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Eddy Nahmias

I wonder if there's a way to tie Netflix to mTurk so we could ping people who just watched a relevant movie (or tv show) to take a survey?

I wonder if we could tell people that an AI in some movie was actually an AI, not a human actor, and see if they believed it and how their attributions would change.

John Turri

Interesting idea, Eddy! I bet you could find all kinds of interesting effects/differences with this sort of paradigm. One possible drawback, as you note, is the difficulty of interpreting exactly what's causing what. But perhaps this would be mitigated for findings regarding, say, the predictive value of certain personality traits or demographic variables with respect to specific attributions to specific characters in films. For anyone pursuing this paradigm, it would almost certainly repay the effort to first get familiar with what researchers have learned about the psychology of fiction.

Connected to your suggestion regarding movies, I think that serial dramas can provide even more immersive and developed scenarios.

Josh May

Great idea! Doesn't seem crazy to me. Perhaps these sorts of stimuli could be the closest thing to field experiments in x-phi. They're more realistic and immersive than text vignettes, perhaps providing more ecological validity, even though they will have the drawback of being less controlled. Both kinds of experiments are important to conduct.

One way to have realism but with more control is to show short clips (and these could be more easily used on Mturk). These have been used in psych. E.g. Schnall et al use a clip from Trainspotting to induce disgust. The role here, however, would be more to present a scenario than to induce an emotion.

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3QD Prize 2012: Wesley Buckwalter