Conducting experimental research in audiovisual translation (AVT). A position paper
JoSTrans: Journal of Specialised Translation
Year of publication
Experimental studies on AVT have grown incrementally over the past decade. This growing body of research has explored several aspects of AVT reception and production using behavioural measures such as eye tracking, as well as venturing into physiological measures such as electroencephalography (EEG), galvanic skin response, and heart rate. As a novel approach to the field of AVT, the experimental approach has borrowed heavily from other fields with established experimental traditions, such as psycholinguistics, psychology, and cognitive science. However, these methodologies are often not implemented with the same rigour as in the disciplines from which they were taken, making for highly eclectic and, at times, inconsistent practices. The absence of a common framework and best practice for experimental research in AVT poses significant risk in addition to the potential reputational damage. Some of the most important risks are: the duplication of efforts, studies that cannot be replicated due to a lack of methodological standardisation and rigour, and findings that are, at best, impossible to generalise from and, at worst, invalid. Given the growing body of work in AVT taking a quasi-experimental approach, it is time to consolidate our position and establish a common framework in order to ensure the integrity of our endeavours. This chapter analyses problems and discusses solutions specifically related to the multidisciplinary nature of experimental AVT research. In so doing, it aims to set the course for future experimental research in AVT, in order to gain credibility in the wider scientific community and contributes new insights to the fields from which AVT has been borrowing. Its conclusion lays out the foundation for a common core of measures and norms to regulate research in the growing field of AVT.