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Debate App Tracks Real Time Responses

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(Sacramento, CA)
Thursday, October 11, 2012

The app is called ReactLabs Educate and allows viewers to say whether they agree or disagree with a candidate's statement, and then say if they consider the statement to be a "dodge" or "spin."  

Matthew Pitryka  with UC Davis is a co-creator of the app,  "Campaign managers have been doing this for years, but academics haven't been able to profit from this type of focused analysis."   

The app was used by three thousand college students during the first presidential debate and will be used again by students at Sacramento State during the vice presidential debate tonight (Thursday). 

One of the initial findings from last week's debate has given researchers pause.  Students agreed with President Obama's statements much more than they did Mitt Romney's.  But, when it was all over, more than half of the students considered Romney to be the winner of the debate. 

UC Davis and the University of Arkansas Little Rock collaborated on the application. 

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