...the subject, even if not normatively influenced, may be influenced by the others in the sense that the judgments of others are taken to be a more or less trustworthy source of information about the objective reality with which he and the others are confronted -
Deutsch, M., & Gerard, H. B. (1955). A study of normative and informational social influences upon individual judgment. The Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology, 51(3), 629-636.
An overview on PsychWiki.
the original article’s abstract:
The effects of two different types of social influence upon individual judgment were investigated: normative and informational. Prior studies of ‘group’ influence were shown to involve only incidentally the type of influence most specifically associated with groups, normative influence. The role of normative influence in buttressing as well as undermining individual experience was also investigated.
And some background by Morton Deutsch, 25 years later.
A little later a beastlord joined the group… Networking through blood & beyond —
in Jakobsson, > & Taylor, T.L. (2003). The Sopranos Meets Everquest: Social Networking in Massively Multiplayer Online Games. MelbourneDAC2003, Melbourne, Australia.
This article explores the ways social interaction plays an integral role in the game EverQuest. Through our research we argue that social networks form a powerful component of the gameplay and the gaming experience, one that must be seriously considered to understand the nature of massively multiplayer online games. We discuss the discrepancy between how the game is portrayed and how it is actually played. By examining the role of social networks and interactions we seek to explore how the friendships between the players could be considered the ultimate exploit of the game.
Sonia Livingstone on Children and the Internet -
an excellent and balanced assessment of the evidence. Well worth a listen.
Working from home: leisure gain or leisure loss? -
Cameron, S. & Fox, M. (2011). Working from home: leisure gain or leisure loss? In Cameron, S. (ed.) Handbook on the Economics of Leisure: Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd: 128-152.
Google Books link.
What I say about it in the work & leisure chapter:
when the world can be your workplace, and when a customer is now able to enter your shop at any time of day or night, if can impact life-work balance. “Broadly speaking,” wrote Samuel Cameron and Mark Fox in the Handbook on the Economics of Leisure in 2012, “we expect work to have an atmosphere of work and home to have an atmosphere of home.” People who work from home experience what Cameron and Fox call a time elasticity illusion, particularly amongst other people in the household who think that it’s possible to do the hoovering or fix the leaky pipe in between answering emails is not only not distracting, but viable and expected. Not to mention the attitudes of people back in the office who think that we home workers spend the day in our pyjamas watching daytime TV.
Their work describes how our web-supported home-working has had an observable impact on leisure time. We become harder on ourselves, and employers keep a closer eye on our output. As the hours we work from home increase, employees report more rather than less work-related stress. After all, it’s still a job and things have to be done.
Strategic identities in cyberspace -
Talamo, A. & Ligorio, B. (2001, Feb). Strategic identities in cyberspace. CyberPsychology and Behavior, 4(1): 109-22.
I leaned on this paper in my Masters in Social Psychology, focussing on the ways that kids use online systems in a similar way as offline systems to develop their sense of self.
This paper aims at describing, according to the recent advances in social psychology and Computer Mediated Communication, how identities are perceived and constructed in cyberspace. All interactions analyzed in this study were performed within “Euroland,” a collaborative virtual environment. The interacting community was composed of students, teachers, and researchers working on a transnational educational project. Practices and dialogues within Euroland are analyzed using an ethnographic and conversational method. A sample of discourses and actions that occurred during 8 months of time, selected according to the research aims, was analyzed. During online connections, users were personified by an “Avatar.” Avatars are able to walk, fly, and look around the virtual world. They are also able to build and manipulate three-dimensional objects, perform virtual actions, and chat with other connected users. Results showed that “Eurolanders” showed and constructed their identities using strategic “positioning” depending on the interactive situation. Identities are thus dynamic and strongly related to the context, created and constantly recreated by the users. It is concluded that specific features offered by the Euroland environment are exploited by the users as resources to play with, while moving from one strategic positioning to another. Cyber identities involve resources given by specific technological tools and by community. The cyber-identity construction process seems to be highly congruent to the advances in the dialogical perspective in psychology, where identities are considered in their conceptualizations as multiple, “multivoiced,” “positioned,” and context-dependent.
EU Kids Online -
Livingstone, S., Hadon, L, Gorzif, A & Olafsson, K. (2011). EU Kids Online. London School of Economics and Political Science.
full text pdf
Six years on from a first report about how kids in the UK use the web (some harrowing accounts about their not-so-critical consumption of content - intel on this is covered here by a long-time-ago-self: notes from the project director’s keynote address at the Association of Internet Researcher’s conference in Chicago in 2005), this is a cross-national study based out of the London School of Economics. It’s not just Europe: also includes comparisons w USA, Russia, Australia & Brazil.
