Depict Lab
Venla Nikula uses the Depict Lab in her degree project. Photo: Melina Granberg View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Cover letters in experiments

Published: 4 April 2018

Venla Nikula is currently working in the Depict Lab at Luleå University of Technology. She is a final year student in the Bachelor Programme in Psychology at Luleå University of Technology, and uses the advanced equipment in her degree project.

– Being able to use the Depict Lab in my degree project feels fun, motivating and almost unreal. This might be my only chance is to work with advanced equipment like this, says Venla Nikula.

The student is secretive on the purpose of the experiment, as it is important that the test subjects are not affected. But she tells me that the degree work is about how recruiters react to different factors in a cover letter, and how it relates to those who are called for an interview.

To gather information on this, Venla Nikula uses a technique that ollows the subject's eye movements. On her screen, Venla Nikula sees where the test person looks and how long the look stays on different parts of the personal letter. She also takes help of a technique that analyzes the test person's facial expressions. This method can provide important information about how the test person reacts to the content of the cover letter.

– There is very little research on cover letters. Depict Lab offers me a unique opportunity to perform an experiment that has not been done before in the framework of my degree project, concludes Venla Nikula.

Depict Lab
Venla Nikula (to the left) shows how an experiment is being done with the help of her classmate Therese Hammarlund. Photo: Melina Granberg
Depict lab
On his screen, Venla Nikula sees where the test person looks and how long the look stays on different parts of the cover letter. She also takes the help of a technique that analyzes the test person's facial expressions. Photo: Melina Granberg