(Autumn 2013 and Winter 2014)
- Autumn 2013: Thursdays, 3:30–4:30 PM (Sieg 314)
- Autumn 2014: TBD
The Internet gives individuals more choice in political news and information sources and more tools to filter out disagreeable information. Citing the preference described by selective exposure theory—that people prefer information that supports their beliefs and avoid counter-attitudinal information—observers warn that people may use these tools to access agreeable information and live in ideological echo chambers, increasing the polarization of different political groups and decreasing society's ability to solve problems. In this research group, we design and study ways to increase people's awareness of the bias in their own reading and to help them find more balanced or diverse sources of news.
Previously, colleagues and I have developed algorithms to select for more diverse news, as well as the Balancer extension for the Chrome browser. Balancer (http://balancestudy.org/balancer) reveals the lean of one's news reading and offers recommended alternative sources or stories.
In this research group, project options include:
- Continuing to develop and improve the Balancer extension based on what we have learned so far, and possibly releasing the extension for Firefox.
- Comparing and and improving algorithms that select diverse news content based on link, vote, or traffic data.
- Developing new tools.
- Studies of bias in search results.
For this research group, you should be fairly self-motivated and self-directed. If you are interested in participating (for 1–3 credit hours of credit/no credit grade in HCDE 496/596), please send an email to Sean Munson (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a few paragraphs describing why you are interested in the group, any specific project, your relevant skills, and the number of credits you are seeking. Meetings are mandatory for all registered students.
- Autumn 2013: Tuesdays, 3:30–4:30pm (Sieg 128)
- Winter 2014: Thursdays, 4:30-5:30pm (Sieg 128)
Hundreds of applications—online, on phones, and on mobile devices—are available to help people manager their health and wellness. Despite this broad adoption in the marketplace, the extent to which they help people, and who they can most help, are not generally well understood.
In this quarter, we will continue the following projects:
- A study of goal setting. Work on this project will involve supporting a laboratory study (recruiting, scheduling, and running participants) and an online field study (designing and piloting the study application), as well as analyzing and writing up the results. You may work on either the laboratory study, the online study, or both.
- An exploratory study of how to improve sharing features in life logs. This will include formative surveys, designing prototypes, and online and/or in person evaluations of these prototypes.
If you are interested in participating (for 1–3 credit hours of credit/no credit grade in HCDE 496/596), please send an email to Sean Munson (email@example.com) with one to two paragraphs describing why you are interested in the group, any specific project, your relevant skills, and the number of credits you are seeking. Meetings are mandatory for all registered students.