Every two days now we create as much information as we did from the dawn of civilization up until 2003, according to Schmidt. That’s something like five exabytes of data, he says. https://techcrunch.com/2010/08/04/schmidt-data/
The Internet of Things (IoT), which excludes PCs, tablets and smartphones, will grow to 26 billion units installed in 2020 representing an almost 30-fold increase from 0.9 billion in 2009, according to Gartner, Inc. Gartner said that IoT product and service suppliers will generate incremental revenue exceeding $300 billion, mostly in services, in 2020. It will result in $1.9 trillion in global economic value-add through sales into diverse end markets. https://www.gartner.com/newsroom/id/2636073
The June 2018 edition of the Ericsson Mobility Report takes a closer look at the trends that will drive the mobile industry over the next five years, with major milestones including the first commercial launches of 5G networks and large-scale deployments of cellular IoT. By 2023, we now estimate around 3.5 billion cellular IoT connections. Meanwhile, 5G will kick off with enhanced mobile broadband as its first use case; by the end of 2023, there will be 1 billion 5G subscriptions. Securing the right spectrum for 5G in low, mid and high bands is especially important in the near-term future.
Humans must become cyborgs if they are to stay relevant in a future dominated by artificial intelligence. That was the warning from Tesla founder Elon Musk, speaking at an event in Dubai this weekend. Musk argued that as artificial intelligence becomes more sophisticated, it will lead to mass unemployment. “There will be fewer and fewer jobs that a robot can’t do better,” he said at the World Government Summit.
How your brain is organized
Homo sapiens rules the world because it is the only animal that can believe in things that exist purely in its own imagination, such as gods, states, money and human rights.
Starting from this provocative idea, Sapiens goes on to retell the history of our species from a completely fresh perspective. It explains that money is the most pluralistic system of mutual trust ever devised; that capitalism is the most successful religion ever invented; that the treatment of animals in modern agriculture is probably the worst crime in history; and that even though we are far more powerful than our ancient ancestors, we aren’t much happier.
Humans have many cognitive skills not possessed by their nearest primate relatives. The cultural intelligence hypothesis argues that this is mainly due to a species-specific set of social-cognitive skills, emerging early in ontogeny, for participating and exchanging knowledge in cultural groups. We tested this hypothesis by giving a comprehensive battery of cognitive tests to large numbers of two of humans’ closest primate relatives, chimpanzees and orangutans, as well as to 2.5-year-old human children before literacy and schooling.
As humans, we aren’t born with formidable armaments or defenses, nor are we the strongest, fastest, or biggest species, yet despite this we are amazingly successful. For a long time it was thought that this success was because our enlarged brains allows each of us to be smarter than our competitors: better at abstract thinking, better with tools and better at adapting our behavior to those of our prey and predators. But are these really the most significant skills our brains provide us with?
This study is interesting because it adds to the mounting evidence that modern human behavior emerged early in our species’ history. This was not the view a couple decades ago. At that time, there appeared to be a big gap between when Homo sapiens evolved, sometime between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago, and when they started to act modern.
Fiction has enabled us not merely to imagine things, but to do so collectively. We can weave common myths such as the biblical creation story, the Dreamtime myths of Aboriginal Australians, and the nationalist myths of modern states. Such myths give Sapiens the unprecedented ability to cooperate flexibly in large numbers. Ants and bees can also work together in huge numbers, but they do so in a very rigid manner and only with close relatives. Wolves and chimpanzees cooperate far more flexibly than ants, but they can do so only with small numbers of other individuals that they know intimately.
The human brain is the central organ of the human nervous system, and with the spinal cord makes up the central nervous system. The brain consists of the cerebrum, the brainstem and the cerebellum. It controls most of the activities of the body, processing, integrating, and coordinating the information it receives from the sense organs, and making decisions as to the instructions sent to the rest of the body.
