Ep 221: The Facebook Experiment: Reaction from Psychologists

Facebook Experiment on Social ContagionYou may have heard that Facebook manipulated the content of user’s New Feeds during January of 2012 so that some users saw more positive posts than others, which other Facebook users saw more negative posts. They interpret this as an indication of Social Contagion on a massive scale (almost 700,000 Facebook users were part of the study). How did this affect these users? Did those who say negative posts become more negative and vice versa? The answer is that the research indicates that some of them – though a very, very few of them – did subsequently write posts that were similar to the ones that saw on their News Feed. How big of an effect is this? Is it unethical? Does agreeing to Facebook’s Terms of Use constitute “informed consent“. I examine these questions in this episode of The Psych Files.
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Ep 219: Mental Health Professionals: Why So Liberal?

Surveys find that psychologists tend to align themselves with a liberal political orientation. Why is that? Are liberal-minded people drawn to human service professions or is there something about working in human services that causes people to become more liberal in their political views? In this episode I propose a few ideas that I think explains why mental health professionals tend to be on the liberal side of the political spectrum. I invite your constructive feedback on these suggestions.
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Ep 208: The Elaboration Likelihood Model in Less Than 2 Minutes

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The elaboration likelihood model developed by Petty and Cacciopo is a complicated name for a not too complicated idea about how people can be persuaded. In this under 2 minute video I explain the key idea.
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Ep 207: The Psychology of Vine

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Would you believe there’s a lot of psychology you can fit into a 6 second vine? Well there is. In this video episode I show you a few of there vines I like and which are also good (unintended) demonstrates of a variety of psychological concepts. I think you’ll have fun with this one.
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Ep 204: The Psychology of Fundraising

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How do you use psychology persuasion techniques to get people to contribute to your cause? That’s what I discuss in this episode of The Psych Files – the psychology of fundraising. I’m trying to help my friend raise money and in doing so I employed a number of persuasion strategies to get people to help him out and I’m sure these ideas will be helpful to you as well. We’ll look at how Robert Cialdini‘s ideas can be applied to fundraising and we’ll look at other topics you may have studied in a psychology class: goal setting, bystander apathy, and the need to generate excitement in order to persuade people to part with their money (social contagion). I’ll also look at the ethics of all this. Is it okay to use these strategies on people? When is it not okay? Hopefully an interesting and useful episode up ahead. [Read more...]