How to write for the public

11 Apr

EXAMPLE OF A SUMMARY STATEMENT (FOR WEBSITE). TRY IT YOURSELF.

Adults and children interact with familiar people and strangers differently (CITE 2-3 research studies here). Infants discriminate familiar faces and stranger’s faces moments after birth (CITE here). Autism is a developmental social-cognitive disorder that influences facial and social processing. (THE QUESTION – BROAD TO MORE SPECIFIC). The question remains whether processing differences among children with autism are influenced by familiarity (REMAINING QUESTION). To address this question, we will assess how children with autism process faces of strangers and familiar people. (WHAT IS NEW) Children will view faces presented on an eye tracker, and their eye gazing patterns will be assessed. Our results will be used to develop more effective intervention strategies for Autism (WHAT WILL BE DONE WTH THE RESULTS? WHY DO WE BENEFIT).
WRITE OUT WORDS AND DON’T ABBREVIATE. ACTIVE TENSE. KEEP IT TO THE POINT!

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15 Responses to “How to write for the public”

  1. TriciaStriano April 11, 2010 at 11:42 pm #

    Protocol: The Ability of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Recognize Social Cues When Compared to Typically Developing Children

    Investigators: Kenza Hill & Amy Wong

    Introduction:

    Social cues in children’s cognitive development are an important aspect of child behavior that is emphasized in current psychological research, from infancy on children use social cues to interpret and learn about their environments, specifically eye gaze (Bakeman & Adamson, 1984; Klin et al., 2002; Hoehl et al., 2008 ). EEG studies conducted using typically developing children show that children do process social cues, such as eye gaze, differently depending on what direction the eyes are directed in relation to the object of interest (Hoehl et al., 2008). These early behaviors are established as mirrored learning from a child’s environment, through cues from their surrounding environments, specifically the adults caring for the child. Typically developing children begin to mirror and/or absorb this socially cued behavioral process around 9 months of development, in which the child begins to see themselves separate from the caregiver and can comprehend abstract concepts such as permanent objects (Bakeman & Adamson, 1984; Mundy et al.,1986). Studies involving typically developing children are important in maintaining a measurable norm or baseline for studies involving social cues, specifically when deficits in social learning are the primary investigation within the research. However, children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty with accurate eye gaze judgment but retain the basic geometric understanding of gaze direction. Thus evidence concerning the eye gaze direction detection abilities in individual with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) needs to be further investigated. Recently, research has focused on tracking eye movements to better understand the strategies used to perform these tasks and detect possible atypical development (Klin et al., 2002).

    This is one of the current studies in the lab. This introduction is going to act as an example of how to apply these writing tips to edit a summary for the public. Other examples from the lab will be added later and please stay tuned to see how this one progresses.

    • Kenza Jade Hill April 21, 2010 at 10:00 pm #

      Here is the revised abstract: Protocol: The Ability of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Recognize Social Cues When Compared to Typically Developing Children
      Investigators: Kenza Hill

      Introduction:

      Social cues are important in children’s learning and development. Children use social cues to learn about their environments. An important social cue children use is eye gaze (Bakeman & Adamson, 1984; Klin et al., 2002; Hoehl et al., 2008 ). Typically developing children process social cues such as eye gaze, differently, depending on the object they are looking at (Hoehl et al., 2008). Eye gaze is a behavior children copy from adults to learn about their surroundings. Typically developing children start to learn socially cued behaviors, like eye gaze around 9 months of age. Typically developing children are important in maintaining a measurable norm or baseline for studies involving social cues. Studies involving measuring typically developing children are important when deficits in social learning are one of the important research goals. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty with correct eye gaze judgment but still have a basic understanding of gaze direction. Evidence concerning the eye gaze direction detection abilities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) needs to studied more. The goal of our research is to focus on tracking eye movements to better understand the behaviors children use to preform tasks and to detect possible abnormal development (Klin et al., 2002).

