PHD Candidate AT BGSU IN THE SCHOOL OF MEDIA & COMMUNICATION
My research is focused on how representations of marginalized identities in popular culture influence attitudes toward those groups (like autistic people), with side projects in cross-neurotype communication and the intersections between autism, gender, and sexuality.
First Impressions of TV Characters — My dissertation experiment! This is focused on representations of identity and there are two ways to aprticipate. You can do the whole study in about an hour (it flies by, because tv is fun!), or if you don’t have an hour you can do a smaller version of the study in as little as 10-15 minutes. You’ll watch and rate 20-second clips from TV shows with characters of various identities (by neurotype, gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, disability, nationality, etc.) and give your first impressions of the two characters in the clip based on a handful of traits and how they seem to get along with each other.
The full study may contain 20 of these 20-second clips from different shows, 12 of them and a 12-minute video clip, or 2-3 of them and a full episode from the same show. People who say they don’t have an hour in the initial screening will be given the “20-seconds only” version and can skip to the wrap-up survey questions at the end whenever they like.
This one needs a giant sample, so I’m using several recruiting methods. I’m recruiting college students (as many research studies do), recruiting through social media, and adding a snowball sampling component by asking people to share the study with their own social networks and directly with a few likely friends or family members. The goal of using all three methods is to collect a large, diverse sample of participants, so that people will be rating characters that they aren’t familiar with who may or may not share aspects of their own identity.
This project is the culmination of my graduate program in media & communication, and will hopefully add to the literature in media effects, interpersonal communication, neuropsychology, critical autism studies, gender & sexuality studies, and popular culture.
(Autistic & Non-autistic participants wanted, open until the end of January)
Recent Publication: Everything’s Gonna Be Kinda Queer: Autistic Gender & Sexuality in Everything’s Gonna Be Okay (in Ought: The Journal of Autistic Culture, Fall 2022)
Current Project: Perspectives of autistic and non-autistic people on recognizing autism through visible characteristics and behaviors
Current Projects: Autistic and non-autistic reactions to rating scales used in media effects research; Authenticity in autistic television characters
Hello! I’m busy with my dissertation right now, but I’ll restore my regular website sometime soonish. In the meantime, thanks for visiting, and get in touch if you’d like to chat about research, tv, autistic representation, or growing tomatoes. (I know, that last one doesn’t really fit the theme, but I grew 20 varieties of tomato last summer, and it was amazing.)
If you’d like to connect, you can email me using this form.