The triune brain is a model of the evolution of the vertebrate forebrain and behavior, proposed by the American physician and neuroscientist Paul D. MacLean. MacLean originally formulated his model in the 1960s and propounded it at length in his 1990 book The Triune Brain in Evolution. The triune brain consists of the reptilian complex, the paleomammalian complex (limbic system), and the neomammalian complex (neocortex), viewed as structures sequentially added to the forebrain in the course of evolution.
Thinking or reasoning is performed by the frontal lobe of the cerebral cortex, and this is what distinguishes you as the most advanced and superior creature on the planet earth. Cognition or intellect is that capacity of human beings which enables them to challenge social or religious beliefs and verify facts.
Across a sample of 123 countries, we examined the association between the fulfillment of needs and subjective well-being (SWB), including life evaluation, positive feelings, and negative feelings. Need fulfillment was consistently associated with SWB across world regions. Life evaluation was most associated with fulfilling basic needs; positive feelings were most associated with social and respect needs; and negative feelings were most associated with basic, respect, and autonomy needs.
Two hundred seventy-six young people between the ages of 18 and 25 in committed relationships completed survey questions about ways they connect with their partners using technology. Actor and partner effects were obtained. A measure of attachment behaviors in relationships was tested as a mediator. Results indicate that attachment behaviors were universally associated with relationship satisfaction and stability for both men and women. No significant associations were found with social networking sites.
In the early days of the Internet, both conventional wisdom and scholarship deemed online communication a threat to well-being. Later research has complicated this picture, offering mixed evidence about how technology-mediated communication affects users. With the dawn of social network sites, this issue is more important than ever. A close examination of the extensive body of research on social network sites suggests that conflicting results can be reconciled by a single theoretical approach: the interpersonal-connection-behaviors framework.
The average Facebook user spends almost an hour on the site every day, according to data provided by the company last year. A Deloitte survey found that for many smartphone users, checking social media apps are the first thing they do in the morning – often before even getting out of bed. Of course, social interaction is a healthy and necessary part of human existence. Thousands of studies have concluded that most human beings thrive when they have strong, positive relationships with other human beings.
Repeated or chronic activation of stress systems has consistently been linked to negative physical and mental health outcomes (Goldstein & McEwen, 2002; McEwen & Seeman, 1999; Tsigos & Chrousos, 2002). Although research has focused on identifying possible predictors and moderators of acute stress, less is known about the role of emotions. Recent findings suggest that shame, in particular, may predict activation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis
“Growing evidence suggests that early social deprivation impacts the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis… Post-institutionalized and post-foster care children exhibited less steep diurnal cortisol compared to non-adopted same-aged peers; these differences did not diminish across the two year period.”
“Neuroplasticity…is the ability of the brain to change throughout an individual’s life… Research in the latter half of the 20th century showed that many aspects of the brain can be altered even through adulthood… Behavior, environmental stimuli, thought, and emotions may cause neuroplastic change through activity-dependent plasticity, which has significant implications for healthy development, learning, [and] memory”
“Your brain might make new nerve cells well into old age. Healthy people in their 70s have just as many young nerve cells, or neurons, in a memory-related part of the brain as do teenagers and young adults… The discovery suggests that the hippocampus keeps generating new neurons throughout a person’s life.”
“This groundbreaking work by Denmark’s leading science writer draws on psychology, evolutionary biology, information theory, and other disciplines to argue its revolutionary point: that consciousness represents only an infinitesimal fraction of our ability to process information. Although we are unaware of it, our brains sift through and discard billions of pieces of data in order to allow us to understand the world around us.”
“The time of subjectively registered urge to move (W) constituted the central point of most Libet-style experiments. It is therefore crucial to verify the W validity. Our experiment was based on the assumption that the W time is inferred, rather than introspectively perceived… the apparent difference between W and M values is in fact caused by the subjects’ previous experience with M measurements.”
