The end of October found me in a state of removing all my personal stuff (once again) from the office – files, notes, books, plants – and, at the same time, in a state of mentally, psychologically, practically preparing to stay at home for a prolonged period. One last time, I visited my favorite bookstores in town, I bought books I could touch and leaf through, I walked around the city to see people’s faces.
It’s mid of November now and we are already settled in a second lockdown, trying to make the best of what we have. Setting goals has always been a helpful way to stay focused and resilient. And academia can, of course, provide the most fertile ground for setting goals. Or the exact opposite.
We‘ll get through this. No matter what.
In planet research, we are now developing the media stimuli for the second phase of our research project. This means we are developing news content, or simpler, various news stories about immigration and asylum issues, that we will show to our research participants and then measure the effects on their emotions, perceptions and attitudes towards immigrants and refugees.
This is the first time I’m creating study stimuli and it’s absolutely engaging!
Something very interesting and innovative about this research project, as mentioned in one of our previous posts (see our post about ‘Linking media content to media effects research‘) is that we are bridging two different research traditions; media representations and media effects. Hence, our media stimuli are developed based on our own previous research on media content.
This practically means that we are using our own content analysis research findings (see our post about ‘Coding the News’) of how media portrayed immigrants and refugees during the first half of 2020 and, in particular, during a) the Greek-Turkish border crisis in March 2020 and b) Covid – 19 in April 2020, to construct up-to-date media messages that will be used to test effects on people’s emotions, attitudes and perceptions.
In this process, each word or phrase has a reason for being in the text. It reflects first, frequency (high or low) of the coding categories and second, it is firmly grounded on theory.
As we are cutting and editing and adding (…and again cutting and editing and adding), we have now fairly reached the fifth version of a set of news stimuli!
Yet, we are really excited about this research phase and about doing new things. And as we are heading to complete this task, I am thinking how lucky we are that, despite all the gloom, all the difficulties and changes that Covid-19 has brought to our lives (see our previous post ‘Doing research doing Covid-19 or ‘Mom, what is structural violence?’), we can still feel excited about some things in our everyday life.