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The Art of Making Data: Quantifying Attitudes and Emotions

Event Details

Friday, September 30, 2016 (10:00 AM - 12:00 PM)
No Instructor Assigned Yet

Workshop Details


All of the equipment and software necessary for this workshop will be provided during the workshop, including the Arduino software and SAS Studio OnDemand for Academics.

You do not have to have attended the D.H. Hill Makerspace Orientation before attending this workshop. 


Quantification: The Art of Making Data workshop taught by Elliot Inman, Olivia Wright, and Aaron Arthur

Attitudes and emotions are some of the most complicated human responses to study.  How do you create an objective measure of something that you know from the start is a subjective experience?  The situation is even more complex when the thing people are responding to is something designed to manipulate their feelings:  a persuasive ad that is trying to convince you to trust our democracy to a particular politician running for office or an entertaining movie that has spent 90 minutes leading up to the moment the moviemakers are hoping will make you cry tears of joy.

One way researchers have captured the range of attitudinal and emotional responses of human beings is through a relatively simple audience meter – a dial that allows users to respond in real time positively or negatively to what they are viewing.  These devices can be used to help determine how to market a movie… or sell a political candidate.

In this workshop, we will build an audience response meter using an Arduino to capture audience emotional responses to a video.  We will consider questions about how the design affects the data we collect.  For example, how do the names (Dislike/Like; Hate/Love; Bad/Good) we assign the two directions on our dial affect which direction users might turn it?   How does the actual turning radius of the hardware affect how far people might turn a dial to the left or right?  How often should we read the position of the dial?  Can we gain any better understanding of responses by calculating how quickly users turn the dial or how long they leave it unmoved?  We will address these questions and match the dial data to the content of the video so that we can conduct a more meaningful statistical analysis of the data we gather.

This workshop is part of the Quantification: The Art of Making Data event series in collaboration with the NCSU Data Science Initiative. See Dr. Inman speak on 9/28/16 as part of the DSI's RED Talks series, 7:00pm at the Talley Student Union.

Elliot Inman is a Manager of Software Development at SAS.  Trained as an Experimental Psychologist, he has developed code and conducted statistical analyses on a wide variety of data, from marketing and sales data to health care, international trade, education, and social services for at-risk children.  He has conducted makerspace workshops at NC State and UNC, as well as various maker faires.  He occasionally blogs here:

Olivia Wright is an NC State junior majoring in Statistics with a minor in Computer Programming.  She is a Technical Intern at SAS where she has worked on a wide range of projects from text analysis of popular novels to a missingness analysis of international trade data.  Most recently, she has been developing an automated processes for analysis of employee survey data and a set of point-and-click custom tasks for executing data and statistical processes in SAS Studio.

Aaron Arthur is an NC State senior in Computer Engineering with a minor in Linguistics.  He created the DH Hill Makerspace Card Access System and has led numerous electronics workshops in the Makerspace.  He is currently a Technical Intern at SAS where he is working on a number of “data for good” projects, including the application of text mining algorithms to witness report data to better understand deaths the international migrant crisis.

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