“Dual process theory provides an account of how thought can arise in two different ways, or as a result of two different processes. Often, the two processes consist of an implicit (automatic), unconscious process and an explicit (controlled), conscious process. Dual process theories can be found in social, personality, cognitive, and clinical psychology. It has also been linked with economics via prospect theory and behavioral economics, and increasingly in sociology through cultural analysis.”
Nobel prize lecture by Kahneman, who won the Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences in 2002 for his work related to rational choice models.
“Business Insider recently sifted through a pile of research to create the infographic below, which highlights 20 of the most common cognitive biases that can lead to bad decision-making, including the idea that the more information you have, the more likely you are to make the smartest choice.”
“On the phenomenological view, a minimal form of self-consciousness is a constant structural feature of conscious experience… In the most basic sense of the term, self-consciousness is not something that comes about the moment one attentively inspects or reflectively introspects one’s experiences… Rather, these different kinds of self-consciousness are to be distinguished from the pre-reflective self-consciousness which is present whenever I am living through or undergoing an experience, i.e., whenever I am consciously perceiving the world.”
“Consciousness — the internal dialogue that seems to govern one’s thoughts and actions — is far less powerful than people believe, serving as a passive conduit rather than an active force that exerts control”
“Global workspace theory (GWT) is a simple cognitive architecture that has been developed to account qualitatively for a large set of matched pairs of conscious and unconscious processes… GWT resembles the concept of working memory, and is proposed to correspond to a “momentarily active, subjectively experienced” event in working memory.”
“It is widely agreed that experience arises from a physical basis, but we have no good explanation of why and how it so arises. Why should physical processing give rise to a rich inner life at all? It seems objectively unreasonable that it should, and yet it does. If any problem qualifies as the problem of consciousness, it is this one.”
“The knowledge argument aims to establish that conscious experience involves non-physical properties. It rests on the idea that someone who has complete physical knowledge about another conscious being might yet lack knowledge about how it feels to have the experiences of that being.”
“The recent appearance of various social networking tools, and their adoption at a virtually explosive rate, nicely illustrate the strong and fundamental human desire for social belonging and interpersonal exchange…a person’s behavioral and brain responses to social information can be importantly altered if social brain development and skill acquisition do not occur in a protected setting.”
Neurotransmitters, hormones and decision making
“Dopamine inspires us to take actions to meet our needs and desires – anything from turning up the heating to satisfying a craving to spin a roulette wheel – by anticipating how we will feel after they’re met.”
“When we engage in an activity that keeps us alive or helps us pass on our genes, neurons in the reward system squirt out a chemical messenger called dopamine, giving us a little wave of satisfaction and encouraging us to make a habit of enjoying hearty meals and romps in the sack.”
“Tech companies understand what causes dopamine surges in the brain and they lace their products with ‘hijacking techniques’ that lure us in and create ‘compulsion loops’.”
“During gambling, players experience a range of cognitive distortions that promote an overestimation of the chances of winning. Near-miss outcomes are thought to fuel these distortions.(..) These results demonstrate that near-miss events during gambling recruit reward-related brain circuitry in regular players. An association with gambling severity in the midbrain suggests that near-miss outcomes may enhance dopamine transmission in disordered gambling, which extends neurobiological similarities between pathological gambling and drug addiction.”
“The most widely accepted theory of what mesolimbic dopamine is supposed to do concerns its role as a feedback signal for predicting rewards. The theory goes that, a bit like me, it’s the nerd at the pool party who gives a running commentary on how well you’re doing with the temptations on offer. If you get lucky, a surge of dopamine signals a success, but – and this is where the “pleasure chemical” idea breaks down – it also signals when you only manage an uncomfortable near-miss.”
“Oxytocine levels at the first assessment differentiated couples who stayed together six months later from those who separated during this period.“
“…a long-running study out of Harvard suggests that one of the most important predictors of whether you age well and live a long and happy life is not the amount of money you amass or notoriety you receive. A much more important barometer of long term health and well-being is the strength of your relationships with family, friends and spouses.”
