Examining perceptions of astronomy images across mobile platforms

163 views
134 views

Published on

In a recent Aesthetics & Astronomy study, an online survey and focus groups were used to explore whether mobile platforms affect perception of astronomy images. In the online study, participants on their mobile devices were randomly assigned to view astronomy images. Two focus groups were also conducted with experts and non-expert volunteers. Both groups were presented with deep space images across platforms- a large projection screen, an iPad, and an iPhone. Although this was part of a larger study, we report here just on the mobile platform. Results indicated that there was support for Smith & Smith's 2001 concept of facsimile accommodation in that, as might be expected, bigger was better except in the absence of a comparison, where participants adapted to the platform size. The results raise questions as to both size and quality of images on mobile platforms in a rapidly changing technological world.

Published in: Technology
0 Comments
0 Likes
Statistics
Notes
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

No Downloads
Views
Total views
163
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
1
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0
Likes
0
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Examining perceptions of astronomy images across mobile platforms

  1. 1. Examining perceptions of astronomy images across mobile platforms: Does This iPad Make My Asteroid Look Fat? Arcand, K.K. (SAO); Watzke, M (SAO); Smith, L.F. (Univ. Otago); Smith, J.K. (Univ. of Otago); Smith, R.K (SAO); Bookbinder, J (SAO) Background Images of the cosmos provide snapshots of various phases of life and death, different physical phenomena, found in locations across the known Universe. Today, some 400 years after Galileo created his, modern telescopes have enabled us to “see” what the human eye cannot. This new generation of ground- and space-based telescopes has created an explosion of images for experts and non-experts to explore. The Aesthetics & Astronomy project studies the perception of multi-wavelength astronomical imagery and the effects http://astroart.cfa.harvard.edu Details of Research The Aesthetics & Astronomy (A&A) team consists of a unique combination of professional astronomy communicators, astrophysicists, and aesthetics experts from the discipline Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO) authors: of psychology, or whom a major goal is to explore how best to convey scientific information 60 Garden Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA with non-expert audiences. In this study, funded by the Smithsonian Institution Scholarly Studies Program, an online survey and two focus groups were used to explore whether Phone: 617.218.7196 mobile platforms affect perception of astronomy images. kkowal@cfa.harvard.edu Twitter: @kimberlykowal (Kimberly K. Arcand) mwatzke@cfa.harvard.edu (Megan Watzke) The online study, conducted in December of 2010, resulted in 2,384 usable responses, rsmith@cfa.harvard.edu (Randall K. Smith) in which participants on their mobile devices were randomly assigned to view 1 of 12 astronomy images. We collected demographic data, information about the type of mobile jbookbinder@cfa.harvard.edu (Jay Bookbinder) at the image. Additionally, two focus groups were conducted, one with 12 experts Contact information for University of Otago authors: device, reactions to the image shown, and viewing latencies for how long viewers looked (astrophysicists/astronomers) and one with 10 non-expert volunteers from the public. University of Otago – College of Education of the scientific and artistic choices in processing astronomical data. The images come from a variety of space and ground- based observatories, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, Hubble Space Telescope, Spitzer Space Telescope, the Solar Dynamics Observatory, the Very Large Array, and many others. Evaluation of such data can benefit astronomy across the electromagnetic spectrum of astronomical images, and may 145 Union Street, East Dunedin, 9054, New Zealand Both experts and non-experts were presented Summary of fascimile with 3 deep space images across 3 platforms: (Smith & Smith, 2001): Jeffrey.smith@otago.ac.nz (Jeffrey K. Smith) accommodation a large projection screen, an iPad, and a small Participants are mobile device (e.g., an iPhone). Although this the limitations of the able to `look past’ selected medium. was part of a larger study, we report here just Error bar chart of responses to “How much do When participants you like this image?” by the image presented. looked, for example, on the mobile platform. Circle represents mean response, and bars on a small smart help visualization of data in other scientific disciplines. phone screen, they represent 95% confidence interval for the mean. accommodated to Results indicated that there was support for Smith Aesthetics from a psychological perspective is the study of all things beautiful whether art or not, and all things art whether beautiful or not. lisa.smith@otago.ac.nz (Lisa F. Smith) the screen image & Smith’s (2001) concept of facsimile accommodation and focused their in that, as might be expected, bigger was better astronomy image. attention on the Smith & Smith except in the absence of a comparison, where speculate that people participants adapted to the platform size. The adjust to the limitations results raise questions as to both size and quality are viewing and of the facsimile they Error bar chart of responses to “How well could concentrate on the of images on mobile platforms in a rapidly changing you explain this image to another person?” by information in the image presented. Circle represents mean the image. technological world. response, and bars represent 95% confidence Research questions for Aesthetics & Astronomy include: Findings - ow much do variations in presentation H of color, explanation, and scale affect comprehension of astronomical images? - hat are the differences between various W populations (experts, novices, students) in terms of what they learn from the images? - hat misconceptions do the non-experts W have about astronomy and the images they are exposed to? demonstrate a need for strong narrative and textual context when presenting science images, for explicit discussion of the colors and what they represent in science images, and for a clear sense of physical scale that is helpful for comprehension, across all levels of expertise (Arcand, et al., 2010; Smith, et al., 2010). 2 3 A multivariate analysis of variance was conducted to see if there were significant differences in ratings for the two questions: (1) How much did you like this image? And (2) How well could you explain this image to another person? The independent variables were Image (12 different images were presented to participants), and Type of Device Used (participants told us what device they were using—we limited the analysis here to Blackberry, iPhone, and iPad). The analysis yielded significant differences for Image (using Wilks’ Lambda, Error bar chart of responses to “How much F [22, 1784] = 2.32, p .001), but not for Type of Device Used, nor for the interaction do you like this image?, and How well could of Type of Device Used and Image. Univariate analyses of the significant finding for Type you explain this image to another person” by of Device indicate that the question, How well could you explain this image to another the type of device used. Circle represents mean person was significant at p .001, but the question, How much do you like this image? response, and bars represent 95% confidence fell short of significance (p = .078). interval for the mean. References Arcand, K.K., Watzke, M., Smith, L.F., Smith, J.K. “Surveying Aesthetics Astronomy: Previous Aesthetics Astronomy studies 1 interval for the mean. 4 A project exploring the public’s perception of astronomy images and the science within” Communicating Astronomy with the Public. Issue 10 December 2010. Smith, L.F., Smith, J.K., Arcand K.K., Smith, R.K., Holterman Ten Hove, K. Aesthetics and Astronomy: Studying the public’s perception and understanding of imagery from space. Science Communication Journal. August 2010. Preferences: Ratings of images by survey Locher, P.J., Smith, L.F., Smith, J.K., The influence of presentation format and viewer participants. training in the visual arts on the perception of pictorial and aesthetic qualities of paintings. Perception, volume 30. 2001. Acknowledgements This project was developed with funding from the Smithsonian Scholarly Studies Program. Additional funding was provided by the Hinode X-ray Telescope, performed under NASA contract NNM07AB07C, with in-kind contributions from the Education and Outreach group for NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, operated by SAO under NASA Contract NAS8-03060. 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

×