People Lie More When Texting

Wichita State University professor David Xu said people are less likely to lie via video chat than when in person.

Newswise — Sending a text message leads people to lie more often than in other forms of communication, according to new research by David Xu, assistant professor in the W. Frank Barton School of Business at Wichita State University.

Xu is lead author of the paper, which compares the level of deceit people will use in a variety of media, from text messages to face-to-face interactions.

The study will appear in the March edition of the Journal of Business Ethics. The other co-authors are professor Karl Aquino and associate professor Ronald Cenfetelli with the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia.

How the study worked

The study involved 170 students from the Sauder School performing mock stock transactions in one of four ways: face-to-face, or by video, audio or text chatting.

Researchers promised cash awards of up to $50 to increase participants’ involvement in the role play. “Brokers” were promised increased cash rewards for more stock sales, while “buyers” were told their cash reward would depend on the yet-to-be-determined value of the stock.

The brokers were given inside knowledge that the stock was rigged to lose half of its value. Buyers were only informed of this fact after the mock sales transaction and were asked to report whether the brokers had employed deceit to sell their stock.

The authors then analyzed which forms of communication led to more deception. They found that buyers who received information via text messages were 95 percent more likely to report deception than if they had interacted via video, 31 percent more likely to report deception when compared to face-to-face, and 18 percent more likely if the interaction was via audio chat.

The fact that people were less likely to lie via video than in person was surprising, Xu said, but makes sense given the so-called “spotlight” effect, where a person feels they’re being watched more closely on video than face-to-face.

Xu said this kind of research has implications for consumers to avoid problems such as online fraud, and for businesses looking to promote trust and build a good image, Xu said.

Released: 1/25/2012

Source: Wichita State University

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/people-lie-more-when-texting

Pick Up the Cell Phone, Drop the Pounds!

Photo Credit: UC San Diego School of Medicine Pictured: The team from CalIT2's Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems.

Newswise — Cell phones aren’t just for talking any more. Surfing the web, storing music and posting to Facebook have all contributed to the near-mandatory use of a cell phone. How about using that cell phone to lose weight? Researchers with Calit2’s Center for Wireless and Population Health Systems (CWPHS) and the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, at University of California, San Diego are expanding a previous study aimed at finding out if cell phone technology can help with weight loss.

For one year, researchers with the “ConTxt” study will evaluate the use of cell phone text messages to remind participants to make wise nutritional choices throughout the day. Participants randomized to the intervention conditions will also be given tailored messages for weight loss and lifestyle changes as well as a pedometer to monitor their daily activity.

“ConTxt is an innovative, yet straightforward approach to getting people to monitor their diet and physical activity,” says CWPHS project principal investigator Kevin Patrick, MD, MS, professor of Family and Preventive Medicine, UC San Diego School of Medicine. “We are trying to make this as pain free as possible. People won’t stick to something that’s too difficult and they’re all multi-tasking anyway. We’re doing this study to increase what we know about using the cell phone to get messages to busy people on the go.”

Who Can Participate?

ConTxt is recruiting more than 300 participants who meet these criteria:

*Men and women
*21 to 60 years of age
*Overweight or moderately obese with Body Mass Index (BMI) of 27-39.9
*Own a cell phone capable of sending and receiving picture and text messages
*English and Spanish speaking participants that reside in San Diego county

Strategy

As a part of tailoring of the program, surveys completed during baseline visit will help assess the participant’s lifestyle, for example, assessing nearby grocery stores, finding opportunities for physical activity and possibly enlisting the support of friends or family.

The intervention is designed to send “prompts,” text or picture messages, with specific suggestions or tips regarding diet and improving lifestyle habits. “It seems like everybody has a cell phone. Those who do usually carry it with them at all times,” explained ConTxt study coordinator Lindsay W. Dillon, MPH, CHES. “We want to see if we can use that same technology to get people to think differently.”

