[SLED] Setting up experiments on cognitive processing of SL

CarrieLynn D. Reinhard carrie at ruc.dk
Mon Oct 20 06:27:39 PDT 2008

Hello everyone,

I'm new to doing research in SL, as my background is fan studies and  
media reception of movies and television.

I'm hoping to conduct a study where I would measure the sense-making  
people engage in while doing things in SL, and to compare these  
processes to when they do the same or similar things in RL.  I have  
two ideas, but I'd like to get some feedback on them.

I was thinking of bringing in random people to the lab, have them do a  
task in the lab and then do the same task in SL -- so like deciding  
where to go on vacation, deciding who to choose for a job, that kind  
of task. This would be closest to a true experiment, as the  
manipulation is that the virtual component.

The other idea is to interview SL residents about their experience  
doing some things in RL before they joined SL -- going shopping,  
finding library materials, going to an art museum -- and then ask them  
if they have done the analog in SL or ask them to do the analog and  
interview about those experiences.

The first idea is closest to an actual experiment in terms of internal  
validity, but it has been pointed out that the measurement may be more  
the adaptation to new technology and differences in sense-making.

The second idea is least like an experiment, due to the high level of  
self-report, but it will most likely be closer to measuring  
differences between RL and SL sense-making processes.

I could squeeze both in, but I have to prioritize one of them -- suggestions?


CarrieLynn D. Reinhard, PhD
Virtual Worlds Research
Roskilde University
Department of Communication, Business, and Information Technologies
Building 43.3
Kommunikationsvej 1
DK-4000 Roskilde
ofc: +45 4674 3296
mbl: +45 2280 5128

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