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MediaLab is incredibly powerful and flexible research software that offers many advantages over the traditional paper and pencil approach. One advantage is the ability to personalize questionnaires and materials to the individual participant. For example, when doing research on relationships and asking participants questions about their dating partner, personalization is possible. In the traditional paper and pencil format, one would be limited to asking something like "how well do you think your partner understands your point of view." But when using MediaLab, the program can ask participants "What is the name of your dating partner?" and use the answer in later questions. So if a person gives a dating partner's name of James, the software will ask "how well do you think James understands your point of view?"
There are several other advantages to using MediaLab in our classes at WJU. One of those advantages is the ability to embed and present a variety of multimedia--sounds, images, even video. Participants can give verbal responses and have them recorded by this software. Another feature that psychology students like about the software is the fact that the software collects and writes the data for them. No more data entry! Also, when using the old paper and pencil questionnaires, sometimes questions get skipped--many times unintentionally or at times a question’s answer literally cannot be read. MediaLab provides the increased likelihood that all questions will get answered. Because participants are typing their answers to open ended questions, there is no more worry about legibility. At WJU, we consider the use of MediaLab with our psychology students a key advantage because it is cutting edge research software typically available only at larger universities and colleges, such as Duke, UCLA, University of Michigan, Ohio State, and Boston College.
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