About CWPHS

CWPHS research focuses on how the health of individuals, families, communities, social networks, and populations can be improved through the creative use of wireless and networked technologies. CWPHS is Housed within the UCSD Division of Calit2: The California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology.

Collaborators include physicians and scientists with backgrounds in clinical and preventive medicine, computer science and engineering, social networks, political science, clinical and experimental psychology, electrical engineering, health behavior, behavioral exercise and nutrition science and public health. Center research is supported through public and private sources, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the American Cancer Society, and Nokia Research.

To learn more about enrolling in the ConTxt study, call in USA        858-534-8412       or email us at contxtcoach@ucsd.edu.

Via Newswise

Source: University of California, San Diego Health Sciences

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/pick-up-the-cell-phone-drop-the-pounds2

Looking Ahead to the New Year…..Top Tech of 2012

Newswise — Retinal Prostheses: Implantable chips will apply a grid of photosensors to the optic nerve, giving blind people a form of vision.

LED Lighting: Super-efficient, affordable bulbs based on the Philips L Prize winner and other designs will replace incandescents and, in many cases, compact fluorescent lamps.

Windows 8: Microsoft has so far been sidelined by the industry-wide move to mobile platforms, such as smart phones and tablets. This new operating system is the Redmond, Wash., company’s last, best hope to turn things around.

Chinese Supercomputers: For the first time China is building world-class supercomputers based on home-grown processor chips, and experts say this could be the beginning of that country’s push into the highest-tech regions of high tech.

3-D Printing: This idea, which began as a tool for designers and evolved into a toy for hobbyists, is now maturing into a new, one-off kind of fabrication, one that will find its way into routine manufacturing as well as the production of spare parts.

Plug-ins Proliferate: This will be the year in which plug-in gas-electric hybrid cars go from curiosity to mainstay, as the number of manufacturers offering models rises and the market for their wares matures.

EV Charging Stations: A fast-charging infrastructure, partly based on super-powerful direct current, will begin to service pure-electric vehicles, thus allaying drivers’ “range anxiety.”

3-D Chips: A long-anticipated foray into the third dimension will turn flat chips into thick cubes, increasing the density of elements in integrated circuits in an entirely new way and thus giving Moore’s Law a new lease on life.

Extreme UV Lithography: This is the year of decision for an expensive chip-fabrication technology that uses hard-to-handle extreme ultraviolet light to draw finer-than-ever features on silicon chips. Whether EUV lithography succeeds or fails, the result will be of critical importance to the industry.

Private Spacecraft: Millionaires are doing what government cannot–they are creating companies that will take people and cargo into space at a fraction of the cost of NASA launches.

Exoskeletons for Paraplegics: People who have suffered from spinal-cord injuries will for the first time strap themselves into robotic exoskeletons. Initially, these machines will help rehabilitate patients; later, the exoskeletons will take them where their own legs cannot.

4G Networks: Smart phones and other mobile platforms will carry real-time video and do other network duties with a zip never before seen, thanks to this new and very capacious wireless standard.

Grid-level Batteries: As the electric power distribution system–the grid–comes to depend on variable sources of energy, such as the wind and the sun, it will increasingly smooth out the power by using enormous battery stations.

Another Earth: New telescopes and instrumentation will guide astronomers to hundreds of planets orbiting foreign stars and will reveal candidate planets of a size, composition, and temperature suitable for life as we know it.

Released: 12/22/2011

Source: IEEE Spectrum Magazine

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/top-tech-of-2012

Students Around the World are Addicted to Media

Newswise — COLLEGE PARK, Md. – College students around the world report that they are ‘addicted’ to media, describing in vivid terms their cravings, their anxieties and their depression when they have to abstain from using media. The findings are all part of a new global study released today by the International Center for Media & the Public Agenda (ICMPA) at the University of Maryland. As an American student noted: “I was itching, like a crackhead, because I could not use my phone.” “Media is my drug; without it I was lost. I am an addict,” said a student from the UK. A student from China said: “I can say without exaggeration, I was almost freaking out.” A student from Argentina observed: “Sometimes I felt ‘dead.'” And a student from Slovakia simply noted: “I felt sad, lonely and depressed.”

