MIT's Study of Gifs and Emotions Will Consume All Your Time

MIT's Study of Gifs and Emotions Will Consume All Your Time

GIFGIF

Don't click on this unless you don't mind losing hours of your life in the name of science.

We've all done it. One moment, you're sitting down with a mug of coffee, ready to finally get some work done, and the next moment you're browsing through listicles and clicking around on amusing gifs. You might even find yourself perusing entire articles composed of reaction gifs culled from the media, like a pop culture quilt. You know you should look away, but the animated magic won't allow you. Now, two MIT grad students are attempting to study the magic of gifs using GIFGIF, a site that attempts to quantify the emotional qualities of various gifs and destroy any hopes you had of productivity at the same time.

GIFGIF presents you with two gifs and asks you to click on the one that best represents a given emotion. After that, it immediately shows you two more gifs, beginning the cycle again. Before you know it, hours of your life vanish. If the constant stream of gifs into your eyeballs isn't enough, the site also has frickin' achievements built in (each with their own gif). This is only one leveling system away from being a controlled substance.

The result of this madness is that GIFGIF is slowly creating a huge data set about the emotional qualities of various animated pictures. Currently, it's an easy way to find a good reaction gif for a post, but the ultimate goal is to analyze how those emotional scores vary across cultures. For example, how do representations of "shame" and "anger" differ between Australians and Norwegians? There's currently 5659 gifs in the GIFGIF database, but since there's an achievement for scoring 10,000 votes, I'm sure that's set to change before too long. I sincerely hope you didn't have anything important to do today.

Source: GIFGIF

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For some reason, when I got the question "Which better expresses happiness?" and was confronted by two .gifs, one of which involved a woman saying "I killed her", I broke down completely into laughter. Does this make me a bad person?

MUST...STOP...CLICKING...HELP...ME...

*click*

AUGHHHHHH!!!

But seriously, this must be a secret Skinner Box experiment or something. I just wasted ten minutes and it felt like two.

frizzlebyte:
But seriously, this must be a secret Skinner Box experiment or something. I just wasted ten minutes and it felt like two.

I just wasted two minutes that felt like ten. :)

I'd say about 95% of the gifs I saw earned the response of "neither" so I'd agree that it's a skinner box thing (further evidence being the achievement system in place).

I'm with the Kuala here, nearly every gif received a neither from me. Maybe I was unlucky in the 10 minutes I spent but yeah, the vast majority were entirely unrelated to the emotion that they were being asked about.

Although perhaps that's it? Rather than a ranking of gifs for each emotion, each gif is given a score for each emotion.

I walked into this article with doubt. But after reading, it's essential research. It's amazing how the quickly the human mind picks up visual cues. So fast in fact that there is no conscious thought in it. It's the same reason you react to avoiding a car accident without even knowing it's happening. But, many of those subconscious readings change from culture to culture. I mean, this research has been done before, but this represents a huge leap in the shear amount of research that can be done on this subject.

Kuala BangoDango:

frizzlebyte:
But seriously, this must be a secret Skinner Box experiment or something. I just wasted ten minutes and it felt like two.

I just wasted two minutes that felt like ten. :)

I'd say about 95% of the gifs I saw earned the response of "neither" so I'd agree that it's a skinner box thing (further evidence being the achievement system in place).

I had the same experience - "which of these best expresses surprise?". Neither. Neither. Neither. Neither. Done.

They blinded me with science! Who knew that they would so-readily compete with TvTropes?

I voted on 5 of them, concluded it was stupid, and exited the tab.
I "played" cookie clicker before and I see that there trying to do. I will not get sucked into something that dumb again if I can help it.

Why hasn't posting your favourite gifs you found while taking the test become a thing in the comments yet?

I'll start us off:

image

And another...

image

Why did you have to post it. now its going to eat my whole afternoon :D

Reincarnatedwolfgod:
I voted on 5 of them, concluded it was stupid, and exited the tab.
I "played" cookie clicker before and I see that there trying to do. I will not get sucked into something that dumb again if I can help it.

Meanwhile i have a tab of cookie clicker open in another tab with 1044 Qi cookies baked....

Ummm, kay. That is most likely something to study the effects of achievements on a person's desire to play more since there are achievements and the GIFs seem to be paired randomly.

20 mins gone today so far...

 

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