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Talks at Twelve: William Hobbs, Tuesday, March 12, 2019

 
portrait of William Hobbs

Connective Recovery in Social Networks After the Death of a Friend
William Hobbs, Cornell University

Tuesday, March 12, 2019
12:00-1:00 p.m.
423 ILR Conference Center



Most people have few close friends, leading to potential isolation after a friend’s death. What happens to the space left by the death of a friend? This presentation will describe how social networks recover, or rewire, after loss. The analyses will come from online social network data. The findings include how levels of interactions among close friends and acquaintances change in the year before and after the death of a friend, and how much interaction is lost from a death compared to how much is gained through new interactions with others. The patterns of this connective recovery in the first year after loss vary by closeness of friendship, age, online vs. offline interaction, and cause of death.

Will Hobbs is a new assistant professor in the Department of Human Development at Cornell. He studies the social effects of government policies, associations between social activity and health, and how small groups of people adapt to sudden changes in their lives. Some of his work has been covered in popular media, including The Atlantic, Science Magazine, The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and The Wall Street Journal. His ongoing research uses text and online social network data to study how and why people change. Before coming to Cornell, he was a postdoctoral fellow at Northeastern University's Network Science Institute and a visiting fellow at Harvard University's Institute for Quantitative Social Science. He has a PhD in Political Science from the University of California, San Diego.


Lunch will be provided.
This event is free and open to all. No registration is required, but groups of 10 or more, please inform Lori Biechele of your plans to attend so enough lunch can be ordered.

Parking is available on Garden Ave., in the Hoy Garage, or at various Parkmobile lots. Please stop at any information booth for assistance.

For further parking info, see:
Short-term parking options
Parkmobile map

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: human development    mental health    social media   

Talks at Twelve: Sara Czaja, Wednesday, February 27, 2019

 
portrait of Sara Czaja

Social Isolation Among Older Adults: What Role Can Technology Play?
Sara Czaja, Weill Cornell Medicine

Wednesday, February 27, 2019
12:00-1:00 p.m.
423 ILR Conference Center



Social isolation and loneliness are prevalent among older adults, represent significant health risks, and have been linked to cognitive declines, lower quality of life, a heightened risk for physical and mental health problems, functional declines, and mortality. Technology applications such as email, social media sites and online support groups hold promise in terms of enhancing engagement and providing support to older people in various domains and contexts. This presentation will present findings from CREATE and other trials regarding the access to and use of these applications among older adults and the resultant impact on social connectivity, loneliness and social support.

Sara J. Czaja, Ph.D. is the director of the Center on Aging and Behavioral Research in the Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine. She is also an emeritus professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine (UMMSM). Prior to joining the faculty at Weill Cornell, she was the director of the Center on Aging at the UMMSM. Sara received her Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering, specializing in Human Factors Engineering at the University of Buffalo in 1980. She is the director of the Center for Research and Education on Aging and Technology Enhancement (CREATE). Her research interests include: aging and cognition, aging and healthcare access and service delivery, family caregiving, aging and technology, training, and functional assessment. She has received continuous funding from the National Institutes of Health, Administration on Aging, and the National Science Foundation to support her research.

She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association (APA), the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society and the Gerontological Society of American. She is also past president of Division 20 (Adult Development and Aging) of APA. She is a member of the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences Board on Human Systems Integration. She served as a member of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Committee on the Public Health Dimensions of Cognitive Aging and as a member of the IOM Committee on Family Caregiving for Older Adults. Dr. Czaja is also the recipient of the 2015 M. Powell Lawton Distinguished Contribution Award for Applied Gerontology, of GSA; the 2013 Social Impact Award for the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM); the Jack A. Kraft Award for Innovation from HFES and the APA Interdisciplinary Team, both with CREATE; and the Franklin V. Taylor Award from Division 21 of APA.


Co-sponsored by the Graduate Field of Human Development

Lunch will be provided.
This event is free and open to all. No registration is required, but groups of 10 or more, please inform Lori Biechele of your plans to attend so enough lunch can be ordered.

Parking is available on Garden Ave., in the Hoy Garage, or at various Parkmobile lots. Please stop at any information booth for assistance.

For further parking info, see:
Short-term parking options
Parkmobile map

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: aging    BCTR Talks at Twelve    gerontology    health    mental health    social media    technology   

Talks at Twelve: Amanda Purington, Yoon Hyung Choi, Dominic DiFranzo, Thursday, December 13, 2018

 
portrait of Amanda Purington

Social Media TestDrive: Digital Literacy Education for Youth
Amanda Purington, Yoon Hyung Choi, Dominic DiFranzo - Cornell University

Thursday, December 13, 2018
12:00-1:00 PM
ILR Conference Center, Room 423



Though some youth receive social media education as part of a media literacy or digital citizenship education, more often they simply explore by themselves or with friends. While this trial and error approach is generally effective for learning, the nature of social media means any mistakes they make are public and can persist over time. Social Media TestDrive provides an opportunity for youth to practice using social media in a safe environment. Social Media TestDrive is a completely self-contained social media simulation, where youth can experiment, play, make mistakes and learn. In this talk, the team will demonstrate the Social Media TestDrive tool and talk about how they designed it with feedback from educators and students.

