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

The Protect IP/SOPA Bill Threatens the Entire Internet, Video Explains the Flaws in This Hurried Legislation

Tell Congress not to censor the internet NOW! – fightforthefuture.org/pipa

Source: fightforthefuture.org

We May Be Less Happy, but Our English Language Isn’t

Newswise — “If it bleeds, it leads,” goes the cynical saying with television and newspaper editors. In other words, most news is bad news and the worst news gets the big story on the front page.

So one might expect the New York Times to contain, on average, more negative and unhappy types of words — like “war,” ” funeral,” “cancer,” “murder” — than positive, happy ones — like “love,” “peace” and “hero.”

Or take Twitter. A popular image of what people tweet about may contain a lot of complaints about bad days, worse coffee, busted relationships and lousy sitcoms. Again, it might be reasonable to guess that a giant bag containing all the words from the world’s tweets — on average — would be more negative and unhappy than positive and happy.

But new research shows just the opposite.

“English, it turns out, is strongly biased toward being positive,” said Peter Dodds, an applied mathematician at the University of Vermont.

The UVM team’s study “Positivity of the English Language,” is presented in the Jan. 11 issue of the journal PLoS ONE.

This new study complements another study the same Vermont scientists presented in the Dec. 7 issue of PLoS ONE, “Temporal Patterns of Happiness and Information in a Global Social Network.”

That work attracted wide media attention showing that average global happiness, based on Twitter data, has been dropping for the past two years.

Combined, the two studies show that short-term average happiness has dropped — against the backdrop of the long-term fundamental positivity of the English language.

In the new study, Dodds and his colleagues gathered billions of words from four sources: twenty years of the New York Times, the Google Books Project (with millions of titles going back to 1520), Twitter and a half-century of music lyrics.

“The big surprise is that in each of these four sources it’s the same,” says Dodds. “We looked at the top 5,000 words in each, in terms of frequency, and in all of those words you see a preponderance of happier words.”

Or, as they write in their study, “a positivity bias is universal,” both for very common words and less common ones and across sources as diverse as tweets, lyrics and British literature.

Why is this? “It’s not to say that everything is fine and happy,” Dodds says. “It’s just that language is social.”

In contrast to traditional economic theory, which suggests people are inherently and rationally selfish, a wave of new social science and neuroscience data shows something quite different: that we are a pro-social storytelling species. As language emerged and evolved over the last million years, positive words, it seems, have been more widely and deeply engrained into our communications than negative ones.

“If you want to remain in a social contract with other people, you can’t be a…,” well, Dodds here used a word that is rather too negative to be fit to print — which makes the point.

This new work adds depth to the Twitter study that the Vermont scientists published in December that attracted attention from NPR, Time magazine and other media outlets.

“After that mild downer story, we can say, ‘But wait — there’s still happiness in the bank,” Dodds notes. “On average, there’s always a net happiness to language.”

Both studies drew on a service from Amazon called Mechanical Turk. On this website, the UVM researchers paid a group of volunteers to rate, from one to nine, their sense of the “happiness” — the emotional temperature — of the 10,222 most common words gathered from the four sources. Averaging their scores, the volunteers rated, for example, “laughter” at 8.50, “food” 7.44, “truck” 5.48, “greed” 3.06 and “terrorist” 1.30.

The Vermont team — including Dodds, Isabel Kloumann, Chris Danforth, Kameron Harris, and Catherine Bliss — then took these scores and applied them to the huge pools of words they collected. Unlike some other studies — with smaller samples or that elicited strong emotional words from volunteers — the new UVM study, based solely on frequency of use, found that “positive words strongly outnumber negative words overall.”

This seems to lend support to the so-called Pollyanna Principle, put forth in 1969, that argues for a universal human tendency to use positive words more often, easily and in more ways than negative words.

Of course, most people would rank some words, like “the,” with the same score: a neutral 5. Other words, like “pregnancy,” have a wide spread, with some people ranking it high and others low. At the top of this list of words that elicited strongly divergent feelings: “profanities, alcohol and tobacco, religion, both capitalism and socialism, sex, marriage, fast foods, climate, and cultural phenomena such as the Beatles, the iPhone, and zombies,” the researchers write.

“A lot of these words — the neutral words or ones that have big standard deviations — get washed out when we use them as a measure,” Dodds notes. Instead, the trends he and his team have observed are driven by the bulk of English words tending to be happy.

If we think of words as atoms and sentences as molecules that combine to form a whole text, “we’re looking at atoms,” says Dodds. “A lot of news is bad,” he says, and short-term happiness may rise and and fall like the cycles of the economy, “but the atoms of the story — of language — are, overall, on the positive side.”

Released: 1/12/2012

Source: University of Vermont

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/we-may-be-less-happy-but-our-language-isn-t

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

Truly Amazing….New Cotton Fabric Cleans Itself When Exposed to Ordinary Sunlight

Imagine jeans, sweats or socks that clean and de-odorize themselves when hung on a clothesline in the sun or draped on a balcony railing. Scientists are reporting development of a new cotton fabric that does clean itself of stains and bacteria when exposed to ordinary sunlight.

Newswise — Imagine jeans, sweats or socks that clean and de-odorize themselves when hung on a clothesline in the sun or draped on a balcony railing. Scientists are reporting development of a new cotton fabric that does clean itself of stains and bacteria when exposed to ordinary sunlight. Their report appears in the ACS’ journal Applied Materials & Interfaces.