“The world Unplugged” study, concludes that most college students, whether in developed or developing countries, are strikingly similar in how they use media – and how ‘addicted’ they are to it. Student after student spoke about their generation’s utter dependency on media – especially the mobile phone. “My dependence on media is absolutely sickening,” said a student from Lebanon. “I felt like there was a problem with me,” wrote a student from Uganda. “Because I became so addicted,” observed a student from Hong Kong, “I have less time for my studies and face-to-face meetings with my friends.”

The ICMPA study, conducted with the assistance of the university partners of the Salzburg Academy on Media & Global Change, asked around 1000 students in 10 countries on five continents to give up all media for 24 hours. After their daylong abstinence, the students recorded their experiences. In total, students wrote almost half a million words: in aggregate, about the same number of words as Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace. Students also completed a demographic survey.

The study shows: If you are under 25, it doesn’t matter if you live in the U.S. or Chile or China, Slovakia, Mexico or Lebanon: you not only can’t imagine life without your cell phone, laptop and mp3 player, you can’t function without them.

“Five hours in and my typically relaxed Sunday has had the adverse effect. Raised heart rate, increased anxiety. I’m panicking not knowing what is going on in not just the outside world but also my world. My friends, my family, my life.” – UK

Digital Natives Have No Passports

“Perhaps naively, we assumed that we would find substantial differences among the students who took part in this study,” noted project director Susan D. Moeller, a journalism and public policy professor at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism and the director of ICMPA. “After all, our partner universities come from very different regions – Chile, Slovakia and Hong Kong, for example – and from countries with great disparities in economic development, culture and political governance – for instance, Uganda, Lebanon and mainland China.”

“But it quickly became apparent from looking at the student demographics and the students’ narrative comments,” said Moeller, “that all the student-responders in this study are digital natives. It was then that we realized that digital natives have no passports: if we had covered up the place name of a student’s comment we would have had no idea of the student’s nationality.”

The ICMPA study documented that taken as country-based groups, the students reacted almost identically to going without media for 24 hours. Most students from all countries failed to go the full 24 hours without media, and they all used virtually the same words to describe their reactions, including: Fretful, Confused, Anxious, Irritable, Insecure, Nervous, Restless, Crazy, Addicted, Panicked, Jealous, Angry, Lonely, Dependent, Depressed, Jittery and Paranoid.

The study shows: Students were blind-sided by how much media have come to dominate their lives. They had thought of media as just a convenience; a way to communicate with friends and get news. After going without media, they came to recognize that they literally construct their identities through media. Going unplugged, therefore, was like losing part of themselves.

“I felt like a helpless man on a lonely deserted island in the big ocean.” – China

It was striking to us,” said PhD student Sergei Golitsinski, a former reporter in St. Petersburg, Russia and a member of ICMPA’s research team, “how many students around the world wrote that going without media not only severed their connections to their friends, but challenged their sense of self. Who were they, if they weren’t plugged in? Media are not just tools for students to communicate – students reported that how they use media shapes the way others think of them and the way they think about themselves.”

“We were surprised, too,” noted Golitsinski, “that again and again students around the world said that media – and their phones, especially – were both emotionally and even physically comforting. In effect, cell phones have become this generation’s security blanket.”

“After a while I missed holding my cell phone so much that I actually left my battery in my bag and held my phone in my hand. It is almost like a comfort to hold and just know it was there.” – USA

The study shows: No matter where they live, students no longer search for news; the news finds them. They inhale, almost unconsciously, the news that is served up on the sidebar of their email account, that is on friends’ Facebook walls, that comes through on Twitter and via chat.