    • Kenza May 11, 2010 at 4:29 pm #

      Protocol: The Ability of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder to Recognize Social Cues When Compared to Typically Developing Children

      Investigators: Kenza Hill

      Introduction:

      Social cues are important in children’s learning and development. Children use social cues to learn about their environments. An important social cue children use is eye gaze (Bakeman & Adamson, 1984; Klin et al., 2002; Hoehl et al., 2008 ). Typically developing children process social cues such as eye gaze differently, depending on the direction of the object they are looking at (Hoehl et al., 2008). Typically developing children start to learn socially cued behaviors, like eye gaze around 9 months of age. Typically developing children are important in maintaining a measurable norm or baseline for studies involving social cues. Studies involving measuring typically developing children are important when deficits in social learning are one of the important research goals. Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder have difficulty with correct eye gaze judgment but still have a basic understanding of gaze direction. Evidence concerning the eye gaze direction detection abilities in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) needs to studied more. The goal of our research is to focus on tracking eye movements to better understand the behaviors children use to preform tasks and to detect possible abnormal development (Klin et al., 2002).

      Here is the new abstract.

  2. Nadia & Nishanie April 16, 2010 at 5:03 pm #

    Protocol: The Effect of Drawing on Social Processing

    Investigators: Parbatie Nadia Chitolie & Nishanie Jayawardena

    Abstract:

    A critical aspect in social cognition is the ability to engage in mutual eye gaze, thus allowing us to monitor social cues. From birth, typically developing children are able to interact with their environments from social cues they acquire through eye contact with their mother (Vaish & Striano 2004). Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental social-cognitive disorder. Unlike typically developing children, autistic children exhibit deviant patterns of eye gaze behavior, thus hindering their social processing ability (Senju, Yaguchi, Tojo, & Hasegawa, 2003). How can we increase eye gaze behavior in children, especially those with autism? To address this question, we have created several drawing activities that will be distributed to two groups of typically developing child participants. The experimental group will receive activities comprised of faces that focus the child’s attention indirectly on the eyes, and the control group will receive similar activities containing balls. First, children will view faces, presented to them on the Tobii Eye Tracker, after which they will be assigned an activity booklet to complete, and finally they will be presented with the faces again. From the data collected we will compare the fixation count and duration of the area of interest from the pre-test to the post-test for both groups. After which we will compare the fixation count and duration of each groups post-test to check for any statistical significance. If results indicate a statistical significance, this would lead to further research with autistic children, and eventually to an intervention program.

    This is New – please edit comment post.

    • TriciaStriano April 18, 2010 at 5:22 pm #

      A critical aspect in social cognition is the ability to engage in mutual eye gaze, thus allowing social cues…

      Let’s begin by rewriting this sentence. If I were a grant reviewer I would have stopped reading already..

      Eye contact is essential for interaction. In your study… are you going to be looking at mutual gaze? What is mutual gaze anyway?

      Play devil’s advocate. Have your colleagues critique your abstracts too.

      • TriciaStriano April 18, 2010 at 7:31 pm #

        now time to rewrite this – after you read the examples I posted

  3. Nadia & Nishanie April 16, 2010 at 5:09 pm #

    Protocol: The Effect of Drawing on Social Processing

    Investigators: Parbatie Nadia Chitolie & Nishanie Jayawardena

    Abstract:

    A critical aspect in social cognition is the ability to engage in mutual eye gaze, thus allowing us to monitor social cues. From birth, typically developing children are able to interact with their environments from social cues they acquire through eye contact with their mother (Vaish & Striano 2004). Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental social-cognitive disorder. Unlike typically developing children, autistic children exhibit deviant patterns of eye gaze behavior, thus hindering their social processing ability (Senju, Yaguchi, Tojo, & Hasegawa, 2003). How can we increase eye gaze behavior in children, especially those with autism? To address this question, we have created several drawing activities that will be distributed to two groups of typically developing child participants. The experimental group will receive activities comprised of faces that focus the child’s attention indirectly on the eyes, and the control group will receive similar activities containing balls. First, children will view faces, presented to them on the Tobii Eye Tracker, after which they will be assigned an activity booklet to complete, and finally they will be presented with the faces again. From the data collected we will compare the fixation count and duration of the area of interest from the pre-test to the post-test for both groups. After which we will compare the fixation count and duration of each groups post-test to check for any statistical significance. If results indicate a statistical significance, this would lead to further research with autistic children, and eventually to an intervention program.

