SPUR 2020: Sai-hyun Kim, W’20

Through the class WH 299: Wharton Research Scholars, I was introduced to the various methodologies and topics of research. I was excited by the opportunity to actually learn more about research when I found out about the Wharton Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR). After the class, I still had many questions that were left unanswered, and knew that SPUR would be a great avenue for me to further explore my research interests.

I embarked on my research project with Professor Shiri Melumad from the Marketing Department. My research examined the implications of screen size and screen shape in the reception of trailers. Two experiments were conducted to investigate if screen size and screen shape rendered a music video trailer and the music more favorable. Participants’ willingness to spread positive word of mouth regarding the trailer was also studied. Furthermore, a field study was conducted to examine whether two movie trailers with different screen shapes elicited more favorable comments regarding the trailer. The process of crafting an experiment was particularly challenging, because I was not able to access the Wharton Behavioral Lab. However, I managed to conduct an experiment through the Amazon Mechanical Turk Platform.

Eventually, I was very thrilled to find interesting results. The results suggest that screen size and screen shape affected viewers’ perception of the music video trailer and their willingness to spread positive word of mouth. Although there was evidence that larger screen sizes are preferred regardless of the characteristic of the music video trailer, preference for a specific screen shape differed based on the type of the music video trailer.

Overall, SPUR was a great opportunity for me to see what conducting research is like and how to efficiently manage my time. Although it was a bit more difficult this year since everything was done online, I was able to communicate with my research advisor to come up with a research question that was testable and meaningful. The process of combining existing research to find topics that would extend existing academic dialogue was very rigorous but also rewarding. This experience further made me realize that I want to pursue a career in research through graduate studies, and I am really glad that I had a chance to participate in SPUR!

Designing the Optimal Video Hook: Effect of Screen Size and Screen Ratio on the Perception of Trailers, by Sai-hyun G. Kim