September 25, 2019 BMS Lab

Group Interaction studies

The area of decision making is interwoven with many different domains of research. At the BMS faculty it is an integral part of the domain of group dynamics and group decision making. The challenge is to capture the dynamic decision-making process and group dynamics without disturbing them. To facilitate that, we have a wide range of recording, eye-tracking and observation equipment.

Recording equipment

The right recording equipment can make a big impact on the ability to analyze studies. Whether you use television studio like mobile field recording kits, static microphones or camera systems, the analysis can be challenging. Luckily the BMS lab has licenses for transcription software Amberscript and its very own Sociometry app. While the first allows for fairly accurate transcriptions, the latter also allows for the analysis of speech patterns based upon dominance, tone, dynamic levels and speed within and between groups.

A screenshot of the app showing the main menu

Sociometry app

Within the field of group interactions is a big interest in the underlying group dynamics. For example, who speaks the most, at what tone and how is the dynamic of the conversation? The Sociometry app (available on Android & IOS) developed by the BMS lab aids researchers in answering such questions. It allows for the recording of a conversation through a simple smartphone and enables analysis on wide array of aspects, such as the dominance of speakers, their tempo and tone. It gives key insights in group makeup and conversational progress and provides the ability to transcribe conversations.

Eye-tracking

The BMS lab has several forms of eye-tracking available. They do as the name suggests and track eye movement, gaze and stare. This means researchers can accurately follow reading and viewing patterns and answer questions related to visual stimuli. Both a version of the Tobii eye-tracker exists that can be easily attached to any screen (combine this with a screen capture device) or one that can be worn as a set of glasses. The latter allows for a wider use and even without the need of a screen, but is as a result more complex to analyze.

A view of the EEG lab from the recording room

Observation rooms

The use of observation rooms has been a long tradition in many fields associated with the social sciences. Through the use of a one-way-mirror one can unobtrusively observe a group of participants that take part in a study. The room allows for live recording and discussions while the session on the other side is going on.