Dr. Yoon Hyung Choi is a Postdoctoral Research Associate in the Social Media Lab. Her research focuses on computer-mediated communication, with a focus on mediated social interactions, self-disclosure, and subjective well-being. Yoon received her B.A. in Communication Studies from Northwestern University and her M.S. and Ph.D. in Communication from Cornell University.

Dr. Dominic DiFranzo is a Post-Doctoral Associate in the Social Media Lab at Cornell University. His research involves collaborating with colleagues across the social sciences and humanities to translate the tools and methods from data science, e-science and informatics to address their research needs and purposes. This includes working with a wide array of research groups and projects including large-scale social network analysis, experimental ethnography, open government data, and web observatories.  He holds a PhD in Computer Science from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and was a member of the Tetherless World Constellation.


Lunch will be provided.
This event is free and open to all. No registration is required, but groups of 10 or more, please inform Lori Biechele of your plans to attend so enough lunch can be ordered.

Parking is available on Garden Ave., in the Hoy Garage, or at various Parkmobile lots.  Please stop at any information booth for assistance.

For further parking info, see:
Short-term parking options
Parkmobile map

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Amanda Purington    children    education    social media    youth   

Promoting good behavior online


Portraits of Janis Whitlock, Natalie Bazarova, and Drew Margolin

Janis Whitlock, Natalie Bazarova, and Drew Margolin

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

BCTR research scientist Janis Whitlock is joining a new collaborative project at Cornell’s Institute for Social Sciences that will look at how technology influences pro-social and anti-social behaviors, and how to promote good behavior online.

The project is named "Pro-Social Behaviors in the Digital Age" and co-led by Natalie Bazarova and Drew Margolin, faculty members in Cornell’s Department of Communication. The central idea is to develop new information about the best ways to reduce negative interactions and promote positive interactions on social media platforms.

“Most of us are well aware of the way virtual social spaces can quickly become forums for base human exchange,” Whitlock said. “Understanding why this happens and, most importantly, how we might intervene as bystanders, developers, or policy makers is one of our primary goals with this project. We want to be part of the larger conversation about how to replace the worst of us with the best of us in online gathering places.”

The project team – which also includes Vanessa Bohns, associate professor of organizational behavior and Renѐ Kizilcec, assistant professor of information science – will focus their research on four areas:

  • preventing the spread of fake news,
  • preventing cyberbullying,
  • promoting online support for mental distress, and
  • promoting online support for people in educational settings.

The project will receive funding from the Institute for Social Science for three academic years. In the second year, project team members including Whitlock will spend half of their working hours “in residence” at the institute to promote interdisciplinary collaboration. During the third year, they hope to publish work from the project and secure funding from an external source to keep the project going.

Whitlock brings nearly two decades of research experience on youth mental health. For this project, she will focus on online exchange related to mental health distress and well-being, as well as collaborating with project team members on their focus areas..

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Janis Whitlock    Natalie Bazarova    research    social media    technology    youth   

PRYDE conference on social media literacy in youth


news-2017-prydeconf-inpost

front (l to r): David Dunning, Elaine Wethington, Kristen Elmore, Jutta Dotterweich, Jamila Simon, Esther Kim, Rachel Sumner. back: Chinwe Effiong, Paul Mihailidis, Kayla Burd, Josh Pasek, Jonathon Schuldt, Monica Bulger, Neil Lewis, Norbert Schwarz.

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

What does the research tell us about how young people use social media? And what can educators do to teach youth how to use social media in productive, positive ways?

These were the questions researchers addressed at the second annual conference hosted by the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement (PRYDE). The conference, titled “Media Literacy and Citizenship Development in Youth and Emerging Young Adults,” was held from November 9 to 11 at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. It included multidisciplinary researchers and media developers from across the nation focused on youth, communications, misinformation, and media use.

Elaine Wethington, professor of human development and sociology and an associate director of the BCTR, organized the conference. She is a medical sociologist whose research focuses on stress, protective mechanisms of social support, aging, and translational research methods.

Sam Taylor presenting

Sam Taylor presenting

“There are few topics more urgent to address than the relationship of increased reliance on social media as a means of communication and the impact of the new media on social and political institutions,” Wethington said.  “Our long-term goal is to develop new ideas about how to translate research on promoting productive social media use among youth into effective programs that engage youth and emerging adults and their development as informed citizens.”

In addition to invited talks from leading media, communication, and social and developmental psychological researchers, the conference included discussions and group activities about how to teach youth to become positive stewards of social media and the information exchanged on the web. Moving forward, those ideas will help to inform projects in the Cornell Social Media Lab, a PRYDE collaborator.