“We are used to having information about everything on the planet and this information we have to have in an unbelievable time. Our generation doesn’t need certified and acknowledged information. More important is quantity, not quality of news.” – Slovakia
News to Students Means “Anything That Just Happened”

“Students now get their news in chunks of 140 characters or from Facebook posts. Students want and get their news as it is breaking, with few filters,” observed PhD student Jessica Roberts, a former reporter at the Cape Times in South Africa, and a member of ICMPA’s research team.

In their reporting of their media habits, most students in the “Unplugged” study didn’t discriminate between news that The New York Times, the BBC or Al Jazeera might cover, and news that might only appear in a friend’s Facebook status update. Indeed, very few students mentioned any legacy or online news outlets by name.

“Students are interested in news,” said Roberts, “it’s just that students today are more inclusive about what they consider news than older adults are. ‘News’ to students means ‘anything that just happened’ – and students want to know it all immediately, whether it is a globally momentous story or only one of personal interest.”

Source: University of Maryland, College Park

Released: 4/5/2011

Via Newswise

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/new-university-of-maryland-study-shows-students-around-the-world-are-addicted-to-media

Dangerous Mobile Phone Usage Tied to OCD Traits

Cell-phone use in dangerous situations, such as while driving, may be attributed to obsessive-compulsive disorder traits rather than addiction.

Newswise — FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – Information researchers at the University of Arkansas have found evidence that suggests dangerous mobile phone usage while driving may be attributed to obsessive-compulsive disorder traits rather than addiction. The findings have significant policy implications because most legislation prohibiting mobile phone usage while driving – which generally has failed – has relied on research that links dangerous and excessive usage to addictive traits.

“Despite evidence that addiction might drive some excessive and dangerous mobile phone usage, that model explains only part of the phenomenon,” said Moez Limayem, professor and associate dean for research and graduate programs in the Sam M. Walton College of Business. “Our study shows that another potential driver of such behaviors may relate more closely to obsessive-compulsive disorders than addictions. This is important because behavioral interventions to treat OCD and addictions differ fundamentally, and the possibility that mobile phone usage is a compulsion rather than an addiction may suggest more effective legislative interventions and prevention tactics.”

In 2010, the National Safety Council estimated that the cause of approximately 28 percent of all vehicle accidents – a total of 1.6 million annually – could be attributed to mobile phone usage. Recent legislation, based on addiction or dependence models of treatment, has banned usage while driving or attempted to discourage dangerous and inappropriate usage by punishing drivers caught in the act. Yet, according to the Highway Loss Data Institute, mobile-phone-related accidents have actually increased in many areas since the passage of these laws. Despite these health and legal risks, people appear likely to continue using mobile phones while driving.

Through an online survey website, Limayem and a doctoral student, Zach Steelman, collected data from 451 men and women of various age groups and locations. The survey did not restrict the sample pool by demographics but did require that all respondents own a cell phone. Internet provider addresses and email addresses were traced to eliminate multiple responses. The average age of participants was 28, and two-thirds (66.3 percent) of the respondents were men. Of all participants, 80 percent had a bachelor’s degree or higher, 75 percent were employed and 57 percent were single. More than half – 57.6 percent – of the participants used a smartphone.

The researchers measured types of usage by developing questions grouped into three scales or categories: general mobile phone usage, compulsive mobile phone usage and dangerous mobile phone usage. Within these categories, participants were asked basic questions, such as:
— I answer calls/emails/text messages while driving.
— I make calls and send emails and text messages while driving.
— I browse the Internet while driving.
— I check social network applications while driving.
Among other questions, the respondents were asked how many years they had owned a cell phone, and how many hours they spent per day talking, emailing and texting on their phone.

Consistent with studies on obsessive-compulsive disorder, Limayem and Steelman made several predictions related to behavior and mobile phone usage. First, however, they discussed the cultural impact of cell phones, specifically how they have blurred boundaries between work and family, and how users have allowed the devices to alter their perceived responsibility toward both. They theorized that this perceived increase in responsibility would have a greater impact on compulsive mobile phone usage. In other words, because people now have a tool that allows them to receive work messages at home and family messages at work, they perceive the importance of each as greater. This perception, in turn, increases compulsive checking.

