Film and television: Empirical approaches to audience engagement

Two lectures by Ed S. Tan (University of Amsterdam) and Lene Heiselberg og Jacob Lyng Wieland (The Danish Broadcasting Corporation).


9:30-10:45  Ed S. Tan (University of Amsterdam): Experimental Studies of Film
                   Cognition: Some challenges


This methodological contribution deals with the use of experiments in cognitive studies of the moving image. First we set experiments apart from other empirical methods, such as uncontrolled observational studies and correlational methods, and discuss strengths and weaknesses. It is concluded that experiments are the royal road for theory testing and development.

Then we discuss characteristic challenges set by psychological experiments using film as the stimulus. Due to the unity of film form, a major challenge is posed by threats of factor confounding. Experimental manipulation of one film content factor naturally introduces co-variation of others. Some solutions are suggested. Finally we briefly mention a recent alternative or complement to experimentation. Illustrations of relevant studies are presented throughout.

10:45-11:00  Coffeee.

11:00-11:45  Lene Heiselberg og Jacob Lyng Wieland (The Danish Broadcasting
                     Corporation): Combining physiological measures and qualitative interviews
                     in evaluating TV-fiction series


In our presentation we would like to go into detail with our evaluations of the way respondents react to TV fiction series, such as ‘The Heritage’ (2014).

In the experiment we combined brain wave measures (EEG) with qualitative interviews. We discuss the advantages and disadvantages by using EEG as a physiological measure. Towards the end of our presentation we shed light on our future plans, where our key challenge is to conduct a new experiment with a physiological measure that can provide a shorter turn-around time.

Contact: Birger Langkjær