“The mother’s oxytocin response was positively associated with the duration of time her gaze was directed toward her infant, while negatively associated with the frequency with which her gaze shifted away from her infant. Importantly, mothers who showed low/average oxytocin response demonstrated a significant decrease in their gaze toward their infants during periods of infant distress, while such change was not observed in mothers with high oxytocin response.“
“Overall, we found that parents with problems managing their mobile device use were more likely to experience technoference during time with their child, and this technoference in the parent-child relationship was linked with more child internalizing (e.g., anxiety, depression) and externalizing (e.g., hyperactivity, disruptive behavior) problems.”
“Many mothers perceived that technology interrupted coparenting interactions on occasion, especially during unstructured parenting such as playtime. Mothers rating more interference reported worse coparenting, relationship satisfaction, and depressive symptoms. Technology interference predicted coparenting even after controlling for relationship satisfaction and depressive symptoms. Technology interference likely decreases coordination between parents, leaving some mothers feeling frustrated.“
“It appears ego depletion may be just another example of the way belief drives behavior. Thinking we’re spent makes us feel worse, while rewarding ourselves with an indulgence makes us feel better.”
“In follow-up studies, the researchers found that children who were able to wait longer for the preferred rewards tended to have better life outcomes, as measured by SAT scores, educational attainment, body mass index (BMI), and other life measures. A replication attempt with a more diverse sample population over 10 times larger than the original study failed to support the original study’s conclusions and suggested that economic background rather than willpower explained the results.”
“Ultimately, the new study finds limited support for the idea that being able to delay gratification leads to better outcomes. Instead, it suggests that the capacity to hold out for a second marshmallow is shaped in large part by a child’s social and economic background—and, in turn, that that background, not the ability to delay gratification, is what’s behind kids’ long-term success.”
“Now we know that all your neurons are firing constantly, stimulating one another at various rates. This intrinsic brain activity is one of the great recent discoveries in neuroscience. Even more compelling is what this brain activity represents: millions of predictions of what you will encounter next in the world, based on your lifetime of past experience.”
“Analyzing more than 120 management papers, we found that there are three main reasons why people occasionally lose self-control: 1) self-control is a finite cognitive resource; 2) different types of self-control tap the same pool of self-control resources; and 3) exerting self-control can negatively affect future self-control if it is not replenished.“
“Predictions made by the self-control strength model were tested in a sample of underage social drinkers using ecological momentary assessment methodology. On days that participants experienced more self-control demands than average, they were more likely to violate their self-imposed drinking limit after controlling for mood and urge to drink. There was no relationship between self-control demands and urge or intention to drink, nor were self-control demands related to plans to limit drinking. When individuals planned to limit their alcohol intake, they were more affected by self-control demands than when they did not plan to limit their alcohol intake. Trait self-control moderated these relationships. Consistent with the self-control strength model, it appears that exerting self-control in nondrinking areas undermines individuals’ capacity to exert self-control of drinking in daily life.”
“The research presented in this paper provides evidence that heavier investment in mobile devices is correlated with a relatively weaker tendency to delay gratification (as measured by a delay discounting task) and a greater inclination toward impulsive behavior (i.e., weaker impulse control, assessed behaviorally and through self-report) but is not related to individual differences in sensitivity to reward.”
“The analysis showed the following: People with lower self-control found it significantly harder not to react to the smartphone signal immediately.“
“The study of 376 Korean university students found that avoidant attachment was indirectly linked to smartphone addiction. People with higher levels of avoidant attachment tended to have lower self-esteem and more anxiety, which in turn was associated with smartphone addiction.”
