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The Interdependence and Fragmentation of Life Experiences across Cyber-social Systems

Byron Reeves, Nilam Ram, Laura Carstensen 2016 - 2018

The Interdependence and Fragmentation of Life Experiences across Cyber-social Systems

Smartphones and laptop computers now allow multitasking among a greater range of experiences than has ever been possible. People switch between radically different content – from work to play to social relationships – and often within seconds. This means that understanding interchanges with cyber-social systems (e.g., health, social relationships, finances, shopping, transportation, work productivity, learning) will depend as much on stitching together experiences across domains as on examining experiences scattered within any single system. Health interactions influence social relationships, which influence financial decisions, which influence work productivity, and so on. Our project is about the interdependence of cyber-social systems across time domains (i.e., from seconds to years) and spatial locations. Many behaviors now emerge through digital experiences, producing data that can be accessed through portals and accumulated into a cohesive picture of individual life. In Phase 1 we will design, borrow and build software tools that gather, store, search and visualize experiences over time, paying attention to embedded security and privacy issues. In Phase 2 we will use those tools to test hypotheses and explore the interdependences among domains. We will emphasize the communication of data back to individuals and organizations so that each might use insights from cross-domain tracking to improve policies and practices in learning, commerce and social relationships.

Publications: 
Markowitz, David and Hancock, Jeff and Bailenson, Jeremy N. and Reeves, Byron, The Media Marshmallow Test: Psychological and Physiological Effects of Applying Self-Control to the Mobile Phone (November 14, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3086140 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3086140
Chiatti A., Mu J.C., Gagneja A., Yang X., Brinberg M., Roehrick K., Choudhury S.R., Ram N., Reeves B., Giles C.L. "Text Extraction and Retrieval from Smartphone Screenshots: Building a Repository for Life in Media." January 2018, https://arxiv.org/abs/1801.01316

Researchers

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Byron Reeves

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Byron Reeves

Paul C. Edwards Professor of Communication
Byron Reeves received a B.F.A. in graphic design from Southern Methodist University and his M.A. and a Ph.D. in communication from Michigan State University. Prior to joining Stanford in 1985, he taught at the University of Wisconsin where he was director of graduate studies and associate chair of the Mass Communication Research Center. He teaches courses in mass communication theory and research, with particular emphasis on psychological processing of interactive media. His research includes message processing, social cognition, and social and emotion responses to media, and has been published in books of collected studies as well as such journals as Human Communication Research, Journal of Social Issues, Journal of Broadcasting, and Journalism Quarterly. He is co-author of The Media Equation: How People Treat Computers, Television, and New Media Like Real People and Places (Cambridge University Press).
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Laura Carstensen

Director, Stanford Center on Longevity
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Laura Carstensen

Director, Stanford Center on Longevity
Professor of Psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy
Carstensen is Professor of Psychology and the Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr. Professor in Public Policy at Stanford University, where she is also the founding director of the Stanford Center on Longevity, which explores innovative ways to solve the problems of people over 50 while improving the well-being of people of all ages. She is best known in academia for socioemotional selectivity theory, a life-span theory of motivation, and with her students and colleagues, has published more than 150 articles on life-span development. Her research has been supported by the National Institute on Aging for more than 20 years and she is currently supported by a MERIT Award. In 2011, she authored A Long Bright Future: Happiness, Health, and Financial Security in an Age of Increased Longevity. She is a member of the MacArthur Foundation’s Research Network on an Aging Society and currently serves on the National Advisory Council on Aging to NIA. She has won numerous awards, including the Kleemeier Award and Distinguished Mentorship Award from the Gerontological Society of America, as well as a Guggenheim Fellowship.