Using a hot-spot procedure in an online study of perceptions of hand contamination

Sigger, Jonathan (2022) Using a hot-spot procedure in an online study of perceptions of hand contamination. In: SAGE Research Methods Cases. SAGE Research Methods: Doing Research Online . SAGE Publications, London. e-ISBN 9781529604030. [Book Section] (doi:10.4135/9781529604030)


A hot-spot question format has one or more configurable click-sensitive regions superimposed on an image where some kind of variable of interest is present. The researcher records how often the regions are clicked, therefore providing frequency data about choices or preferences. In this case study, a rationale is presented for using hot-spot questions and comparisons are made with alternatives such as numeric scales and rank-ordering approaches. The study describes how a hot spot question format was adapted and applied to investigate perceived hand contamination. For this investigation, four images of the palmar and dorsal sides of the left and right hands were overlaid with multiple hotspot regions so that the skin surface was divided into zones. In two separate studies, adult participants interacted, through a browser interface, with the skin surface hot spots to show what zones they perceived as contaminated after being in a public urban space and before washing their hands. The results supported a hypothesis that perceptual re-experience in the hands is highly associated with known densities of sensory neurons. In conclusion, hot-spot questions are engaging for participants and offer flexible, adaptable, and efficient ways of collecting frequency data online.

Item Type: Book Section
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 34911
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Depositing User: Jonathan Sigger
Date Deposited: 24 Mar 2022 16:57
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2022 16:57

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