How technology interacts with your brain
“The market shows no sign of slowing down, as over a third of the world’s population is projected to own a smartphone by 2017, and the number of smartphone users is forecast to pass the 2.7 billion mark for the first time by 2019.“
“Among the key findings from this study were that when iPhone users were unable to answer their ringing iPhone during a word search puzzle, heart rate and blood pressure increased, self-reported feelings of anxiety and unpleasantness increased, and self-reported extended self and cognition decreased. These findings suggest that negative psychological and physiological outcomes are associated with iPhone separation and the inability to answer one’s ringing iPhone during cognitive tasks.”
“A New York friend used to send me clever, well-thought-out emails, gems of sprightly prose. Then he switched to texting, which abbreviated his wit and style. Now all verbs and nouns have vanished; he sends emojis, the worst thing to happen to communication in our time.”
In fact, they think the idea that attention spans are getting shorter is plain wrong.”I don’t think that’s true at all,” says Dr Gemma Briggs, a psychology lecturer at the Open University. “Simply because I don’t think that that’s something that psychologists or people interested in attention would try and measure and quantify in that way.”
“The duration of short-term memory (when rehearsal or active maintenance is prevented) is believed to be in the order of seconds. The most commonly cited capacity is The Magical Number Seven, Plus or Minus Two (which is frequently referred to as Miller’s Law), despite the fact that Miller himself stated that the figure was intended as “little more than a joke” (Miller, 1989, page 401) and that Cowan (2001) provided evidence that a more realistic figure is 4±1 units. In contrast, long-term memory can hold the information indefinitely.”
“New research conducted by British psychologists shows that young adults use their smartphones roughly twice as much as they estimate that they do. In fact, the small preliminary study found that these young adults used their phones an average of five hours a day — that’s roughly one-third of their total waking hours.”
“Eighty percent of the people who responded to a National Safety Council survey said they are not aware of the driver distraction and crash risks associated with using hands-free cell phones.”
“Michigan State University conducted a study in which participants were asked to perform a sequence-based task on a computer. Researchers found that interruptions of roughly three seconds doubled the error rate of the task. Interruptions of four-and-a-half seconds tripled the number of errors.”
“Our data suggests that people compensate for interruptions by working faster, but this comes at a price: experiencing more stress, higher frustration, time pressure and effort.”
“We found people switched these activities on average of every three minutes and five seconds. Roughly half of them are self-interruptions. That’s to me an endless source of fascination: why do people self-interrupt? I do that all the time.”
“Among nurses at 2 hospitals, the occurrence and frequency of interruptions were significantly associated with the incidence of procedural failures and clinical errors.”
“This article has provided, through reference to recent research, insights into the ways that people are using their mobile phones in their everyday lives and in particular it has explored and examined the concept of emotional attachment to the mobile phone. “
“If you were going to give advice for a happy adolescence based on this survey, it would be straightforward: Put down the phone, turn off the laptop, and do something—anything—that does not involve a screen. Of course, these analyses don’t unequivocally prove that screen time causes unhappiness; it’s possible that unhappy teens spend more time online. But recent research suggests that screen time, in particular social-media use, does indeed cause unhappiness.”
How the tech industry captures your attention
“In 1997, during his final year as a doctoral student, Fogg spoke at a conference in Atlanta on the topic of how computers might be used to influence the behaviour of their users. He noted that “interactive technologies” were no longer just tools for work, but had become part of people’s everyday lives: used to manage finances, study and stay healthy. Yet technologists were still focused on the machines they were making rather than on the humans using those machines. What, asked Fogg, if we could design educational software that persuaded students to study for longer or a financial-management programme that encouraged users to save more? Answering such questions, he argued, required the application of insights from psychology.”
“The Fogg Behavior Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and a Prompt. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.”
“Along with being the most popular social media site, Facebook users also visit the site with high levels of frequency. Fully 74% of Facebook users say they visit the site daily, with around half (51%) saying they do several times a day. The share of Facebook users who visit the site on a daily basis is statistically unchanged compared with 2016, when 76% of Facebook users reported they visited the site daily.”
“Using a broad taxonomy of performance that incorporates a theoretical framework for distinguishing between constructs shows promise for identifying which personality traits are important for which aspects of work role performance.”
