Tag Archives: social media

a twitter icon on a phone

Attacks of Positivity

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ISIS uses some incredibly sophisticated methods that are based in solid cognitive science and persuasive design. They are great at framing their narrative in a way that is engaging and convincing. They hit just the right affective buttons. They leverage powerful cognitive heuristics to anchor, confirm, and solidify their legitimacy in the minds of their prospective recruits and to incite action. It is scary just how good they are at it.

“The best thing to speak against recruitment by Isis are the voices of people who were recruited by Isis, understand what the true experience is, have escaped and have come back to tell the truth … Counter-speech to the speech that is perpetuating hate we think by far is the best answer.”

light saber fight

Life Imitating Art

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This article was sent in by a loyal EID reader. John Cassidy at the New Yorker examines the social media strategy that ISIS has used as a core part of its operations. He concludes that their success is only possible because of the warped reality we get by learning about the world through technology-mediated communication such as social media and the cognitive short-cuts it generates. Most of us see ISIS as much worse than they really are. Their recruits see their solution as something much better than it really is. Much more than anyone seeing them in person would. Their whole operation may not be possible without this.

With the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham, the neofundamentalists, or some of them, have gained a territorial foothold in eastern Syria and northwestern Iraq. But ISIS and other radical groups still rely heavily on information technology. In addition to using the Internet to recruit and to plan attacks, they know they can rely on it to amplify the immediate impact of their atrocities, especially “spectaculars” like the one carried out in Paris. That’s because the virtual community of jihadis and sympathizers that Roy identified isn’t the only one the Internet has created. As the past week and a half has made clear, there is also a global community of virtual witnesses to terrorism—a group of which we are nearly all members.

two guys talking

Ineffective Self Promotion

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Some recent research by Irene Scopelliti and her colleagues should be of real interest. What they found is not only important to those of us who consider ourselves as experts at something for self-protection but also because the social dynamics basis has a lot of human factors to it.

People engage in self-promotional behavior because they want others to hold favorable images of them. Self-promotion, however, entails a tradeoff between conveying one’s positive attributes and being seen as bragging.

a smiling woman

Believing Your Own Self Delusion

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We cover the challenges of deluded thinking a lot here at Ergonomics in Design. Part of the reason is that I am fascinated by the psychological processes that lead to deluded thinking. The other reason of course is that as human factors practitioners we need to be aware of when deluded thinking can impact performance. As you might expect, many people “airbrush” what they post on social media such as Facebook. What makes it more interesting is that we start believing our own deceptions…

a keyboard with social media icons on the buttons

Social Media Research

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Social Media has become a favorite source of data for all kinds of research. User Experience designers involved with social media use their access to vast data sources to make all kinds of conclusions.

To anyone studying humanity, the big data generated by social media can be hard to resist. But that kind of data is often tainted by bias, argues a new paper published in Science, and data scientists and the public should be on alert.

a person and a computer with doves representing peace

HCI for Peace

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When I read this, I just had to share it with you in case you missed it. And as with all of our articles here at EID, to add a few extra tidbits of insight wherever I can. Were you already familiar with the organization HCI for Peace? I wasn’t. The increasing ubiquity of digital devices in people’s lives provides novel opportunities for human-computer interaction (HCI) and user experience professionals to design technologies that promote specific human values. One of those values is peace. At…

red onions

Media Literacy: Protecting Users from Themselves?

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When I first read Baratunde Thurston’s column this month I was driven to post something immediately on my personal blog. Now that I have had some time to reflect upon it (which is the kind of post I like to reserve for you, dear readers), I have a few more thoughtful ideas to share.

While you were busy liking family photos and taking BuzzFeed quizzes, you may not have realized that Facebook, the social network designed by antisocial people, faced one of the most significant threats to a just and verdant world we’ve ever seen: people who think satirical news stories are real…

a view through a gun of a first person shooter game

Games, Training and Gender Bias

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There are a lot of ways to interpret this study and I want to touch on one or two of the ones that can be very valuable to HF/E practitioners.

The study looked at how male and female characters were accepted by other players as a function of their conformity with stereotypical gender roles. They used a first-person shooter game and measured acceptance by having these stereotypical players send friend requests to other players and measuring which ones were accepted…

three men in hazmat suits

Risk Perception, Dread, and Reality

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On today’s episode of NPR’s show The Takeaway, there was an interview of a doctor who had just come back from Liberia where he had been volunteering to help with the Ebola crisis. He had followed all of the precautions, had no symptoms, and had no worries that he was at risk. But his friends were all staying away. At least for 21 days.

After more than a month working in an Ebola treatment unit in Bong County, Liberia, Dr. Levine has come home to the United States. Dr. Levine says that he’s not too worried, but he is frustrated with the Ebola hysteria in the United States. He says that eradicating Ebola worldwide starts with increasing the focus in the worst hit areas of West Africa…

a twitter icon on a phone

Twitter Influencers

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Neil Patel over at the Social Media Examiner had an interesting take on the Pew Research Group’s study of Twitter conversations.

Influencers are the glue of Twitter networks, providing tweet fodder and inspiring passion among followers. Conversations don’t exist without them, and their position within networks is a critical component of their influence…