What does not happen: quantifying embodied engagement using NIMI and self-adaptors
Authors: Witchel, H., Westling, C., Tee, J., Healy, A., Needham, R. and Chockalingam, N.
Journal: Participations: journal of audience and reception studies
Publisher: University of Wales
Previous research into the quantification of embodied intellectual and emotional engagement using non-verbal movement parameters has not yielded consistent results across different studies. Our research introduces NIMI (Non-Instrumental Movement Inhibition) as an alternative parameter. We propose that the absence of certain types of possible movements can be a more holistic proxy for cognitive engagement with media (in seated persons) than searching for the presence of other movements. Rather than analyzing total movement as an indicator of engagement, our research team distinguishes between instrumental movements (i.e. physical movement serving a direct purpose in the given situation) and non-instrumental movements, and investigates them in the context of the narrative rhythm of the stimulus. We demonstrate that NIMI occurs by showing viewers’ movement levels entrained (i.e. synchronised) to the repeating narrative rhythm of a timed computer-presented quiz. Finally, we discuss the role of objective metrics of engagement in future context-aware analysis of human behaviour in audience research, interactive media and responsive system and interface design.