“On the same day, a then little-known British company based in London sent out a press release: “We are thrilled that our revolutionary approach to data-driven communication has played such an integral part in President-elect Trump’s extraordinary win,” Alexander James Ashburner Nix was quoted as saying. Nix is British, 41 years old, and CEO of Cambridge Analytica.“
“Multivariate testing is a technique for testing a hypothesis in which multiple variables are modified. The goal of multivariate testing is to determine which combination of variations performs the best out of all of the possible combinations.”
“Personalized search results are the results a user sees in a search engine that aren’t just based on the traditional ranking factors (such as the relevance of the web pages to the search term or their authority), but also on the information that the search engine has about the user at the given time, such as their location, search history, demographics, or interests. Although widely debated, the purpose of personalized search is to increase the relevance of the results for the particular user.”
“Google has abused its dominance as a search engine by giving illegal advantages to another Google product, its shopping comparison service,” Commissioner Margrethe Vestager told reporters.
The adverse effects of technology capture (DFRAG)
“The survey analysis produced two major findings that illustrate the complex interplay of digital technology and stress: Overall, frequent internet and social media users do not have higher levels of stress. In fact, for women, the opposite is true for at least some digital technologies. Holding other factors constant, women who use Twitter, email and cellphone picture sharing report lower levels of stress. At the same time, the data show there are circumstances under which the social use of digital technology increases awareness of stressful events in the lives of others. Especially for women, this greater awareness is tied to higher levels of stress and it has been called “the cost of caring.” Stress is not associated with the frequency of people’s technology use, or even how many friends users have on social media platforms. But there is one way that people’s use of digital technology can be linked to stress: Those users who feel more stress are those whose use of digital tech is tied to higher levels of awareness of stressful events in others’ lives. This finding about “the cost of caring” adds to the evidence that stress is contagious.4”
“ For Facebook users, gender differences were examined and females were more likely than males to report spending more time on Facebook than intended (p less than 0.0001); often losing sleep because of Facebook (p less than 0.0001); feeling closer to Facebook friends than those seen daily (p less than 0.0001); that Facebook pictures cause negative self body image (p less than 0.05); that Facebook use sometimes causes stress (p less than 0.05), and sometimes feeling addicted to Facebook (p less than 0.001). This research is important to better understand effect of social networking use on emotional health and to learn ways to help young adults deal with stressors that may accompany social networking use.”
“The results revealed that participants’ state self-esteem and relative self-evaluations were lower when the target person’s profile contained upward comparison information (e.g., a high activity social network, healthy habits) than when the target person’s profile contained downward comparison information (e.g., a low activity social network, unhealthy habits).“
“It’s clear that in many areas, not enough is known yet to draw many strong conclusions. However, the evidence does point one way: social media affects people differently, depending on pre-existing conditions and personality traits.”
“More frequent use of digital media may be associated with development of ADHD symptoms; further research is needed to assess whether this association is causal.”
“The findings indicate that Social Networking Sites (SNS)s are predominantly used for social purposes, mostly related to the maintenance of established offline networks. Moreover, extraverts appear to use social networking sites for social enhancement, whereas introverts use it for social compensation, each of which appears to be related to greater usage, as does low conscientiousness and high narcissism. Negative correlates of SNS usage include the decrease in real life social community participation and academic achievement, as well as relationship problems, each of which may be indicative of potential addiction.”
“The authors conclude that “it may be plausible to speak specifically of ‘Facebook Addiction Disorder’…because addiction criteria, such as neglect of personal life, mental preoccupation, escapism, mood modifying experiences, tolerance and concealing the addictive behavior, appear to be present in some people who use [social networks] excessively.”