Mingce Long and Deyong Wu say their fabric uses a coating made from a compound of titanium dioxide, the white material used in everything from white paint to foods to sunscreen lotions. Titanium dioxide breaks down dirt and kills microbes when exposed to some types of light. It already has found uses in self-cleaning windows, kitchen and bathroom tiles, odor-free socks and other products. Self-cleaning cotton fabrics have been made in the past, the authors note, but they self-clean thoroughly only when exposed to ultraviolet rays. So they set out to develop a new cotton fabric that cleans itself when exposed to ordinary sunlight.

Their report describes cotton fabric coated with nanoparticles made from a compound of titanium dioxide and nitrogen. They show that fabric coated with the material removes an orange dye stain when exposed to sunlight. Further dispersing nanoparticles composed of silver and iodine accelerates the discoloration process. The coating remains intact after washing and drying.

The authors acknowledge funding from Donghua University and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.

Released: 12/16/2011

Source: American Chemical  Society (ACS)

Related Link:

http://newswise.com/articles/new-cotton-fabric-cleans-itself-when-exposed-to-ordinary-sunlight

Social Media Is Having a Major Impact on Businesses

Companies are shifting to digital platforms and media to interact and collaborate with customers and employees

Newswise — As businesses become increasingly global and competitive, social media is playing a major role because of its ability to bridge distances and enable the development of relationships, a key component for any business.

”It is totally reshaping the way organizations communicate,” says Andrea Goldberg, the president and founder of Digital Culture Consulting, LLC in Bedford, NY, and an industrial and organizational psychologist with a background in marketing, communications and human resources.

“Increased openness and collaboration are greatly impacting the workplace and leading to the creation of internal and external networks and communities. Driving much of this is the relatively new phenomenon of social media, which is also contributing to organizational effectiveness, branding and customer support,” Goldberg said.

A 2010 Burson Marsteller study of Fortune 100 companies found that 66 percent used Twitter; 54 percent had a Facebook page and half managed a corporate YouTube channel. And, according to another survey, 73 percent of businesses plan to increase their social media presence, while 90 percent of marketers have adopted social media as a valuable tool.

Savvy companies, both large and small, have recognized the value social media can bring to their organizations; something that employees and customers are expecting more and more.

This is due in large part to the increased use of social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn by people of all ages as well as the numbers of technically oriented people entering the workforce who have grown up with social media. For these people, social media is an integral part of their lives and they expect it to be part of their work environment as well.

“A new business environment is emerging as many employees have the ability and the desire to use these tools to interact with their colleagues, managers and customers and to accomplish work differently than by traditional methods,” said Goldberg.

On the customer or external side this has been demonstrated by the growth of sites such as Yelp and Angie’s list that allow customers to evaluate vendors. Twitter is being used to respond to customer concerns and Facebook enables customers to become fans.

On the internal side, Goldberg sees organizations transforming and shifting strategies because of the way social media is impacting recruiting and selection, communications, rewards and incentives, defining job roles and leadership and training and development.

The fact is that social media has already become a common part of the workplace, so companies need to accommodate the new realities, said Goldberg.

She said some of the positive outcomes stemming from these realities include new marketing and public relations channels; better customer acquisition, service and loyalty; new approaches for branding and communications; collaborative innovations for product development; opportunities for thought leadership; recruitment of hard-to-find skilled candidates and increased employee engagement.

This trend does come with some risks. Employees posting unacceptable comments about colleagues and/or their company on Twitter and other social media outlets have occurred.

To mitigate misuse, companies need to develop policies governing use of social media that restricts certain content including personnel matters, contract negotiations and corporate policies.

Forward thinking companies are leveraging employees’ social media skills and training them to become brand stewards to help promote loyalty and support for the organization. Positive postings on employees’ social networks can boost an organization’s employment brand. “They can help position the company as an employer of choice,” said Goldberg.

She also pointed out that organizations actively involved in social media often have employees more engaged with their companies. “The value is they get people talking and interacting across boundaries, borders and silos,” she said.

Benefits include greater transparency, trust, responsibility, innovation and improved customer service, she added.

But some things have to be in place before social media use can be effective, says Goldberg. Realistic expectations and guidelines must be established and clearly communicated to all employees while allowing opportunity for dialog and commentary. Also, employees should be aware of not only the benefits but also the limitations of social media. “Employees need to be careful how they use company information on social media networks,” she said.

Another way to enhance satisfaction is to encourage employees to offer ideas and suggestions and incorporate them into both company programs and products. “They need to know management is listening to them and they are important to the company’s success. And that helps build trust,” she said.

However, despite the proven benefits not all organizations have jumped on the social media bandwagon. Others are slow to see its value.

Goldberg pointed to Accenture as an organization that had made social media part of its culture. The global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company provides avenues for employees to connect through an internal Twitter Network, a company blog and a YouTube site.

Kevin Kramer, Accenture’s director of human capital, said “We are very wired. People here are excited about social media and have been using it for years. We are hooked on our mobile devices.”

Goldberg said that social media is not just the domain of young people. “The fastest growing segment of social media users is over 40. In part, that’s because so many young people are active users and there is not much room to grow. Nevertheless, older people are learning just how effective a tool social media can be and that’s why they are the fastest growing group.”

Released: 12/13/2011

Source: Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP)

Related Link:

http://www.newswise.com/articles/social-media-is-having-a-major-impact-on-businesses

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