Lazer, D. M. J., Baum, M. A., Benkler, Y., Berinsky, A. J., Greenhill, K. M., Menczer, F., … Zittrain, J. L. (2018). The science of fake news. Science, 359(6380), 1094–1096. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aao2998
Baum and David Lazer, M. A. (2017, May 11). Social media must be held to account on fake news. Winnipeg Free Press (MB). p. A7.
In a paper published in March in the journal Science, David Lazer, Matthew Baum and 14 co-authors consider what we do and don’t know about the science of fake news. They definefake news as “fabricated information that mimics news media content in form but not in organizational process or intent,” and they go on to discuss problems at multiple levels: individual, institutional and societal. What do we know about individuals’ exposure to fake news and its influence upon them? How can Internet platforms help limit the dissemination of fake news? And most fundamentally: How can we succeed in creating and perpetuating a culture that values and promotes truth?
Steven Sloman, professor of cognitive, linguistic and psychological sciences at Brown University, and one of the paper’s 16 authors. Sloman is also author of The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone, a book about the merits and failings of our collaborative minds, published in 2017 with co-author Philip Fernbach.
Sloman, S. A. (2017). The knowledge illusion: Why we never think alone. New York: Riverhead Books.
Throw in LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and region specific social networks like Vkontakte and Sina Weibo and WeChat, and you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who’s online but isn’t on social media.
What has led to the rise of these social networks? What kind of people do they attract?
What is their psychology? What kind of content do they like to consume? And most importantly for bloggers and marketers – what works, what doesn’t on social media?
Facebook has become the ‘home base’ for most people online. While they may or may not use other networks, a majority maintain a presence on Facebook.
Popular: Used by 72% of all adult internet users in America.
More women users: 77% of online female users are on Facebook.
Younger audience: 82% of all online users between 18-29 are on Facebook
USA (14%), India (9%) and Brazil (7%) form the three largest markets.
Twitter’s quick flowing ‘info stream’ attracts an audience that swings younger and is mostly urban/semi-urban.
Younger: Used by 37% of all online users between 18 and 29.
Educated: 54% of users have either graduated college, or have some college experience.
Richer: 54% of online adults who make over $50,000+ are on Twitter.
Younger users: 27% of all 16-24 year olds online are active members of Google+. In contrast, only 18% and 14% of 45-54 and 55-64 year olds are active on Google+ at the moment.
Large non-US user base: Only 55% of Google+ users are American. 18% are Indian and 6% are Brazilian. One reason for this international user base is Android’s popularity outside the US (since Google+ is baked right into Android).
Even income distribution: According to GlobalWebIndex.net, 22% of people in bottom 25% of income earners are on Google+. For the top 25% of income earners, this number is 24%, while for the mid 50% earners, this number is 23%. This means that nearly all levels of income earners are nearly equally represented on Google+.
Here’s what you should know about Pinterest demographics:
Overwhelmingly female: 42% of all online female users are on Pinterest, vs. only 13% of men.
Older audience: 72% of Pinterest’s audience are 30 years or older. Only 34% are between 18 and 29. Significantly, 17% are over 65 years old.
Distinctly suburban: Suburban and rural users form the largest share – 29% and 30% respectively. This is distinctly different from other networks where urban users rule.
Higher income: Given the higher average age, Pinterest users also have higher disposable income, with 64% of all adults making $50,000+ on Pinterest.
The professional networking site LinkedIn attracts an older audience that is largely urban, wealthier, and more educated.
Older: Only 23% of users are between 18-29 years old. 21% are over 65 years, and 31% are between 30 and 49 years of age.
Urban: Very limited number of rural users – only 14%. 61% are either urban or suburban.
Wealthier: 75% of users earn over $50,000.
Highly educated: 50% of LinkedIn users are college graduates. Another 22% have some college experience.
Snapchat is the newest social networks on this list, but also one of the fastest growing. Here’s what you need to know about its demographics:
Dominated by women: 70% of Snapchat’s users are females.
Overwhelmingly young: 71% of users are younger than 25.
