2 Aims This week Social capital vs. Social support Communities Persuasion technology in social networks
3 Social network sitesIt is easy to view social network sites simply as bits of technologyLike we did last weekProfiles, avatars, friends lists, etc.But there is more behind thatLast week we asked “why do people use social network sites?”Same question this week!
4 But different perspective So what do people get from social network sites?At a broader level, why do people use social network sites?Not ‘what do they do on them?’But ‘what do they gain through that use?’
5 Social capital vs. social support Social capital is the value of social relationshipsIt can take the form of knowledge, skills, access to resources (e.g. job interviews), and more (e.g. money)Social support is the emotional experience of being cared forCan be understood as one of the resources of social capital
6 Social capital Social capital is an important concept for sociologists It is one way to explain why people gather in groups that are larger than can be explained by evolutionToday, it is seen as an explanation for many changes in society
7 Bowling aloneIn 1996, Robert Putnam argued that society (in America) was in decline because individuals’ social capital was in declineNeighbourhoods, towns, clubs, organisationsAll these were ‘disappearing’ into cities
8 Social capital in the net Only online communities appeared to be going against the trendOnline communities were starting to grow and provided access to people with knowledge, skills, resources, that people didn’t normally have access toGlobal village
9 Social networksThat social capital on the internet was so promising gave rise to the view of ‘networked individualism’That is, individuals were not ‘in’ groups, but rather maintained their individualism while being connected to others
10 Networked individualism Individuals are connected to others in order to share resources, information, knowledge, etc.
11 Social network analysis We can therefore analyse the way people interact by examining the flow of resources through the networkE.g. GranovetterMore likely to get a job from a friend of friend than a friend
12 Community“Sense of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shared faith that members’ needs will be met through their commitment to be together.” McMillan, 1976, as cited in McMillan and Chavis, 1986, p.9. The important features of communities include a feeling of being part of something greater than ourselves, something enjoyable and personally meaningful.
13 Features of community is a feeling that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter:to one anotherand to the groupa shared faith that members’ needs will be metthrough their commitment to be togetherAre these features then necessarily restricted to the real world, or can we successfully recreate communities on the Internet?
14 Meaningful relationships may be formed online because of, rather than in spite of, the inherent limitations..“the medium will, by it’s nature..be a place where people often end up revealing themselves far more intimately than they would be inclined to do without the intermediation of screens and pseudonyms”Rheingold (1993, p.27)
15 Some opposition to online communication emphasis the transient nature of ‘friendships’ online, and fear that (particularly) young people online become more concerned with collecting numbers of friends than developing quality friendships with offline peers.These ‘commodity’ friendships may reduce the effort involved in maintaining friendships, but also may lack the supportive permanence of negotiating relationships in the real world
16 Friendship as a Commodity This is the current system within social network sitesAnd is useful for business and viral marketingBut may be damaging to how we define relationshipsIt is at odds with providing Social Support
17 Social support onlineSeems to be a focus on the potential dangers of online communication, with little acknowledgement of the potential benefits of it.Geographically dispersed/mobility disabled individuals who may share an unusual source of stress can now communicate easilyRare illness support groups/groups discussing sensitive emotional stress‘Real world’ marginalised individuals who participate in online groups (skinheads, believers in aliens on earth etc.) reportedly feel greater social identification with their online groups and thus had greater self-acceptance and less isolation from others.
18 Group polarisation online “the greatest loss in public discourse on the net is the loss of moderate voices”Shirky (1995)Group polarisation may be at least partly responsible for the level of extremism we see on the InternetOnline it is easy to find like-minded others to reinforce our viewsExaggerated effects can occur due to loss of moderate group membersWe can proactively seek out others who share our (perhaps) already extreme views & we can then quickly exaggerate a perception of righteousness of our views, given that others also hold them
19 Analysing Social network sites It is important to consider both the technological and socialParticularly the lived and felt lives of those who interact onlineSocial network sites have a lot of potentialParticularly to change how we communicateBut also our behaviours
21 PersuasionPersuasion is the deliberate influence of others in order to change their attitudes or behaviourAttitudes are our cognitive evaluations of other people, objects, events.How much we like or dislike something.Behaviours are the overt responses we make to our environment.The things we do.
22 Persuasion List five ways you may have been persuaded today Has someone or something changed what you were doing?Or changed your evaluation of another person or product?
23 Captology “Computers As Persuasive Technology”- ology “...captology focuses on the design, research, and analysis of interactive computing products created for the purpose of changing people’s attitudes or behaviour.” Fogg, 2003, p5It is not so concerned withComputer mediated communication (i.e. person to person influence through computers)Coercion and deceitThough these are arguably very important in the study of persuasion
24 Advantages over human persuaders More persistentE.g. software registration reminders“no human can be as persistent as a machine” p8Greater anonymity“At times anonymity makes it easier for people to change” p8Manage huge volumes of dataE.g. Amazon recommendationsSource: BJ Fogg. Persuasive Technology.
