preventive intervention in the first months of life.

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Topics: The Observer XT, infant behavior, Observation lab, parent-infant dyads, adolescent behavior

Two examples of parent-child interaction research

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jun 2, 2014


Father-infant social behavior

Patterns

Fatherhood is a topic of high social relevance that attracts much public interest and therefore also the attention of scientists. The important shifts in the father’s role and involvement in childcare have generated empirical interest in the specific patterns of father-infant interactions and their unique contributions to children’s social, emotional, and cognitive growth.

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Topics: The Observer XT, infant behavior, Observation lab, parent-infant dyads

Measuring the creative process

Posted by Andrew Spink on Nov 18, 2013

After Albert Einstein died, his brain was preserved and in the following decades scientists have studied it to try and see if there was anything exceptional about it.  It is hard to draw conclusions from just one subject, but one clear difference is that he had an exceptionally large number of glial cells in the area of the brain responsible for incorporating and synthesizing information from other brain regions [1]. Glial cells are important for a number of brain functions, including signal transmission.

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Topics: Observation lab, Neuromarketing, living labs, Portable lab, behavioral research, brain waves, EEG, New York

The effect attention training has on social anxiety disorder

Posted by Annelies Verkerk on Jul 24, 2013

It is inevitable that everyone will experience anxiety and stress at some point in their lives. Most individuals are able to move past their stress with just a little bit of effort. For those with social anxiety disorder (SAD), this becomes a huge task. Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is defined by Bunnell et al. as an intense fear and apprehension of social scenarios in which the individual may be assessed or evaluated by others. This social distress is combined with avoidance of the anxiety-provoking situation, thus creating significant functional impairment for those with this disorder. Brian Bunnell and his colleagues chose to replicate a previous study on attention training that had received positive results, and see if they could replicate these results and also observe any changes in social behavior that might occur as a result.

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Topics: The Observer XT, Observation lab

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