Limited income: 62% earn under $50,000 – fitting given the average age of Snapchat’s users.
ere’s what you should take away from all these stats:
If you’re targeting younger users, stick to Instagram, Twitter and Snapchat.
If you’re targeting women with disposable income, head over to Pinterest.
For professionals with better education and income, use LinkedIn.
For everyone, go with Facebook.
The psychology of social media users
Facebook is a ‘closed’ network where your friends list will usually be limited to family, friends and acquaintances you’ve met in real life. Privacy is a big concern for Facebook’s users, and all posts are private by default.
This ultimately affects the way users interact with each other and with businesses on Facebook.
Facebook users are more trusting (since the network is closed).
Facebook users have more close relationships. Pew found that heavy users of the platform are more likely to have a higher number of close relationships.
Facebook users are politically engaged and active.
To understand why people share or follow on Twitter, researchers at Georgia Tech and UMichigan analysed over 500M tweets over 15-months. They found that the three biggest reasons why people share/follow on Twitter are:
Network overlap: Your network is similar to your followers’ network.
User tweet-RT ratio: The number of tweets vs. the number of RTs for a user.
Informational content: The more informative the content, the better.
Wade Harman is a digital business consultant specializing in Social Media Psychology. He is also a keynote speaker and hosts The Social Brain Podcast.
What Do You Mean By, ”Social Media Psychology Strategy”?
ninety-percent of purchasing decisions are made subconsciously and you know that’s a pretty big purchase thing there. Products that evoke emotions, they will always win with your customers.
George Lowenstein says “a major part of our brain is busy with automatic processes, not conscious thinking.” Ain’t that funny?
We all know social media is the front door to our content. But why aren’t they coming in? So if they’re not coming to your – quote unquote ”door”. If they’re not coming to your door, then you’ve not impacted them on a positive psychological level. Social media psychology is the back door.
It’s All About Making An Attractive ”Doorway”
how people clique on Twitter, what causes that clique. What causes that conversion, that lead. Topics like this are what make up social media psychology.
I will be bringing in, like I said certain influencers every month. Talking about their own experiences with social media and blogging content marketing and what have you in these lab classes.
So I needed help with people with large followings. People that had trust with their audience. I needed those people to share my content. So my voice could be heard quicker and so I began to stop blogging so much… I still blog, but I was blogging three time s a week and that’s a lot to blog. That really is.
So I began to understand that I needed to start building relationships. Now I’m blessed to have a lot of different resources at my fingertips. I have built those relationships with a lot of people from average Joe’s like me to influencers like Jay Baer and understand how a small business owner can go and get their voice heard online.
So that’s why there’s a huge need for The Think Tank Community I believe. Not only are we showing you how to target you audience, but we’re also showing you how to wake them up using social media psychology.
my note: do we need a think tank community for educators?
What Do You Do When There’s No More Engagement?
So wake somebody up out of their reticular formation, you target that audience and you already know that, you’ve already done that. You’re going to be an expert on Twitter, okay and so you’re not getting any feed back. You’re not getting any engagement.
So what do you do?
You niche down, you niche down. This is the way you wake these people up. Yes, when you niche down your audience gets a little bit smaller, but you keep nicheing.
DARPA’s holographic imaging system hopes to show objects behind a wall or around a corner – Eraser anyone?
04/28/2016 – 18:21 Kim Cobb
SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering will lead a multi-university team funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to build a theoretical framework for creating a computer-generated image of an object hidden from sight around a corner or behind a wall.
The core of the proposal is to develop a computer algorithm to unscramble the light that bounces off irregular surfaces to create a holographic image of hidden objects.
Similar technologies purused by MS Hololense as reported in this IMS blog entry:
Microsoft’s forthcoming AR headset, HoloLens, is at the forefront of this technology. The company calls it the first holographic computer. In AR, instead of being surrounded by a virtual world, viewers see virtual objects projected on top of reality through a transparent lens.
“With a computer or tablet, we always have to look at a screen. … The technology is always in between the people. With HoloLens, the technology very quickly becomes invisible, and we have seen groups of people have very intense interactions around models that are completely digital — they aren’t really there.”