    This is new – please comment on post

  4. Nadia & Nishanie April 16, 2010 at 5:17 pm #

    Protocol: The Effect of Drawing on Social Processing

    Investigators: Parbatie Nadia Chitolie & Nishanie Jayawardena

    Abstract:

    A critical aspect in social cognition is the ability to engage in mutual eye gaze, thus allowing us to monitor social cues. From birth, typically developing children are able to interact with their environments from social cues they acquire through eye contact with their mother (Vaish & Striano 2004). Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental social-cognitive disorder. Unlike typically developing children, autistic children exhibit deviant patterns of eye gaze behavior, thus hindering their social processing ability (Senju, Yaguchi, Tojo, & Hasegawa, 2003). How can we increase eye gaze behavior in children, especially those with autism? To address this question, we have created several drawing activities that will be distributed to two groups of typically developing child participants. The experimental group will receive activities comprised of faces that focus the child’s attention indirectly on the eyes, and the control group will receive similar activities containing balls. First, children will view faces, presented to them on the Tobii Eye Tracker, after which they will be assigned an activity booklet to complete, and finally they will be presented with the faces again. From the data collected we will compare the fixation count and duration of the area of interest from the pre-test to the post-test for both groups. After which we will compare the fixation count and duration of each groups post-test to check for any statistical significance. If results indicate a statistical significance, this would lead to further research with autistic children, and eventually to an intervention program.

    This is new – please comment on post

  5. Nadia & Nishanie April 16, 2010 at 5:41 pm #

    Protocol: The Effect of Drawing on Social Processing

    Investigators: Parbatie Nadia Chitolie & Nishanie Jayawardena

    Abstract:

    A critical aspect in social cognition is the ability to engage in mutual eye gaze, thus allowing us to monitor social cues. From birth, typically developing children are able to interact with their environments from social cues they acquire through eye contact with their mother (Vaish & Striano 2004). Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental social-cognitive disorder. Unlike typically developing children, autistic children exhibit deviant patterns of eye gaze behavior, thus hindering their social processing ability (Senju, Yaguchi, Tojo, & Hasegawa, 2003). How can we increase eye gaze behavior in children, especially those with autism? To address this question, we have created several drawing activities that will be distributed to two groups of typically developing child participants. The experimental group will receive activities comprised of faces that focus the child’s attention indirectly on the eyes, and the control group will receive similar activities containing balls. First, children will view faces, presented to them on the Tobii Eye Tracker, after which they will be assigned an activity booklet to complete, and finally they will be presented with the faces again. From the data collected we will compare the fixation count and duration of the area of interest from the pre-test to the post-test for both groups. After which we will compare the fixation count and duration of each groups post-test to check for any statistical significance. If results indicate a statistical significance, this would lead to further research with autistic children, and eventually to an intervention program.

  6. Momoko Takanashi April 16, 2010 at 6:20 pm #

    Brief Proposal: Infants’ Association of Color and Facial Expression
    Do infants perceive a relationship between a color and an emotional expression? In the case of young children, the impact of color is important due to the influences it has on their perception of their environment and emotional development; this impact is transmitted from toys, lunch boxes, clothes, interiors and so on (Read & Upington, 2009). Therefore, through color, children’s environment often represents their psychological aspects so that associating a color with an emotion is a crucial aspect in child development (Boyatzis & Varghese, 1993).
    In the past, many clinical psychologists examined the relationship between color and emotional perception. Goldstein found that a specific color elicits a specific emotional response (cited in Boyatzis & Varchese, 1993). Other psychologists claimed that children’s use of a particular color represents their emotional states; for example, red elicits anger, aggression, or anxiety, while black elicits depression or sadness (cited in Boyatzis & Varchese, 1993, & Zentner, 2001). Furthermore, Zentner (2001) found that young children demonstrate consistent relationships between colors and facial expressions; a happy face with a brighter color such as yellow and a sad face with a darker color such as blue.
    Unlike the studies of the relationship between color and children’s perception of emotion, little is known about the relationship between color and infants’ perception of emotion (Zentner, 2001). According to Zemach and Teller (2007), infants as young as 3-month-old have the ability to perceive color differences and have color preferences. Infants as young as 5-months can distinguish different types of emotional facial expressions, such as happy and sad faces (Grossmann, Striano, & Friederici, 2005, 2006, 2007). Based on the past studies regarding children’s emotional association with color and infants’ perception of color and facial expressions, we predict that infants can detect the relationship between a color and facial expression. More specifically, we hypothesize that infants associate the color yellow to happy facial expressions and black to sad facial expressions.
    In this study, we are going to begin the experiment with adults and young children, the ages of 3 and 4. We assume that adults as well as infants will match the color yellow to faces with the happy facial expression, and the color black to faces with a sad facial expression, no matter where the colors are positioned. Then, we are going to examine whether 3 to 18 month-old infants perceive relationships between colors and facial expressions as well. Our findings would contribute to the designing of a more optimal environment for infants’ development.

