Basics: What is Mangold INTERACT?

The INTERACT software is a professional tool for data collection and qualitative analysis of multimedia files.

INTERACT is used in a wide range of experiments for a more flexible and comfortable way of analyzing. It is absolutely perfect for anyone doing any kind of observational research.

Prof. John W. Creswell who published some basic works about psychological research methods said: “Research is a process of steps used to collect and analyze information to increase our understanding of a topic or issue”. It consists of three steps: Pose a question, collect data to answer the question, present an answer to the question. INTERACT supports you at the second step in collecting and analyzing of data.

What does INTERACT do?

INTERACT offers two main advantages: you achieve professional data and save a lot of time! The software is user friendly and intuitive – you don’t have to be a multimedia professional to get accurate and significant results. Because of the reduced learning curve you can start quickly with a structured data collection.

How does INTERACT work?

You can code your videos (or live-observation) simply by a mouse- or keyboard-click. You define a code- or category-system. During an observational session you will log so-called ‘events’ with both a start and an end time. Those Events will be represented by single lines that can be filled with one or more behavioral codes to identify and categorize the behavior of that specific time interval. INTERACT offers multiple coding schemes and additional coding options that, in combination with a clever setup in the code definitions, allow for the implementation of very complex coding systems. INTERACT can be used for interval based sessions (Time Sampling) as well as event based sessions (Event Sampling). The collected data will be stored in a data file (*.act) with a spread sheet in a structure of lines and columns. It will show the time information for each event in the first two columns and the corresponding code(s) in the same line. This information can be edited by hand at any time.

For example, we want to observe a mother playing with her child. We want to analyze the behavior of the child and the child’s reactions to the behavior of the mother. First, we have to think about our code system, which kind of behavior we want to log.

Maybe we define a code for “mother smiling towards the child” or “child looking to the mother”.

Then we define a certain key to the keyboard for every code (e.g. “s” for smiling mother and “l” for looking child). When playing the video we can log the codes easily by one click – frame by frame makes for accurate controlling! You can playback the video several times and add more codes on the fly. You can also log additional test persons or different situations – everything is  flexible.

And the analysis?

INTERACT offers a lot of possibilities to visualize and analyze your data. For example, there is  descriptive statistics, contingency analysis, sequence analysis, inter-rater-reliability and much more. Simply export your data to integrate them in other programs such as SPSS and Excel. Also, “Copy and Paste” your results easily into other programs to create attractive reports.

When can I use INTERACT?

INTERACT is the ideal tool for any type of study that does rely on observations. The open structure of the application offers a variety of research areas, e.g.

  • Usability studies
  • Mother/child/infant interaction
  • Facial expressions
  • Animal behavior
  • Training for sport, politicians, actors etc.
  • Therapy sessions
  • Group discussions