Virtual reality, like the new Facebook Oculus and HTC Vive, completely immerse you inside a computer generated world. It’s like being inside a 360-degree video game, or movie, or computer-generated simulation.
according to a report in The Information today, Google’s long-term bet is on augmented reality. The company is making not one but several follow-ups to Glass, and has a project called “Tango” that aims to outfit smartphones with computerized “eyes” that can map a 3D space.
Microsoft’s HoloLens prototype has all the innards of a computer built directly into the headset. That means no cords or even a smartphone required.
Just as VR rivals Oculus (owned by Facebook) and Google are trying to reimagine virtual experiences with their head-worn devices, Microsoft wants us to imagine a world without screens, where information merely floats in front of you.
In his book, “Experience on Demand,” Jeremy Bailenson, the founding director of Stanford University’s Virtual Human Interaction Lab, writes, “No medium, of course can fully capture the subjective experience of another person, but by richly evoking a real-seeming, first-person experience, virtual reality does seem to promise to offer new, empathy-enhancing qualities.” Bailenson contrasts experiencing virtual reality with reading news accounts and watching documentaries. Those latter activities, he writes, require “a lot of imaginative work,” whereas virtual reality can “convey the feeling” of, say, a refugee camp’s environment, and the “smallness of the living quarters, the size of the camp.”
Caldwell—who used Google Expeditions to deliver a virtual reality experience set in the Holocaust—says that when his students first put on the goggles, they viewed them as a novelty. But within a minute or two, the students became quiet, absorbed in what they were seeing; they realized the “reality of the horror of what was in front of them.” Questions ensued.
Ron Berger, the Chief Academic Officer of EL Education, points to another factor schools should consider. He thinks virtual reality can be a powerful way to introduce kids to situations that require empathy or adopting different perspectives. However, he thinks no one tool or experience will bring results unless it is “nested in a broader framework of a vision and goals and relationships.”
Berger says virtual reality experiences have to be accompanied by work beforehand and follow-up afterwards. Kids, he says, need to be reflective and think critically.
immersion experiences like virtual reality should be “embedded in positive” adult and peer relationships. He adds that ideally, there’s also a resulting action where kids do something productive with the information they’ve learned, to help their own growth and to help others. He mentions an example where students interviewed local immigrants and refugees, then wrote the stories they heard. They published the stories in a book, and the profits went to legal fees for local refugees.
saving virtual reality for “very special experiences,” keeping it “relatively short” and not getting students dizzy or disoriented. A report Bailenson co-authored for Common Sense Media highlights the research that has—and has not—explored the effects of virtual reality on children. It states that the “potentially negative outcomes of VR include impacts on children’s sensory systems and vision, aggression, and unhealthy amounts of escapism and distraction from the physical world.”
The Brain Science Is In: Students’ Emotional Needs Matter
What the neuro-, cognitive, and behavioral research says about social-emotional learning
• Malleability: Genes are not destiny. Our developing brains are largely shaped by our environments and relationships—a process that continues into adulthood.
• Context: Family, relationships, and lived experiences shape the physiological structure of our brains over time. Healthy amounts of challenge and adversity promote growth, but toxic stress takes a toll on the connections between the hemispheres of our brain.
• Continuum: While we’ve become familiar with the exponential development of the brain for young children, it continues throughout life. The explosion of brain growth into adolescence and early adulthood, in particular, requires putting serious work into much more intentional approaches to supporting that development than is common today.
Social media platforms are using the same techniques as gambling firms to create psychological dependencies and ingrain their products in the lives of their users, experts warn.
atasha Schüll, the author of Addiction by Design, which reported how slot machines and other systems are designed to lock users into a cycle of addiction.
Whether it’s Snapchat streaks, Facebook photo-scrolling, or playing CandyCrush, Schüll explained, you get drawn into “ludic loops” or repeated cycles of uncertainty, anticipation and feedback — and the rewards are just enough to keep you going.
However, the number of monthly active users of Facebook hit 2.13 billion earlier this year, up 14% from a year ago. Despite the furore around its data privacy issues, the social media monolith posted record revenues for the first quarter of 2018, making $11.97bn, up 49% on last year.