…to enhance knowledge of the experiences and practices of European children and parents regarding risky and safer use of the internet and new online technologies, in order to inform the promotion of a safer online environment for children.
Here are notes & quotes:
big overall sample: 25,000 European children and their parents in 25 countries (1K each).
Internet use is increasingly individualised, privatised an mobile: 9-16 yo internet users spend 88 minutes per day online, on average.. 49% go online in their bedroom, 33% go online via a mobile phone or handheld device.
don’t be afraid of risk:
risky opportunities allow children to experiment online with relationships, intimacy and identity. This is vital for growing up if children are to learn to cope with the adult world
the UK falls into the “higher use, some risk”:
HIgh internet use in a country is rarely associated with low risk; and high risk is rarely associated with low use; rather, across countries, the more use, the more risk
…risk must be distinguished from harm
Children often tell a friend, followed by a parent, when something online upsets them, and they try a range of pro-active strategies online, thought these don’t always work and some children are more fatalistic in their responses to online harm
interes stats associated w “risky behaviours” (NOTE - ALL LESS THAN 50%):
- 40% have looked for new friends on the internet
- 34% have added people to my friends list or address book that i have never met face-to-face
- 16% have pretended to be a different kind of person on the internet from what i really am
- 15% have sent personal information to someone that i have never met face to face
- 14% have sent a photo or video of myself to someone that I have never met face to face
And with regards to social networking sites like Facebook:
- 38% 9-12 yo and 77% 13-16yo have a profile on a social networking site (SNS)
- 20% 9-12yo and 46% 13-16yo use Facebook as their main SNS
- 27% 9-12yo display an incorrect age on their SNS profile
Children surely have the right to use services where many social activities – for governmental, artistic, citizen groups, news,educational offerings and more – take place. But to enable these opportunities, some risks should be further mitigated.
- 29 per cent of 9-12 year olds and 27 per cent of 13-16 year olds have their profile “public”, though this varies according to the country and the SNS used.
- A quarter of SNS users communicate online with people unconnected to their daily lives, including one fifth of 9-12 year olds.
- One fifth of children whose profile is public display their address and/or phone number, twice as many as for those with private profiles.
- One in six 9-12 year olds and one in three 13-16 year olds have more than 100 contacts on their SNS profile.
- Compared with those who do not use SNSs, SNS users are significantly more likely to report seeing sexual images, receiving sexual or bullying messages or meeting online
- contacts offline – though for each risk, the overall incidence is fairly low
Cyberchondria: Studies of the Escalation of Medical Concerns in Web Search -
White, R. W. & Horvitz, E. (2008). Cyberchondria: Studies of the Escalation of Medical Concerns in Web Search. Microsoft Research.
full text pdf
The World Wide Web provides an abundant source of medical information. This information can assist people who are not healthcare professionals to better understand health and illness, and to provide them with feasible explanations for symptoms. However, the Web has the potential to increase the anxieties of people who have little or no medical training, especially when Web search is employed as a diagnostic procedure. We use the term cyberchondria to refer to the unfounded escalation of concerns about common symptomatology, based on the review of search results and literature on the Web. We performed a large-scale, longitudinal, log-based study of how people search for medical information online, supported by a survey of 515 individuals’ healthrelated search experiences. We focused on the extent to which common, likely innocuous symptoms can escalate into the review of content on serious, rare conditions that are linked to the common symptoms. Our results show that Web search engines have the potential to escalate medical concerns. We show that escalation is associated with the amount and distribution of medical content viewed by users, the presence of escalatory terminology in pages visited, and a user’s predisposition to escalate versus to seek more reasonable explanations for ailments. We also demonstrate the persistence of post-session anxiety following escalations and the effect that such anxieties can have on interrupting user’s activities across multiple sessions. Our findings underscore the potential costs and challenges of cyberchondria and suggest actionable design implications that hold opportunity for improving the search and navigation experience for people turning to the Web to interpret common symptoms.
notes and quotes:
great table that breaks down symptom searched for and the likelihood of various causes to come up in search results. In the Health chapter, I write this up like this:
a search for “headache” is as likely to point to “caffeine withdrawal” as “brain tumour” as its cause. The annual incidence rate of brain tumours in the US, where this study was based (although it used the global web as its data pool) is one in ten thousand. And a search for “chest pain”? You’ll more likely discover you’re going to have a heart attack than either indigestion or heartburn.
