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Stanton - Lazarsfeld Program Analyzer - System used by the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) to pre-test the appeal of a new program with a randomly selected studio audience.

Known also as "Little Annie," the SLPA gathers groups of people in both Los Angeles and New York and invites them to screen filmed materials.

Participants are escorted to a seat equipped with knobs. If they enjoy what they see, they are instructed to press the knob on the right hand of their chair; if displeased they press the left arm of their chair. The results of the viewing are analyzed and used to determine popularity of programs, characters and products.

Created by Dr. Paul Felix. Lazarsfeld (1901-1976), the director of Columbia University's Office of Radio Research, and Dr. Frank Stanton (1938-2006), director of research for CBS, The Stanton-Lazarsfeld Program Analyzer made its debut in 1942. It was first used by CBS to track the responses of 100 listeners to a radio program, and later adapted to television.

An historical summary of the Stanton-Lazarsfeld Program Analyzer  can be found in the Journal of Communication, v32 n4 p30-38 Fall 1982.


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