Monday, July 8, 2013

Psychology on Facebook

Time for another reminder that we reveal ourselves on Facebook and there is no such thing as a free lunch on Facebook with three articles from LiveScience that I originally included in Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Independence Day Weekend).

Can Facebook Predict Suicide Risks?
Marshall Honorof, TechNewsDaily Staff Writer
Date: 05 July 2013 Time: 06:28 PM ET
If you've been thinking about killing yourself, your social media might give you away. An initiative called the Durkheim Project will use artificial intelligence (AI) algorithms to identify common words and phrases among those who might be contemplating suicide.

The program, which launched on July 2, currently targets only veterans, who have disproportionately high suicide rates. Veterans opt into the Durkheim Project, which installs an app on computers, iOS and Android devices. These apps keep track of what users post and upload it to a medical database. A medical AI monitors the data in real-time, picking out patterns that might lead to self-harm.

The Durkheim Project app monitors content from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, in addition to storing information from a user's mobile device. A database at the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth University will keep track of users' locations and text messages, and will not share any information with third parties. Additionally, the system will be guarded by a firewall to ward off would-be hackers.
High Achievers More Prone to Jealousy on Facebook
By Rachael Rettner, Senior Writer
Date: 05 July 2013 Time: 01:54 PM ET
People who are high-achieving in academics may be more prone to feelings of romantic jealousy than those who are less studious, new research suggests.

In several studies of undergraduate students, researchers found that the higher a student's grade point average (GPA), the greater their levels of "Facebook jealousy" were.

There's no one definition of Facebook jealousy, but it's sometimes referred to as a phenomenon in which misunderstandings on the social network lead to jealousy among people in romantic relationships.
The Kinds of Facebook Posts That Unfairly Cost Workers Jobs
Chad Brooks, BusinessNewsDaily Contributor
Date: 04 July 2013 Time: 05:33 AM ET
If you are using Facebook to screen job candidates, there is a good chance you're not looking for the right things, new research shows.

A study from North Carolina State University found that companies that are using the popular social network to weed out candidates they think have undesirable traits may have a fundamental misunderstanding of online behavior and, as a result, may be eliminating desirable applicants.

Researchers tested 175 study participants to measure the personality traits companies look for in job candidates, including conscientiousness, agreeableness and extroversion. The participants were then surveyed on their Facebook behavior, allowing researchers to see which Facebook behaviors were linked to specific personality traits.
As you can read, Facebook is a rich field for psychological research.  This is great for science, but it's enough to get people to ask is Big Brother watching?  I find another headline from LiveScience appropriate: Forget the NSA: Your Tech Gadgets Are Spying on You.

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