The findings confirmed these predictions. Perceived work demand and perceived family demand were significant predictors of individually perceived – and inflated – responsibilities. This perceived increase in responsibility had a positive impact on compulsive usage. Ultimately Limayem and Steelman found a significant link between compulsive usage and dangerous usage.

“Evidence of compulsive behavior brings to light the notion that the underlying motivation to use a mobile phone is not pleasure, as predicted by addictions studies, but rather a response to heightened stress and anxiety,” Limayem said.

Not surprisingly, the findings showed that the most significant predictor of dangerous mobile phone usage was answering text messages while driving. Incoming alerts triggered dangerous usage. Conversely, initiating text messages was not a significant factor.

“Dangerous usage thus appears to represent a reaction to incoming alerts, not a need to initiate more conversations, as predicted by an addiction model,” Limayem said.

They emphasized that legislative bans on excessive and dangerous mobile phone usage likely will have no impact on users who exhibit obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Adjusting perceived responsibility levels to match a more realistic view of reality – that is, convincing people of the potential cost versus small benefit or responding instantly – could mitigate compulsive use and decrease the number of vehicle accidents, Limayem said.

But achieving this might be difficult. Limayem suggested that public-service announcements and other similar informative interventions might be more successful measures than punitive actions. From a purely technological perspective, creating different ring tones or alerts corresponding to different “networks” (work, family, friends) or importance levels could alter stimuli produced by mobile phones and thus reduce compulsive use.

Limayem is holder of the Edwin and Karlee Bradberry Chair in Information Systems.

Released: 9/12/2011
Source: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville

Via Newswise

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/580517/

Tips on Using Social Media During a Natural Disaster

Smartphone and Social Media

Newswise — Last week’s earthquake on the East Coast was a preview of what to expect when Hurricane Irene approaches this weekend. Many people could not use their cell phones or land lines and had to rely on Twitter and Facebook to communicate. The immediate transfer of information that social networks provides becomes even more important during a natural disaster.

According to Jennifer Regina, a Rowan University (Glassboro, N.J.) adjunct professor of marketing and CEO of The Marketing of Everything, Washington Township, N.J., “The best thing to do is also have an action plan in place for communicating with your loved ones during a natural disaster.”

She suggests:

• Have an agreed-upon plan of communicating. Make sure your family knows if you are going to be tweeting your condition or will be communicating via texting or Facebook.

• Make sure you have your communication devices fully charged. Charge your laptop and cell phone to their full capacity every night. Even consider purchasing an extended or backup battery for your devices.

• Pay attention to government and news agencies’ social media posts. Subscribe to their posts so they will be sent directly to your phone via text. Many state and local agencies are aggressively using their social media profiles to communicate quickly about disasters. Already hurricane evacuation information is spreading quickly through Twitter.

• Establish agreed-upon times for your loved ones to post updates. For example, every hour update your health or the status of your location. Social networks also can be used to warn others of impending disasters. Many in New York City saw tweets from their friends in Washington, D.C. about an earthquake and seconds later felt it themselves. Many people stay glued to social networks to see how others are handling storms that are approaching and gleaning valuable tips.

“This weekend’s hurricane will be another example of how social media networks will help families communicate and governments issue warnings and updates,” Regina said.

Released: 8/25/2011
Source: Rowan University

Via Newswise

Related Link: http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/580022/

Dealing with the Cyberworld’s Dark Side; Psychologists Examine Disturbing Trends, Offer Tips on Coping

Newswise — WASHINGTON – People who are cyberstalked or harassed online experience higher levels of stress and trauma than people who are stalked or harassed in person, according to a presentation at the American Psychological Association’s 119th Annual Convention.

