BHS2110 & BHS3110 Researching
behaviour; principles and practice
Week 8: E-research
What will I be talking about today
• Who am I
• A bit of Internet history
• Why use the Internet as an object or method
• The Internet as an object of study
• The Internet as a method
• My research
– Virtual Worlds
Dis/Advantages of Using Websites as
Objects of Analysis
• Difficulty finding
• Quality of information
• Quality of information (may
(maybe comprehensive and
be sparse and/or old)
• No travel required, you can
do it from home or uni
• Wide reach - facilitates
• Few physical limitations
Other Internet objects that
can be analysed
• Email - personal and/or group correspondence
• Listservs, discussion groups – focus on
particular topic or area of interest
• Blogs - gauge ‘temperature’ of
objects, people, issues
• Wikis – comprehensive information about a
zeit·geist | Pronunciation: 'tsIt-quot;gIst, 'zIt | Function:
noun | Etymology: German, from Zeit (time) + Geist
(spirit) | Date: 1884 | Meaning: the general intellectual,
moral, and cultural climate of an era.
quot;Zeitgeistquot; means quot;the spirit of the timesquot;, and Google
reveals this spirit through the aggregation of millions of
search queries we receive every day. We have several
tools that give insight into global, regional, past and
present search trends. These tools are available for you
to play with, explore, and learn from. Use them for
everything from business research to trivia answers.
Google Zeitgeist - http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist2008/#top
of using internet
The above cartoon by Peter Steiner has been reproduced from page 61 of July 5, 1993 issue of The New Yorker,
(Vol.69 (LXIX) no. 20) http://www.unc.edu/depts/jomc/academics/dri/idog.html
Dis/Advantages of using internet
based research methods
• More economical in terms of • Internet access is not universal
time and money • Recruiting participants may be
• They can reach large numbers challenging
of people very easily • Loss of personal touch; inability
• No travel required, you can to pick up visual or auditory
do it from home or uni clues (can usually be overcome)
• Few physical limitations • Confidentiality/privacy
• Data can be collected and • Validity of participants - are
collated very quickly they who/what they say they
are (gender, race, etc)
• May be no need for
From Jesus Christ to Jedi
Knight: the role of ‘social
software’ in the emergence of
new religious movements
The research examines in parallel, the
inception, development and growth of social
software, and Jediism - a new religious
movement which developed from an
evolution of the religious themes in the
popular Star Wars series of films.
Hadden and Cowan (2000) suggest the
study of religion and technology can be
approached two ways:
• studying religion as it exists on the WWW
• using the WWW to study religion (p.12).
Hadden, J. K. & Cowan, D. E. (2000) The promised land or electronic chaos? Toward understanding religion on the internet. Religion on the
Internet: research prospects and promises. Greenwich, Conn. ; London, JAI.
The Vatican was one of the first religious
organisations to „go online‟; launching their
website in 1995.
Continuing with John Paul IIs vision, the
Vatican is conducting a search for a patron
saint for the Internet and computers; a leading
candidate is “7th Century Archbishop Isidore of
Seville, author of the Etymologiae, which some
have called the world's first Christian
Murphy, V. (2005) Saving souls in cyberspace (Electronic Article) viewed 5 November 2006 http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4416419.stm
The heroes of the films, the Jedi, are described as a
noble order of protectors unified by their belief and
observance of the Force, the Jedi hearken back to a
more civilized, classical time in galactic history. Their
order is ancient; spanning over a thousand
generations (www.starwars.com, 2006).
‘May the Force Be with You’, a quote from the original Star
Wars film that was released in 1977, was recently judged
eighth in the most recognisable movie quotes of the past
100 years by the American Film Institute (AFI's 100
Years...100 Movie Quotes, 2006). So recognisable was the
quote that in 1999 a buyer paid US$6.7mill on eBay for the
Internet domain name (Karbo, 1999).
Jedi Religion Websites
The Jediism Way - http://www.thejediismway.org/
Temple of the Jedi Order - http://www.templeofthejediorder.org/
Jedi Creed - http://www.jedicreed.org/
University of Jedi Arts - http://www.freewebs.com/uja/
“On December 25, 2005 we received our charter
as a Texas non-profit religious and educational
corporation and donations to us are US income
tax deductible as we are an international online
church and interfaith initiative in the process of
building local communities. We are tax exempt
under the provisions of 501(c)3[po]”.
An Exploration of the
Concept of Emotional
Connection to an Avatar
• What are virtual worlds?
• What is Second Life?
• What are avatars?
• Why research avatars?
How will I research?
• The discipline of phenomenology may be defined
initially as the study of structures of experience, or
consciousness. Literally, phenomenology is the study
of “phenomena”: appearances of things, or things as
they appear in our experience, or the ways we
experience things, thus the meanings things have in
our experience. Phenomenology studies conscious
experience as experienced from the subjective or
first person point of view.
What will I research?
• SL Profiles
• SLED List