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Real-Time Response Measurement in the Social Sciences

Methodological Perspectives and Applications


Jürgen Maier, Michaela Maier, Marcus Maurer and Carsten Reinemann

Do people like a movie? Are consumers attracted by a broadcast commercial? How do voters evaluate the performance of political candidates in a televised debate? Traditional study designs measure the effects of those media stimuli after a recipient has been exposed to the entire movie, commercial, or debate. This approach has its limitations. Although we can learn if people like a particular stimulus as a whole we cannot tell which elements of the stimulus are responsible for the overall judgment. Real-time response (RTR) measurement provides this information. By recording individual spontaneous reactions to media messages on a second-by-second basis this technique offers unique insights into human information processing.
The Editors: Jürgen Maier is Junior Professor of Social Science Research Methods at the University of Kaiserslautern.
Michaela Maier is Professor of Applied Communication Psychology at the University of Koblenz-Landau.
Marcus Maurer is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Mainz.
Carsten Reinemann is Professor of Political Communication at the University of Munich.
Vincent Meyer is Professor of Information and Communication Sciences at the University of Metz (France).