My research deals with many social constructs, all of which are easy enough to understand. However, the manner in which I research these constructs is very complex and technical; which has limited exposure to this type of research in the past. I am committed to translating my complex technical research in a creative and fun way to ensure individuals inside and outside of academia can understand and appreciate. I am a firm believer that if you cannot explain your research simply, you don’t know it well enough. By working with graphic artists and utilizing my previous experience in animation and web design, I have created interdisciplinary educational tools in the form of art work and graphical animation videos.
Here is how it all works – I will use my current research project as an example.
Step 1: Abstract of the research project – This will always be somewhat technical in nature.
Baker, A.K., Baker, T.E., Liotti, M., Fuji-Johnson, G., (in prep). Electrophysiological Differences in Gender Stereotype Processing between Liberals and Conservatives. .
In recent years, neuroscientists and political scientists have observed personality and cognitive differences modulated by the divergence of political attitudes (e.g. liberalism and conservatism). As such, liberals have shown greater openness and responsiveness to new ideas and experiences, whereas conservatives exhibit a more structured and tenacious mode of thinking. As a corollary, event-related potentials (ERPs) have been used to highlight these neurocognitive differences in political attitudes, as well as examining the neural mechanisms underlying social behavior such as stereotyping. Here, we amalgamate this work by using ERPs and behavioral assays of gender stereotyping, together with questionnaires about political orientation, to examine the neural and cognitive mechanisms of stereotype processing, and how the divergence of political attitudes mediates gender stereotype processing. Our investigation revealed distinct behavioral and spatiotemporal differences in the processing and integration of gender stereotype word-pairs between liberals and conservatives; bolstering the utility of ERPs to investigate the social and political brain. (Results to be released soon! In submission process)
Step 2: Once the study is created by myself and fellow researchers, I set up a dedicated website that follows and explains the research project as I go along (of course without releasing any results).
Step 3: Once the website is set up, I begin by creating a cool “art poster” that explains my research project in a single piece of art. (From local SFU art students)
Step 4: I begin working with graphical artists to create a story board of what my research question is, my method for investigating it, how I plan to analyze it, and what my results could mean.
Step 5: The most fun part…. the animated video. We now begin to bring the story board to life.