“A study a few years ago from Swansea University found that people experienced the psychological symptoms of withdrawal when they stopped using (this went for all internet use, not just social media). Their recent follow-up study found that when people stop using, they also undergo small but measurable physiological effects. “
“One study a few years ago found that Facebook use was linked to both less moment-to-moment happiness and less life satisfaction—the more people used Facebook in a day, the more these two variables dropped off.“
“Another study found that social media use is linked to greater feelings of social isolation. The team looked at how much people used 11 social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Vine, Snapchat and Reddit, and correlated this with their “perceived social isolation.” Not surprisingly, it turned out that the more time people spent on these sites, the more socially isolated they perceived themselves to be. And perceived social isolation is one of the worst things for us, mentally and physically.”
“One study looked at how we make comparisons to others posts, in “upward” or “downward” directions—that is, feeling that we’re either better or worse off than our friends. It turned out that both types of comparisons made people feel worse, which is surprising, since in real life, only upward comparisons (feeling another person has it better than you) makes people feel bad. But in the social network world, it seems that any kind of comparison is linked to depressive symptoms.”
“The social media users also revealed the contexts in which their last experience of envy had taken place: Just over 70% said it was in real life, but about 20% said it while using Facebook (FB) per se. “This magnitude of envy incidents taking place on FB alone is astounding,” the authors write, “providing evidence that FB offers a breeding ground for invidious feelings.” They also describe what they call the “self-promotion – envy spiral,” in which users who feel envious of their social media friends beef up their own profiles in response, creating a vicious cycle, in which “the envy-ridden character of the platform climate can become even more pronounced.”
“Confirming full mediation, we demonstrate that passive following exacerbates envy feelings, which decrease life satisfaction. From a provider’s perspective, our findings signal that users frequently perceive Facebook as a stressful environment , which may, in the long-run, endanger platform sustainability.”
“Looking to another popular online activity, use of social networking sites, longitudinal research found that too much time spent on this activity might have some negative impact on mental well-being (McDool et al., 2016). Exploring the relationship between time spent on social networking sites and mental well-being further, an experimental study found that passive Facebook usage, meaning passively browsing news feeds or looking at friends’ pages and pictures without interacting with others, led to a decrease in well-being by enhancing feelings of envy (Verduyn et al., 2015). This might explain why some studies of young adults (e.g. Kross et al., 2013; Chou and Edge, 2012) have found a negative association between using social networking sites and well-being; as profiles on social networking sites are often used to craft and convey a positive image of a person, this might influence our perceptions of other people and their lives and lead to feelings of envy or inadequacy”
“The thought process was all about, ‘How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?’,” he said. “And that means that we need to sort of give you a little dopamine hit every once in a while, because someone liked or commented on a photo or a post or whatever, and that’s going to get you to contribute more content, and that’s going to get you more likes and comments. It’s a social validation feedback loop. … You’re exploiting a vulnerabilty in human psychology.” Parker went on: “I think the inventors, creators—it’s me, it’s Mark [Zuckerberg], it’s Kevin Systrom at Instagram, it’s all of these people—understood this, consciously. And we did it anyway.”
“Chamath Palihapitiya, who was vice-president for user growth at Facebook before he left the company in 2011, said: “The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops that we have created are destroying how society works. No civil discourse, no cooperation, misinformation, mistruth.”
“Business Insider recently sifted through a pile of research to create the infographic below, which highlights 20 of the most common cognitive biases that can lead to bad decision-making, including the idea that the more information you have, the more likely you are to make the smartest choice.”
“Our analyses do not support a causal association between MMR vaccine and autism. If such an association occurs, it is so rare that it could not be identified in this large regional sample.”
“People rationalize the choices they make when confronted with difficult decisions by claiming they never wanted the option they did not choose. (…) These findings suggest the characteristic rationalization processes that are associated with decision-making may be engaged very quickly at the moment of the decision, without extended deliberation and may involve reappraisal-like emotion regulation processes.”