25 More advantages Use many modalities to influence Scale easily Visual, auditory, hapticScale easilyComputers and software can scale easily.Go where humans cannot go or are not welcome (ubicomp)Immediacy, interactivity, ubiquity, persistence.
26 InteractivityInteractivity is the key feature of persuasive interfacesSets it apart from other persuasive media such as TV, print, radio.“As a general rule, persuasion techniques are most effective when they are interactive, when persuaders adjust their influence tactics as the situation evolves.” P6
27 Persuasive technology List five ways that technology might change your behaviour or attitude?what you are doing or your evaluation of an object, person, event
28 Levels of persuasionMacrosuasion – describes the overall persuasive intent of a product.Microsuasion – products that do not have an overall persuasive intent may still incorporate persuasive elements to achieve a different goal.E.g. continuous feedback on task completion.
29 MicrosuasionFogg argues that buttons on webpages such as “Sign-up” can be considered microsuasion.This seems to apply to any aspect of a site, including for instance, the curiosity people have about Facebook. Does a site design curiosity?This is also applied to in-game rewards and other co-occurring elements in success (e.g. the noise of a dying enemy in a game or haptic feedback from a controller). There is also promise or anticipation (e.g. gaining new powers or levelling up). And getting on a high score list.
30 Functional Triad Computer as Tools Increases capability Computers as Social ActorCreates relationshipsComputer as MediumCreates experiences
31 Functional Triad Computers as tools: Make behaviour easier to do, lead through the process, perform tasks that motivateHelpingComputer as medium:Allow people to explore cause-and-effect relationships, provide people with vicarious experiences, help people rehearse a behaviourSimulatingComputers as social actor:Reward people with positive feedback, modelling a target behaviour or attitude, providing social supportRelatingTool: “...the goal of computing products is to make activities easier or more efficient to do... or to do things that would be virtually impossible without technology.” P24Medium: “Computers function as symbolic media when they use symbols to convey information... They function as sensory media when they provide sensory information.” P25.Social Actor: “When people use an interactive technology, they often respond to it as though it were a living being.” P26.
32 Tool, Medium, Social Actor Helping, simulating, relating
33 Functional Triad Computer as Tools Increases capability Computers as Social ActorCreates relationshipsComputer as MediumCreates experiences
34 As a tool Seven techniques of persuasive technology: Reduction TunnellingTailoringSuggestionSelf-monitoringSurveillanceConditioning
35 Reduction Persuasion through simplification Benefit/cost ratio maximisation through cost reduction – usually in terms of cognitive loadMay also increase self-efficacy, and therefore, positive attitude toward behaviourThat is, when we think we are good at something we tend to like it more
40 Tailoring Persuasion through customisation e.g. information filtering.Tailored information is more effective at changing attitudes/behaviour than genericMay only require the perception that information is tailored.Includes personalisation/customisation
41 Tailoring Amazon uses numerous persuasive strategies Here recommendations are based on previous purchasesThere are also options to customise the ratings to increase the feel of it being tailored
42 Problem? This isn’t a Facebook message. Its actually a scam. The main difference is that Facebook users your name to tailor the message.The spam message isn’t as persuasive because it doesn’t identify me personally.
43 Suggestion“An interactive computer product that suggests a behaviour at the most opportune moment” (p43)Also known as kairos
44 Suggestion Urinal fly Focuses attention at the right time Also uses techniques of reduction and tunnellingDrastically reduces ‘spillage’Radar speed signGives you information at the right time
45 Suggestion Suggestion is most powerful when people are in a good mood; when asked they can act immediately;when they feel obliged due to reciprocity;when they have recently denied a request.
46 Suggestion Facebook has mastered ‘hot triggers’ These are both the messages sent outAnd the content on the siteThe action I want to take are in the path of my browsing
47 Suggestion Where should you place your ‘Sign-up’ form? Websites use may different techniquesBut what should be most effective?
48 Self-monitoring“Allows people to monitor themselves to modify their attitudes or behaviours to achieve a predetermined goal or outcome” (p44)Ideally real-time data feedbackFogg argues that this is related to self-efficacy and self-understandingI.e. People will feel more able to complete a task if they know how they are doingAnd will know more about themselves
52 Conditioning“computerized system that uses principles of operant conditioning to change behaviours” (p49)Should immediately follow the performance of target behaviourBut not every performance (Reward should be unpredictable)