“Increasingly, stalkers use modern technology to monitor and torment their victims, and one in four victims report some form of cyberstalking, such as threatening emails or instant messaging,” said Elizabeth Carll, PhD, in a talk entitled, “Electronic Harassment and Cyberstalking: Intervention, Prevention and Public Policy.”

Emotional responses to the stress and trauma experienced by victims may include high levels of ongoing stress, anxiety, fear, nightmares, shock and disbelief, helplessness, hyper-vigilance, changes in eating, and sleeping difficulties, Carll said.

“It is my observation that the symptoms related to cyberstalking and e-harassment may be more intense than in-person harassment, as the impact is more devastating due to the 24/7 nature of online communication, inability to escape to a safe place, and global access of the information,” Carll said.

U.S. Department of Justice statistics reveal that some 850,000 adults, the majority female, are targets of cyberstalking each year, according to Carll. Citing various other sources, she gave examples of the pervasiveness, including:
• 40 percent of women have experienced dating violence via social media, which can include harassing text messages and disturbing information about them posted on social media sites.
• 20 percent of online stalkers use social networking to stalk their victims.
• 34 percent of female college students and 14 percent of male students have broken into a romantic partner’s email.

“The same technologies used to harass can also be used to intervene and prevent harassment,” she said, adding that some states are considering mandating the use of GPS tracking devices on offenders to allow victims to keep tabs on them.

“Imagine a cell phone application that can tell you if someone threatening you is nearby,” Carll said. “That could be life-saving.”

Law enforcement, legal assistance and other social service providers need training to use direct and electronic methods to intervene and prevent electronic harassment, and victims need training in the safe use of technology, she said.

In another session Friday, researchers released results of a study that found 36 percent of students had been cyberbullied at least once in the past year.

Researchers examined data collected in 2009 from 1,112 students, ages 12 to 19, 405 female, from schools in Seoul and the Keonggi area of South Korea. Of these, 225 were in elementary school, 678 in middle school and 209 in high school. The students completed a questionnaire about their cyberbullying experiences, self-esteem and how they regulate their emotions.

“The results revealed that cyberbullying makes students socially anxious, lonely, frustrated, sad and helpless,” said presenter YeoJu Chung, PhD, of South Korea’s Kyungil University.

The research explored how adolescents emotionally deal with cyberbullying. Students who said they ruminated, or obsessed, about the negative event were more likely to suffer serious stress from cyberbullying. In addition, people who blamed themselves for the situation were more likely to ruminate. Students who refocused on positive thoughts were able to cope and recover more quickly, according to the study.

Students reported that they were more negatively affected by cyberbullying when it was anonymous and in “one-sided sites such as blogs and cyber boards.” The research also showed that students who are victims of cyberbullying will often subsequently bully others online.

“Lots of adolescents have trouble recovering from negative effects of cyberbullying,” said Chung. “We can help them use emotion regulation skills to recover, rather than become bullies themselves.”

Released: 7/28/2011   Source: American Psychological Association (APA)

Via Newswise

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/dealing-with-the-cyberworld-s-dark-side

Web Search Is Ready for a Shakeup, Says University of Washington Computer Scientist

