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Taking a research apprenticeship to the next level

Thursday, March 23 2017 12:00am

Jaclyn Andrascik receives the first iMotions Academy certification to further her knowledge of marketing research.

Tags: Marketing

By: Magda Stepien

Whether it’s via a survey, focus group or social media, there are many ways for brands to gather marketing research and learn about today’s consumers. Jaclyn Andrascik, a sophomore studying Marketing and Business Analytics, took a leap into the technological future of consumer behavior by becoming the first graduate of the iMotions Academy.

The Ohio University College of Business worked with iMotions, a creator of advanced human behavior research software that uses tools such as automated facial expression analysis and eye tracking to learn about consumer reactions.

Dr. Alexa Fox, assistant professor of marketing, gained experience with the software as the first marketing doctoral student at The University of Memphis to complete a dissertation with the technology and was excited to continue that work here at Ohio University.

“Physiological research capabilities keep the College of Business on the cutting edge of marketing research and will give our students an edge in the workplace,” said Fox.

Andrascik wanted to expand her learning beyond the classroom by becoming Fox’s research apprentice.  iMotions Academy, was a perfect way to get started. Andrascik was the first person in the world to finish the academy and become certified in the fundamentals of eye tracking, automated facial expression analysis, GSR, and EEG. . 

“I was excited to start working with the iMotions Academy,” said Andrascik. “I knew I wanted to learn more about analytics and this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to do something that no one else has completed.”

The technology has given College of Business students, like Andrascik, unique opportunities in their individual research, as well as unique research opportunities for companies that work with the College of Business through the Consumer Research Center. As marketing researchers in training, students learn how to apply the technology to reduce error associated with interpreting emotional reactions. 

Andrascik is utilizing the iMotions software to investigate how Millennials react to user-generated content about brands. She is examining Millennials' emotional reactions to customer service conversations, and with this unique training, she aims to develop, present, and publish her research. 

“I hope this experience will allow me to obtain a marketing research internship for a company that will value my newly gained knowledge,” Andrascik said.  “The certification is rare and I am excited to use it in the real world.”