Online videos should be subtitled to advocate for more attention on social causes, according to the research of Ball State University graduate student Breanna Daugherty.

Daugherty’s research project, “Video Attention on Social Media,” was one of nine winners at the annual Ball State Student Symposium this month.

The project, based on Daugherty’s master’s thesis, studied what types of social media content attracted attention. She assessed the differences of having subtitles or no subtitles, whether or not people were in the video, and if there was crowd noise in the background or not. She discovered that subtitles played a key role.

“The topic of my experiment paired nicely with the video I used focusing on environmental friendliness,” Daugherty said.

With a bachelor’s in photojournalism from Ball State, Daugherty, originally from Paoli, found an interest in visual attention on social media. Fascinated by video, along with its lack of universal standards, she began studying the visual realm and what could be done to create better quality content.

Receiving her master’s degree for media analytics and management in May, Daugherty will remain in Muncie for a few months to pursue an internship with Intersection, a local advertising agency. Afterward, she would like to find a way to use both degrees, blending photography with content strategy and digital media.

“I’ve always found a great support system in the faculty at Ball State,” Daugherty said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for the scholarships I received, provided by donors, during my time here.”

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