Newswise — A University of Washington computer scientist is calling on the international academic community and engineers working in industry to take a bolder approach when designing how people find information online.
In a two-page commentary titled “Search needs a shake-up,” published in the Aug. 4 issue of the journal Nature, UW professor of computer science and engineering Oren Etzioni calls on experts to, literally, think outside the search box. The piece is being published on the 20-year anniversary of Tim Berners Lee unveiling his World Wide Web project.
Etzioni doesn’t mince words. In the article, he writes that the main obstacle to progress “seems to be a curious lack of ambition and imagination.”
In a phone interview, Etzioni was more conciliatory.
“The piece is meant to be provocative,” said Etzioni. He acknowledged that the leading search engines have hired many smart people – including hundreds of UW graduates.
“Despite all the talent and the data that they have, I don’t think that they’ve been ambitious enough,” he said. “This piece is meant to provoke people, to challenge them to go further, to think outside the keyword search box.”
Etzioni imagines a future in which someone would speak a question, such as: “What was the score in today’s Mariners game?” or “Where’s the nearest restaurant that serves great sushi?” and the computer would find an answer by looking through all the data available on the Internet.
It’s an ambitious goal. But last winter’s Jeopardy matchup, in which IBM’s Watson supercomputer trounced the best human players in the show’s history, tested a computer’s ability to immediately answer complex questions.
“I think the Watson Jeopardy thing is a great demonstration and has galvanized me, personally, to say just how far the technology has come,” Etzioni said. “With the current state of the art in research, coupled with an engineering investment, they were able to produce a system with superhuman performance.”
And as the ability to do intelligent searches increases, so does the demand.
“More and more, we’re going to be accessing the web through mobile devices with tiny screens,” Etzioni said. “As you do more and more of that, it becomes harder and harder to type in keywords and see long lists of blue links.”
“People are going to be clamoring for more intelligent search and a more streamlined process of asking questions and getting answers,” he said.
Etzioni proposes that instead of simply looking for strings of text, a web search engine would identify basic entities – people, places, things – and uncover the relationships between them. This is the goal of the UW’s Turing Center, which he directs.
The Turing Center has developed an open-source tool called ReVerb that uses information on the web to determine the relationship between two entities.
“It’s an important first step, but there’s a lot more to do,” Etzioni said. “My hope is that people reading this article will build on it to develop better and more powerful open information extraction systems.”
Scientists and students may use such tools to answer specific questions, such as defining a technical term or finding the risk factors associated with a certain medical procedure.
“Sometimes people are going to want a quick answer, sometimes they’re going to want primary sources,” Etzioni said, “but it’s different ways of slicing and dicing the information that’s out there.”
Etzioni was quoted last weekend by the New York Times about Microsoft’s long-term project to develop a better search experience in its Bing search engine. The article mentions Farecast, an airfare-prediction tool that Etzioni launched in 2003 and is now incorporated in Bing’s airfare search engine.
“Over the next year, I think that we will see substantial progress towards intelligent search,” Etzioni said. “We are seeing it today in shopping search, with Decide.com, and we are seeing it in the preliminary steps that Bing and Google are taking, but the best is yet to come.”

Released: 8/3/2011     Source: University of Washington

Via Newswise

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/view/579279/

Neurologist Develops New iPhone Educational Tool

Newswise — With a new application developed by a U-M neurologist, better understanding of the anatomy of the peripheral nervous system can be found right on your iPhone.

Nerve Whiz is a free application for medical professionals interested in learning the complex anatomy of nerve roots, plexuses, and peripheral nerves. It can work on Apple personal devices such as iPhones, iPads and iPods, and will soon be available for Android devices.

The application goes beyond simple nerve charts to help medical professionals interpret clinical examinations. Users select which muscles are weak or point to where the patient has sensory loss and the application provides a differential diagnosis, complete with relevant pictures and diagrams.

“Before you can figure out what is causing neurologic symptoms, you have to determine what part of the nervous system isn’t functioning normally. Neurologists call this ‘localizing the lesion,’” says Zachary London, M.D., assistant professor of neurology, director of the University of Michigan neurology residency program and inventor and developer of Nerve Whiz.

“Nerve Whiz helps you localize by taking the information from your physical examination of a patient and synthesizing a list of possible anatomic regions which could be disrupted,” explains London. “If there is more than one possibility, Nerve Whiz lets you know which other muscles you need to examine to hone in on the answer.”

The application is popular among physicians, medical students, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and anatomists in the United States and abroad. As of May this year, over 33,000 different users had downloaded Nerve Whiz.

“Anybody with an iPhone or iPad can use this. Just go to the iPhone App Store, search for ‘nerve whiz’ and download it right to your smart phone,” says London.

