Intervention Findings

Last week we conducted an intervention based on the idea of Gifs & Memes as Political Statements, the intervention consisted of splitting the class in half, Group A were shown the manifestos for both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on the subjects of Education, Economy, National Security and Health. Group B was presented with a Gif & a Meme for the same candidates on the same four categories that were discussed in Group A.

Today we will be discussing the findings which we gathered using the surveys you completed the last week. We will discuss whether or not the findings matched our expectations.

Highfield and Leaver suggest that “…visual social media content can highlight, [and] affect, political reviews, reactions, key information, and scenes of importance.”  Just like this quote, we expected our test subjects to engage more with the visual materials; the gifs and the memes.

We hoped to find out which method worked more effectively in conveying a political message in relation to the American Presidential Election, we believed that Gifs & Memes would have a stronger impact than manifestos on our generation, based on previous research with an American audience “… more young Americans inform themselves and shape their opinions based on memes and social media.”

Our own personal beliefs suggest that our generation is drawn more to images as opposed to large amounts of written text. Our exact focal point of this intervention was to explore the topic of communication through the use of Gifs&Memes and manifestos.

To obtain the data needed we handed out surveys to everyone involved. We then analysed the data using survey monkey. After splitting the class in half everyone was handed a survey and a voting card, this allowed us to gather the necessary data to proceed to analyse the information to see if our expectations were correct. To analyse the data we used survey monkey, we will now share with you the findings that came from our analysis.

Facts and Figures: Question One:

The first image is group A, the second is group B.

According to the above charts suggests that group B where more focused on education whereas group A’s opinions were divided equally among the categories, this shows that for group B the Gifs&Memes where more interesting for the education category for Hillary as opposed to the other categories. However, group A’s opinions suggest that the manifestos were equally a priority within the group.

Facts and Figures: Question Two:

The first image is group A, the second is group B.

According to the above charts, both Groups A and B agreed that National Security was a high priority with group B thinking that economy was equally as important as national security, whereas group A though education and economy where equally as important but more viewed National security as a priority. This shows that both the manifesto and the Gif&Meme where equally as engaging for national security.

Facts and Figures: Question Three:

The first image is group A, the second is group B.

For group A 57% where interested as opposed to group b where only 33% where interested. More people where somewhat engaged for group B, this goes against our expectations as we believed that group B would have been more engaged as it was the gifs and memes and we thought more people would have been engaged with it as opposed to the manifestos as the gifs and memes where supposed to be more interesting.

Facts and Figures: Question Four:

The first image is group A, the second is group B.

The above charts show us that it didn’t matter what format the information was shown in the majority of Group A and the whole of Group B believed that Hillary Clinton discussed the most relevant causes to them. Although only the majority of Group A choose Hillary no one in either group chose Donald Trump which tells us that no one thought he believed in the same causes as them regardless of the method with which they where given this information.

In Group A a minority of the group where indifferent whereas all of group B was interested this agrees with our expectations as for this question all of group b was engaged compared to group a which shows for this case the gifs & memes where more effective.

Facts and Figures: Question Five:

The first image is group A, the second is group B.

The above charts show us that Group A understood the messages being conveyed better than group B, 71% understood quite a lot of the presidential election whereas 83% understood very little in group B. This shows that the manifestos where more a more effective method when explaining this topic.

Facts and Figures: Who would you vote for?

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For the final question we asked who everyone would vote for and everyone in both group A and group B voted for hillary clinton, this shows that no matter what method was used people still preferred Hillary Clinton as opposed to Donald Trump.

Final Result:

Based on our research we found out that while Gifs & Memes may be effective for entertainment purposes they are not effective as political statements. For our final result we have discovered that while gifs and memes are great for entertainment purposes they aren’t as effective as political statements as we thought. This may be due to the fact that they don’t contain a lot of information and very few contain factual information which means they don’t give a clear political message therefore people find it harder to understand them.

The results show that manifestos where more effective as political statements as opposed to gifs and memes. Based on our questions we have discovered that our original expectations where disproved as more people where engaged with the manifestos as opposed to the Gifs&Memes. This could have been because the manifestos provided more accurate descriptions of the categories, whereas the gifs&memes only gave a small perspective into each category.

If we had the chance to redo the intervention we wouldn’t have divided the class we would have shown everyone the same material, and give the one survey to see which they found the more effective method of communicating political messages this would have given us a wider variety of opinion and the results would be more accurate as everyone would have viewed both the materials  giving them a better understanding.

Bibliography:

Brown Political Review. (2016). The Role of Memes in Politics – Brown Political Review. [online] Available at: http://www.brownpoliticalreview.org/2016/03/role-memes-politics/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016].

Highfield, T. and Leaver, T. (2016). Instagrammatics and digital methods: studying visual social media, from selfies and GIFs to memes and emoji. Communication Research and Practice, 2(1), pp.47-62.

Patkar, (2015). [online] Available at: http://hitp://www.makeuseof.com/tag/gifs-language-internet-history-culture-art-future/ [Accessed 28 Oct. 2016].

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