(0) Comments.  |   Tags: conference    Elaine Wethington    PRYDE    social media    youth    youth development   

Whitlock on self-injury and social media


Janis Whitlock

Janis Whitlock

By Sheri Hall for the BCTR

BCTR Researcher Janis Whitlock was featured earlier this year in a PBS news story about self-injury and social media.

Whitlock, director of the BCTR’s Cornell Research Program on Self-Injury and Recovery, studies the interaction between mental health and social media. She served as an expert in a PBS story about social media tools designed to reach out to people who post about self-harm on social media.

This year, the photo-sharing platform Instagram created a new tool to reach out to people who post about injuring themselves or eating disorders. Here is how it works: Instagram allows users to report posts that they feel suggest self-harm. If an Instagram staff member flags the post, the user receives a message that suggests they talk to a friend, contact a helpline, or read tips about coping. Facebook has a similar tool for people who post about harming themselves.

“One of the things that’s abundantly clear is that people will disclose in social media and internet-based venues things that a lot of other people don’t know — maybe nobody in their life knows,” Whitlock told PBS.

“I applaud [Instagram] for making an effort to really effectively interact, to identify and capture people at the moment of their crisis. For someone who self-injures, often times if they can just pause the urge for even just 15 minutes, then the urge to injure will pass.”

Can Instagram’s new tool really help users who self-harm? - PBS Newshour

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: CRPSIR    Janis Whitlock    media mention    self-injury    social media    youth   

‘Likes’ less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose


By Susan Kelley for the Cornell Chronicle:

burrow rainone

Burrow and Rainone

How many likes did I get?

The rush of self-esteem that comes with the ubiquitous thumbs-up has more people asking that question, as Facebook and other social media sites offer more ways for friends to endorse photos and posts.

But one group seems immune to that rush: people with a sense of purpose.

In the first study on the effects of purpose in the online world, Cornell researchers have found that having a sense of purpose limits how reactive people are to positive feedback on social media.

“We found that having a sense of purpose allowed people to navigate virtual feedback with more rigidity and persistence. With a sense of purpose, they’re not so malleable to the number of likes they receive,” said Anthony Burrow, co-author of the study and assistant professor of human development. “Purposeful people noticed the positive feedback, but did not rely on it to feel good about themselves.”

Burrow and other researchers define a sense of purpose as ongoing motivation that is self-directed, oriented toward the future and beneficial to others. People with a strong sense of purpose tend to agree with such statements as “To me, all the things I do are worthwhile” and “I have lots of reasons for living.”

While it is nice to receive compliments, online or otherwise, it may not be a good thing to base one’s self-esteem on them, Burrow said.

“Otherwise, on days when you receive few likes, you’ll feel worse. Your self-esteem would be contingent on what other people say and think,” he said. “Over time that’s not healthy, that’s not adaptive. You want to show up with rigidity: ‘I know who I am and I feel good about that.’”

The study, “How many likes did I get?: Purpose moderates links between positive social media feedback and self-esteem,” appeared Sept. 14 in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology.

The researchers hypothesize that because purposeful people have the ability to see themselves in the future and act in ways that help them achieve their goals, they are able to inhibit impulsive responses to perceived rewards, such that they prefer larger downstream incentives to smaller immediate ones, said co-author Nicolette Rainone ’16.

The researchers conducted two experiments to get these results.

In the first, they recruited nearly 250 active Facebook users from around the country. They measured the participants’ self-esteem and sense of purpose, and asked how many likes they typically got on photos they posted.

The Facebook users who reported getting more likes on average also reported greater self-esteem. But those with a high level of purpose showed no change in self-esteem, no matter how many likes they got. “That is, receiving more likes only corresponded with greater self-esteem for those who had lower levels of purpose,” Burrow said.

In the second study, the researchers asked about 100 Cornell students to take a selfie and post it to a mock social media site, “Faces of the Ivies.” The students were told that their photo had received a high, low or average number of likes.

Getting a high number of likes boosted self-esteem – but, again, only for students who had less purpose. “In fact, those higher in purpose showed no elevation in self-esteem, even when they were told they received a high number of likes,” Burrow said.

This is the first study to show purpose lowers reactivity to positive events. Most research to date on purpose has looked at it as buffer against negative events such as stress.

Without a sense of purpose, one can act against one’s own interests even when something positive happens, said Rainone, who is a program assistant for the Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement at Cornell’s Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research. “For example, if I’m studying for a big exam and get a good score on a practice test, that can make me think, ‘Oh, I really don’t need to study.’ And that may ultimately decrease my final score, because I stopped persisting,” she said. “Having a purpose keeps you emotionally steady which is essential for successful academic and work performance.”

'Likes' less likely to affect self-esteem of people with purpose - Cornell Chronicle

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(0) Comments.  |   Tags: Anthony Burrow    media mention    mental health    Nicolette Rainone    PRYDE    social media    youth development