Nerve Whiz was financed by the Jerry Isler Neuromuscular Fund. Jerry Isler was diagnosed with a painful neuromuscular disease affecting his legs when he came to seek treatment from London.

Isler was very happy with the care he received at U-M and, with his wife, established the Jerry Isler Neuromuscular Fund in late 2009 to support U-M research and education related to neuromuscular disorders.

“This philanthropy has been the most satisfying thing we’ve done,” says Jerry Isler. “And it was totally unexpected.”

“Nerve Whiz takes the mystery out of the peripheral nervous system. Now anyone can learn to think more like a neurologist,” says London.

Resources:

University of Michigan Department of Neurology

http://www.med.umich.edu/neurology/nerve-whiz.htm

Released: 7/12/2011
Source: University of Michigan Health System

Via Newswise

Related Link:

 http://www.newswise.com/articles/neurologist-develops-new-educational-tool

Marketing Expert Finds Attachment to Cellphones More About Entertainment, Less About Communication

Newswise — MANHATTAN, Kan. — That panicked feeling we get when the family pet goes missing is the same when we misplace our mobile phone, says a Kansas State University marketing professor. Moreover, those feelings of loss and hopelessness without our digital companion are natural.

“The cellphone’s no longer just a cellphone; it’s become the way we communicate and a part of our life,” said Esther Swilley, who researches technology and marketing. This reliance on cellphones and other mobile technology in daily life is an interest of Swilley’s, and a phenomenon she hopes to explain.

One long-term study has Swilley looking at the attitudes people have toward their mobile phone and how these attitudes are influenced by a user’s relationship with their device. That attachment, called mobile affinity, depends on whether an owner views their cellphone or smartphone as a device that’s more fun than it is functional or vice versa. Gaining insight into this relationship could enable retailers to better understand the consumer mindset and could even make it possible to market to consumers individually based on their interests and beliefs.

To find and collect this data, Swilley uses a hotbed of information: a college campus. She observes how Kansas State students use and respond to their phone, as well as surveying students in her marketing course.

According to her data pool, the majority of participants are between ages 19-24, with 52 percent being male. More importantly, 99 percent own a mobile phone.

“Honestly I’m surprised this wasn’t 100 percent,” Swilley said. “People share other devices like computers, but cellphones are an interesting thing because we each have our own. That individual ownership is a really big deal for people.”

Swilley found that a majority of the participants said they are attached to their phone because of its functionality as an entertainment device rather than as a tool that can communicate anytime and anywhere. So it comes to no surprise to Swilley that games are the most downloaded application for cellphones, according to app stores.

What is surprising to her is that study participants indicated their mobile phone allowed for little to no self-expression. This is odd because while mobile phone owners have said their phone is a part of themselves, it’s not a way they express themselves, Swilley said. A future study looking at what makes mobile technology aesthetically pleasing may eventually answer this, however.

With the adoption of more smartphones and the introduction of apps, Swilley has noticed that for many owners, their phone’s entertainment factor has become a source of pride and joy — similar to that of a lovable new pet.

“It’s sort of similar to when people had those Tamagotchi pets as children; cellphones are just the adult version of that,” Swilley said. “People don’t turn them off, are constantly playing with them, and want to show off the neat things the phone can do.”

The concept for looking at consumer attitudes toward their phone stemmed from the time Swilley was employed at BellSouth Corporation, now a subsidiary of AT&T Inc.

“Every employee was given a BlackBerry. Some of us weren’t interested in having a pager, so the phones just sat there for some time,” Swilley said. “But when I left three years later, I almost cried because I had to give up my BlackBerry. It had become a part of me and I was attached to it. It was the way I communicated. Today when I look at people now with their cellphones I see the same attachment.”

Released: 6/28/2011
Source: Kansas State University

Via NEWSWISE

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/marketing-expert-finds-attachment-to-cellphones-more-about-entertainment-less-about-communication

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