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Up&Out39 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 4:39pm

Facebook conducted secret psychology experiment on users' emotions

Facebook has conducted a secret massive psychology experiment on its users to find out how they respond to positive and negative messages - without telling participants

A Facebook employee arrives at a presentation by the California-based company
A Facebook employee arrives at a presentation by the California-based company Photo: GETTY IMAGES

12:00PM BST 28 Jun 2014

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Over 600,000 Facebook users have taken part in a psychological experiment organised by the social media company, without their knowledge.

Facebook altered the tone of the users' news feed to highlight either positive or negative posts from their friends, which were seen on their news feed.

They then monitored the users' response, to see whether their friends' attitude had an impact on their own.

"The results show emotional contagion," wrote a team of Facebook scientists, in a paper published by the PNAS journal - Proceedings of the National Academy of Scientists of the United States.

"When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were reduced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks."

Facebook were able to carry out the experiment because all users have to tick a box agreeing to their terms and conditions. These include "internal operations, including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, research and service improvement."

In the study, the authors point out that they stayed within the remit of the agreement by using a machine to pick out positive and negative posts, meaning no user data containing personal information was actually viewed by human researchers.

The study, carried out over a week in January 2012, was carried out for scientific purposes. But evidence that social media can have such a strong impact on people's mental state will certainly be of interest to advertisers.

The lead scientist, Adam Kramer, said in an interview when he joined Facebook in March 2012 that he took the job because "Facebook data constitutes the largest field study in the history of the world."


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/10932534/Facebook-conducted-secret-psychology-experiment-on-users-emotions.html


Good thing I don't have a fb or the other social media programs LOL

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leftywefty View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote leftywefty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 4:51pm
it was only a matter of time. this is just the beginning
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PurplePhase View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 5:03pm
Makes sense.

I'm only shocked if this is a surprise to anyone.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Up&Out39 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 5:07pm
I just wonder why the study had to be done. The results were obvious. I feel like there were many studies out there showing that positive things make people feel/do positive things and vice versa. Was this extremely neccessary? In my psych class, I learned that experiments and research should only be conducted if it was going to be some great phenomenon or if it was going to benefit everyone as a whole. This was not needed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ms_wonderland Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 5:08pm
people on Facebook really need to stop being bothered by perceived privacy violations when they put all of their business for the world to see.
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PurplePhase View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote PurplePhase Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 5:15pm
Originally posted by ms_wonderland ms_wonderland wrote:

people on Facebook really need to stop being bothered by perceived privacy violations when they put all of their business for the world to see.


agree.
can't be mad they we're being used for research lol
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Benni View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Benni Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 5:39pm
Originally posted by PurplePhase PurplePhase wrote:

Makes sense.

I'm only shocked if this is a surprise to anyone.




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leftywefty View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote leftywefty Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 5:45pm
Originally posted by Up&Out39 Up&Out39 wrote:

I just wonder why the study had to be done. The results were obvious. I feel like there were many studies out there showing that positive things make people feel/do positive things and vice versa. Was this extremely neccessary? In my psych class, I learned that experiments and research should only be conducted if it was going to be some great phenomenon or if it was going to benefit everyone as a whole. This was not needed.

It was probably somebody's bullish*t dissertation research.
Facebook is a goldmine for sociological research.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SamoneLenior Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Jun 28 2014 at 5:55pm

trying to use facebook now for two studies at my job and it is actually very hard to do

we are using it more to contact participants but privacy concerns pretty much are making it a non-option

they should have debriefed all the people that were apart of this
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