Of the 515 people they surveyed, they found that the mean number of health related searches their participants performed every month was 10.22. They mostly search for info on symptoms, but almost half search for info on serious medical conditions. 41.7% search for medial diagnoses and 38.1% look for communities with similar conditions.
Most people in their study were pretty balanced about the web. They took what it offered with a grain of salt and didn’t put all their faith into it.
escalation of medical concerns is potentially related to the amount and distribution of medical content viewed by users, the presence of escalatory terminology in pages visited, and a user’s predisposition to escalate or seek more reasonable explanations for ailments
and a recommendation…
Search engine architects have a responsibility to ensure that searchers do not experience unnecessary concern generated by the definitions of relevance and the ranking algorithms their engines use. They must be cognizant of the potential challenges of cyberchondria, and focus on serving medical search results that are reliable, complete, and timely, as well as topically relevant.
The experience of losing our ‘net connection becomes more & more like losing a friend —
Sparrow, B., Liu, J., and Wegner, D. M. (2011, 5 Aug). Google Effects on Memory: Cognitive Consequences of Having Information at Our Fingertips. Science, 333(6043): 776-778.
abstract only, tho I have access via LSE.
The advent of the Internet, with sophisticated algorithmic search engines, has made accessing information as easy as lifting a finger. No longer do we have to make costly efforts to find the things we want. We can “Google” the old classmate, find articles online, or look up the actor who was on the tip of our tongue. The results of four studies suggest that when faced with difficult questions, people are primed to think about computers and that when people expect to have future access to information, they have lower rates of recall of the information itself and enhanced recall instead for where to access it. The Internet has become a primary form of external or transactive memory, where information is stored collectively outside ourselves.
Here are my notes & quotes:
Storing information externally is nothing particularly novel, even before the advent of computers. In any long-term relationship, a teamwork environment, or other ongoing group, people typically develop a group or transactive memory, a combination of memory stores held directly by individuals and the memory stores they can access because they know someone who knows that information… The present research explores whether having online access to search engines, databases, and the like, has become a primary transactive memory source in itself.
results from experiment 1: when asked difficult trivia questions, do people think about computers more quickly?
Although the concept of knowledge in general seems to prime thoughts of computers, even when answers are known, not knowing the answer to general-knowledge questions primes the need to search for the answer, and subsequently computer interference is particularly acute.
results of experiment 2: will people only remember keywords when they think they’ll have access to a computer to look up information int he future?
Participants apparently did not make the effort to remember when they thought they could later look up the trivia statements they had read. Because search engines are continually available to us, we may often be in a state of not feeling we need to encode the information internally. When we need it, we will look it up.
they were more affected about whether they’d be able to look something up later than whether they had to remember it at all.
results of experiment 3: do people remember things better when they know if/where info is saved?
…believing that one won’t have access to the information in the future enhances memory for the information itself, whereas believing the information was saved externally enhances memory for the fact that the information could be accessed, at least in general.
having a search function - on the web or on a computer - means that you won’t use cognitive capacity to remember where you saw it, but knowing something’s been erased will use “memory demands”.
finally, results of experiment 4: do people remember where saved information can be found?
“where” was prioritized in memory, with the advantage going to “where” when “what” was forgotten…This is preliminary evidence that when people expect information to remain continuously available (such as we expect with Internet access), they are more likely to remember where to find it than to remember the details of the item. One could argue that this is an adaptive use of memory—to include the computer and online search engines as an external memory system that can be accessed at will.
and their conclusions:
..processes of human memory are adapting to the advent of new computing and communication technology.
we are learning what the computer “knows” and when we should attend to where we have stored information in our computer based memories. We are becoming symbiotic with our computer tools, growing into interconnected systems that remember less by knowing information than by knowing where the information can be found.
and the kicker:
We have become dependent on [our gadgets] to the same degree we are dependent on all the knowledge we gain from our friends and co-workers—and lose if they are out of touch. The experience of losing our Internet connection becomes more and more like losing a friend.
…a thirst for instant gratification and quick fixes and a lack of patience and deep-thinking ability due to what one referred to as “fast-twitch wiring. —
Imagining the Internet, a 2012 report from Elon University and the Pew Internet and American Life Project.
a kind-of abstract of the relevant attention section
Teens-to-20s to benefit and suffer due to ‘always-on’ lives. From their amazing ability to juggle many tasks to their thirst for instant gratification, survey reveals experts’ hopes and fears
Lots of predictions, little empirical evidence. Fuels the flames more than delivers the research. A survey of the thinkers in this field and their feelings about where it’s all headed.
But no empirical work to back it up.
Written for impact, rather than for balanced argument.