Research Mentor(s): Julie Boland, Professor
Research Mentor School/College/Department: Psychology, College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Presentation Date: Thursday, April 22, 2021
Session: Session 2 (11am – 11:50am)
Breakout Room: Room 3
In the time of the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans find themselves depending on technology and virtual meeting tools more than ever. Though these resources are highly effective, their use tends to be more awkward when compared to face-to-face interaction. This project aims to evaluate the similarities and differences between in-person and virtual language processing. In order to do this, we utilized the Michigan SONA system to meet with 44 students over Zoom. We created a list of 56 yes/no audio questions (each one marked “predictable” or “unpredictable” depending on how easy or hard it would be to understand the question before it ends) and split them into two sets of 28. One set was to be played over Zoom from the experimenter to the student, while the other was to be played locally by the student. After having them answer the questions, we recorded the amount of time it took for participants to respond to each question. Data collection has been completed for this experiment, but the data is not yet fully organized. Though there are currently no reportable results, we hope to observe a significant difference in conversational flow and language comprehension depending on the medium of communication.