Preliminary study 3: Conflict

In the third preliminary study of SIRUP we tried to identify indicators that predict the perceived conflict of a television program. In the current context, conflict refers to incongruency in peoples’ evaluation of a program. During this project we work with broadcasting data from BBC’s ViSTA-TV project. Based on the available data from this project and external public sources, we identified two possible indicators for conflict (see Figure 1):

  • Variance (SD) in IMDB user ratings
  • Variance (SD) in BBC user ratings

Figure 1. Testing the selected indicators for conflict

SIRUP Preliminary study 3, Conflict - Indicator testing

For both indicators, a positive relationship was hypothesized, such that a higher variance in IMDB and BBC user ratings would positively predict the perceived conflict of the program (e.g., programs with a high variance in IMDB user ratings are perceived as more conflicting by users).

Using the BBC ViSTA-TV data, we selected the five programs with the lowest and highest standard deviation in IMDB and BBC user ratings. As such, a total of 20 programs was rated by the participants. The selected programs can be found here: SIRUP Preliminary study 3, Conflict – Selected programs.

Similar to the previous preliminary studies (complexity and familiarity), participants were provided  with a program episode description for each of the programs informing about the program title and season number, the episode number and title, and the episode synopsis, genre, format, and release year. Below an example of such a description is provided for the program What’s New Scooby Doo? (high SD IMDB user ratings; see Figure 2).

Figure 2. Program episode description example What’s New Scooby Doo?

SIRUP Preliminary study 3, Conflict - Example program description

Participants rated popularity on a 7-point semantic scale, with “people very much disagree about this show and evaluate it very differently” on the left and “people very much agree about this show and evaluate it very similary” on the right (see Figure 3).

Figure 3. Measure for conflict

SIRUP Preliminary study 3, Conflict - Measure conflict

Data were collected via Amazon Mechanical Turk and a total of 160 participants from the United States of America participated in the study. As was the case for the previous preliminary studies (complexity and familiarity), the results showed that none of the indicators we selected was related to conflict. This means that the variance in IMDB and BBC user ratings did not predict the perceived conflict  of a program. More information about the results of the preliminary study for familiarity can be found here: SIRUP Preliminary study 3, Conflict – Results.

In short, we have not yet successfully indentified indicators that predict the perceived conflict of a program. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please leave us a message below!

The dataset for the SIRUP preliminary study for conflict has been made publically available and can be found here: SIRUP Preliminary study 3, Conflict – Dataset.

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