I Does DAT


Getting it into focus
November 2, 2006, 3:38 pm
Filed under: Dissertation

This morning I had my first dissertation consultation with my tutor, Michael Punt, which was incredibly useful. All I really knew beforehand was that I needed to boil my general idea down to focus on one more specific aspect. He confirmed this to me and gave me some really handy pointers that I hadn’t, and probably wouldn’t have, thought of.

It transpired that my real interest lies in the study of intentional affecting of feeling and behaviour, using the very edge of human auditory perception in order for this affecting to go unnoticed by the subject. Examples came up such as muzac in shops and hotels, the careful selection of music in pubs such as wetherspoons to tailor their customer base (attracting the type of people they want and repelling those that they don’t). Also the design of singular sounds, such as car doors or keys on a keyboard, to provide a certain type of audio feedback and induce a particular idea of what the thing is. Research into this type of thing is likely to have been done by, for example, car companies, etc. and if I can find this research somewhere it will come in really handy. I may need to get in touch with some consultuncies of some kind who may have done this work on a company’s behalf, if I can track these types of organisations down.

One thing that I really got from the meeting was the idea of including a case study chapter. I had intended to do some experimentation, more with the project in mind, such as observation of people in places like the new mall in town and their behaviour in relation to the music or noise that can be heard in the space. I think this will add a really good dimension to the writing. This also got me thinking about the idea of observing and with this in mind I’m going to look into the archives of the Mass Observation to see if I can uncover any clues in there.

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