  7. Nadia April 16, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    Protocol: The Effect of Drawing on Social Processing

    Investigators: Parbatie Nadia Chitolie & Nishanie Jayawardena

    Abstract:

    A critical aspect in social cognition is the ability to engage in mutual eye gaze, thus allowing us to monitor social cues. From birth, typically developing children are able to interact with their environments from social cues they acquire through eye contact with their mother (Vaish & Striano 2004). Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental social-cognitive disorder. Unlike typically developing children, autistic children exhibit deviant patterns of eye gaze behavior, thus hindering their social processing ability (Senju, Yaguchi, Tojo, & Hasegawa, 2003). How can we increase eye gaze behavior in children, especially those with autism? To address this question, we have created several drawing activities that will be distributed to two groups of typically developing child participants. The experimental group will receive activities comprised of faces that focus the child’s attention indirectly on the eyes, and the control group will receive similar activities containing balls. First, children will view faces, presented to them on the Tobii Eye Tracker, after which they will be assigned an activity booklet to complete, and finally they will be presented with the faces again. From the data collected we will compare the fixation count and duration of the area of interest from the pre-test to the post-test for both groups. After which we will compare the fixation count and duration of each groups post-test to check for any statistical significance. If results indicate a statistical significance, this would lead to further research with autistic children, and eventually to an intervention program.

    This is new – please comment on post.

  8. TriciaStriano April 17, 2010 at 2:58 am #

    EYE GAZE PROVIDES CLUES ABOUT OTHERS’ BEHAVIOR. (L1)
    VAISH & STRIANO DID NOT STUDY INFANTS FROM BIRTH…
    ETC.. REDUCE TO HALF LENGTH, WHAT Q, WHAT NEW? WHY IMPORTANT..

    • Nadia & Nishanie April 19, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

      Protocol: The Effect of Drawing on Social Processing

      Investigators: Parbatie Nadia Chitolie & Nishanie Jayawardena

      Abstract:

      Eye contact is an important factor in social cognition. It creates a quick, non-verbal pathway of correspondence and helps establish proper interaction between individuals. Infants of six months of age or younger are capable of following their caregivers direction of attention and by the first year, typically developing children are competent non-verbal communicators (Trepagnier, Sebrechts, Finkelmeyer, Stewart, Woodford, & Coleman, 2006). Children less articulate in making eye contact can exhibit developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our research focuses on the impact of drawing activities on social perception i.e. eye contact in typically developing children. To address this, we will study how a sequence of activities focused indirectly on eyes can influence eye gaze behavior. Participants will view pictures of individuals looking directly at them on the Tobii Eye Tracker. If results indicate a statistical significance, this would lead to further research with autistic children, and eventually to an intervention program.

      This is revised please post comment

      • TriciaStriano April 20, 2010 at 12:30 am #

        DR. STRIANO’s “DEVIL’S ADVOCATE RESPONSE”
        What do you mean by PROPER interaction? Just because I look at someone does not mean I engage with them in a proper interaction.
        Pathway of correspndence?

        infants of 6 months or younger? Which is it?
        We have those answers… and it IS younger than 6 months.
        Less “ARTICULATE” in making eye contact?
        Regardless of whether the results are significant they are meaningful… the significance is irrelevant.

        rewrite. One idea.. look at 10 other published this month in top journals.. get a feel for it..
        Good luck. Keep at it!

  9. Nadia April 22, 2010 at 2:58 pm #

    Protocol: The Effect of Drawing on Social Processing

    Investigators: Parbatie Nadia Chitolie & Nishanie Jayawardena

    Abstract:
    Eye contact is an important factor in social cognition. It creates a quick, non-verbal interaction between individuals. It has been shown that infants younger than six months of age are capable of following their caregiver’s direction of attention and by the first year, typically developing children are competent non-verbal communicators (Trepagnier, Sebrechts, Finkelmeyer, Stewart, Woodford, & Coleman, 2006). Children less capable in making eye contact can exhibit developmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Our research focuses on the impact of drawing activities on social perception i.e. eye contact in typically developing children. To address this, we will study how a sequence of activities focused indirectly on eyes can influence eye gaze behavior. Participants will view pictures of individuals looking directly at them on the Tobii Eye Tracker. If results show an increase in eye gaze behavior, this would lead to further research with autistic children, and eventually to an intervention program.

    This is revised please post comment – will look up more literature on this

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