Three years ago, on his birthday, a law professor watched his e-mail inbox fill with Facebook notifications indicating that friends had posted messages on his wall. The messages made him sad. The clogged inbox was annoying, but what really upset him was having disclosed his birth date to Facebook in the first place. It’s not necessary for social networking or to comply with privacy laws, as some people mistakenly believe. He hadn’t paid much attention when he signed up—as with most electronic contracts, there was no room for negotiation or deliberation about terms. He complied with Facebook’s instructions, entered the data and clicked a button.
A few days later, the law professor decided to change the birth date on his Facebook profile to avoid the same situation next year. But when the fake date rolled around, his inbox again flooded with Facebook notifications. Two of the messages were from close relatives, one of whom he had spoken with on the phone on his actual birthday!
How could she not realize that the date was fake?
Our hypothesis: she’d been programmed!
That law professor was one of us (Brett Frischmann), and it confirmed his suspicions that most people respond automatically to Facebook’s prompts to provide information or contact a friend without really thinking much about it. That’s because digital networked technologies are engineering humans to behave like simple stimulus-response machines.
— source blogs.scientificamerican.com | Brett Frischmann | Jun 21, 2018
Distortions and outright lies by politicians and pundits have become so common that major news outlets like the Associated Press, CNN, BBC, Fox News, and Washington Post routinely assign journalists and fact-checkers to verify claims made during stump speeches and press briefings. The motivation to uncover falsehoods and misleading statements taken out of context is laudable. But when it comes to real-world complexities, the trouble is that people often see different things when looking at the same event, a phenomenon repeatedly documented by psychologists.
Laboratory studies reveal that, when shown a video of a group of protesters, people see either a peaceful protest or an unruly mob blocking pedestrian access, depending on their sociopolitical beliefs. The world outside the lab shows similar biased perception: For example, 68 percent of Republicans consider the videotaped demonstrations in Portland, Ore., Kenosha, Wisc., and New York City to be riots, versus only 30 percent of Democrats, according to a Fox News poll released in September. Journalists and fact-checkers are human beings subject to the same psychological biases as everyone else—and their analyses of what constitute “facts” is affected by their own political and ideological values, resulting in what psychologists term selective perception.
Consider the claim that during an interview with the progressive activist Ady Barkan, Joe Biden stated he favors defunding the police. This allegation has been dismissed as taken
— source scientificamerican.com | J. Stephen Ceci, M. Wendy Williams | Oct 25, 2020
Back in 2004, communication researcher Jeff Hancock and his colleagues had 28 students report the number of social interactions they had via face-to-face communication, the phone, instant messaging and email over seven days. Students also reported the number of times they lied in each social interaction. In Hancock’s study, the most lies per social interaction occurred via the technology with all of these features: the phone. The fewest occurred on email, where people couldn’t communicate synchronously and the messages were recorded.
When Hancock conducted his study, only students at a few select universities could create a Facebook account. The iPhone was in its early stages of development, a highly confidential project nicknamed “Project Purple.”
As in Hancock’s study, people told the most lies per social interaction over media that were synchronous and recordless and when communicators were distant: over the phone or on video chat. They told the fewest lies per social interaction via email.
— source theconversation.com | Nov 9, 2021
Rethinking what causes pain and how great of a threat it is can provide chronic pain patients with lasting relief and alter brain networks associated with pain processing, according to new University of Colorado Boulder-led research. The study, published Sept. 29 in JAMA Psychiatry, found that two-thirds of chronic back pain patients who underwent a four-week psychological treatment called Pain Reprocessing Therapy (PRT) were pain-free or nearly pain-free post-treatment. And most maintained relief for one year. The findings provide some of the strongest evidence yet that a psychological treatment can provide potent and durable relief for chronic pain, which afflicts one in five Americans. Approximately 85% of people with chronic back pain have what is known as “primary pain,” meaning tests are unable to identify a clear bodily source, such as tissue damage.
— source University of Colorado at Boulder | Sep 29, 2021
Every now and then, Adrian Ward likes to test himself against the internet’s most-used search engine.
“There are times when I have the impulse to Google something, and I don’t,” said Ward, who studies psychology as an assistant professor of marketing at the University of Texas at Austin.
“Because,” he said, “I want to see if I can drag that up from memory.”
It’s a challenge that’s familiar to anyone with a smartphone in their pocket who can’t quite remember the year that a favorite album came out or the name of an actor in an old movie. Take out the phone? Or rack the brain?
But that choice is more than a way to test our recollection of trivia. People who lean on a search engine such as Google may get the right
— source nbcnews.com | David Ingram | Dec. 9, 2021
Spanking may affect a child’s brain development in similar ways to more severe forms of violence, according to a new study led by Harvard researchers. The group found that children who had been spanked had a greater neural response in multiple regions of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), including in regions that are part of the salience network. These areas of the brain respond to cues in the environment that tend to be consequential, such as a threat, and may affect decision-making and processing of situations.
corporal punishment has been linked to the development of mental health issues, anxiety, depression, behavioral problems, and substance use disorders. And recent studies show that approximately half of parents in U.S. studies reported spanking their children in the past year and one-third in the past week.
— source Harvard University | Apr 12, 2021
In one of the many letters he wrote to his son in the 1740s, Lord Chesterfield offered the following advice: “There is time enough for everything in the course of the day, if you do but one thing at once, but there is not time enough in the year, if you will do two things at a time.” To Chesterfield, singular focus was not merely a practical way to structure one’s time; it was a mark of intelligence. “This steady and undissipated attention to one object, is a sure mark of a superior genius; as hurry, bustle, and agitation, are the never-failing symptoms of a weak and frivolous mind.”
In modern times, hurry, bustle, and agitation have become a regular way of life for many people — so much so that we have embraced a word to describe our efforts to respond to the many pressing demands on our time: multitasking. Used for decades to describe the parallel processing abilities of computers, multitasking is now shorthand for the human attempt to do simultaneously as many things as possible, as quickly as possible, preferably marshalling the power of as many technologies as possible.
In the late 1990s and early 2000s, one sensed a kind of exuberance about the possibilities of multitasking. Advertisements for new electronic gadgets — particularly the first generation of handheld digital devices — celebrated the notion of using technology to accomplish several things at once. The word multitasking began appearing in the “skills” sections of résumés, as office workers restyled themselves as high-tech, high-performing team players. “We have always multitasked — inability to walk and chew gum is a time-honored cause for derision — but never so intensely or self-consciously as now,” James Gleick wrote in his 1999 book Faster. “We are multitasking connoisseurs — experts in
— source thenewatlantis.com | Christine Rosen | Spring 2008
A new study of online relationship support finds that men tend to experience emotional pain more than women when their relationship takes a turn for the worse. An international team of psychologists led by researchers at Lancaster University conducted the first-ever “big data” analysis of relationship problems. The study began as an attempt to create a map of the most common relationship problems experienced by people outside of clinical and counselling settings. Using natural language processing methods, the team analyzed the demographic and psychological characteristics of over 184,000 people who posted their relationship problems to an anonymous online forum. The researchers were then able to statistically determine the most common themes that came up across each post, creating a “map” of the most common relationship problems.
— source Lancaster University | Nov 1, 2021