The study, presented in Boston at the annual meeting of the Association for Psychological Science, analyzes data on empathy among almost 14,000 college students over the last 30 years. “We found the biggest drop in empathy after the year 2000,” said Sara Konrath, a researcher at the U-M Institute for Social Research. “College kids today are about 40 percent lower in empathy than their counterparts of 20 or 30 years ago, as measured by standard tests of this personality trait.”
“Key to understanding how empathy plays out neurologically is the emerging role of mirror neurons. Discovered in primates in the 1990s by Giacomo Rizzolatti, working with Leonardo Fogassi and Vittorio Gallese at the University of Parma, Italy, mirror neurons are:
…a set of neurons in the premotor area of the brain that are activated not only when performing an action oneself, but also while observing someone else perform that action. It is believed mirror neurons increase an individual’s ability to understand the behaviors of others, an important skill in social species such as humans. (Iacoboni et. al. 2005)”
“The aim of the present study was to investigate the relationship among the following in adults: use of a highly popular social networking site—Facebook, empathy, and narcissism. The findings indicated that some Facebook activities, such as chatting, were linked to aspects of empathic concern, such as higher levels of Perspective Taking in males. The Photo feature in Facebook was also linked to better ability to place themselves in fictional situations. For only the females, viewing videos was associated with the extent to which they could identify with someone’s distress. The data also indicated that certain aspects of Facebook use, such as the photo feature, were linked to narcissism. However, the overall pattern of findings suggests that social media is primarily a tool for staying connected, than for self-promotion.”
“Empathy depends on your ability to overcome your own perspective, appreciate someone else’s, and step into their shoes. Self-control is essentially the same skill, except that those other shoes belong to your future self—a removed and hypothetical entity who might as well be a different person. So think of self-control as a kind of temporal selflessness. It’s Present You taking a hit to help out Future You.”
“Both implicit and explicit measures revealed that participants who read about wizards psychologically became wizards, whereas those who read about vampires psychologically became vampires. The results also suggested that narrative collective assimilation is psychologically meaningful and relates to the basic human need for connection.”
“Published by the journal Psychological Science, the study found that participants who read the Harry Potter chapters self-identified as wizards, whereas participants who read the Twilight chapter self-identified as vampires. And “belonging” to these fictional communities actually provided the same mood and life satisfaction people get from affiliations with real-life groups. “The current research suggests that books give readers more than an opportunity to tune out and submerge themselves in fantasy worlds. Books provide the opportunity for social connection and the blissful calm that comes from becoming a part of something larger than oneself for a precious, fleeting moment,” Gabriel and Young write.”
“Moreover, there is good reason to think that smartphones and social media may have positive effects as well as negative effects. Routinely feeling connected to your social peers could have beneficial effects. Clive Thompson has written an entire bookreviewing the evidence that technology may be amplifying our intelligence, our productivity, and our “ambient awareness” of each other’s worlds.“
– Adolescent girls are just as likely, if not more likely than boys to experience cyberbullying (as a victim and offender) (Floros et al., 2013; Kowalski et al., 2008; Hinduja & Patchin, 2009; Schneider et al., 2012)
– Cyberbullying is related to low self-esteem, suicidal ideation, anger, frustration, and a variety of other emotional and psychological problems (Brighi et al., 2012; Hinduja & Patchin, 2010; Kowalski & Limber, 2013; Patchin & Hinduja, 2010; Wang, Nansel, & Iannotti, 2011)
– Cyberbullying is related to other issues in the ‘real world’ including school problems, anti-social behavior, substance use, and delinquency (Hinduja & Patchin, 2007; Hinduja & Patchin, 2008; Kowalski & Limber, 2013)
– Traditional bullying is still more common than cyberbullying (Lenhart, 2007; Smith et al., 2008; Wang, Nansel, & Iannotti, 2011)
– Traditional bullying and cyberbullying are closely related: those who are bullied at school are bullied online and those who bully at school bully online (Hinduja & Patchin, 2009; Kowalski & Limber, 2013; Ybarra, Diener-West, & Leaf, 2007).