Masters Student Rebecca Rolfe’s Research Published in Time Magazine

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Congratulations to Masters student Rebecca Rolfe for getting information about her research published online by Time Magazine!

Rolfe has been conducting research about human gratitude and how it is expressed. Rolfe collected data from Oscar speeches, from 1957 to present day, to conduct her study, parsing out key elements. She pitched this idea to Time, who published the article this morning.

As Rolfe explains in the article, Oscar speeches were the perfect materials to study to gain an understanding of the expression of gratitude. “A real statement of gratitude requires comparatively deep relationship between the giver and receiver and that’s not possible to replicate in the lab,” she says. “You have 85 years of Oscar speeches, so the setting is normalized and it’s the only part of the ceremony that isn’t scripted.”

To read the Time article, please click here.

Rolfe, who is also an excellent interactive visual designer, has also posted her findings on her website. She breaks the data into different segments including “Who Thanked Who,” “How they Behaved,” and even “Write Your Own Speech.”