Ever wonder what motivates people to throw zombies, vampires and drinks at you on Facebook? What message does your profile picture convey about you? Why are some Facebook apps like Scrabulous an uber hit, while other (perhaps even more useful) applications remain unloved and gathering virtual dust? And all that "poke" business? What's that about?
Led by Dr. BJ Fogg, researchers at the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford are taking a look at the popular social networking site and will soon publish their research in a new book titled, The Psychology of Facebook.
Here's the abstract:
This new book explains how Facebook's psychological strategies are changing the Internet, our social lives, and world politics.
To date, most research on social networking, especially in terms of teen and tween users, has been centered around online safety and sexual predators (a la "Dateline NBC"). Thankfully, cooler heads and more research are beginning to put those concerns into perspective.
As social networking moves more and more mainstream, and Boomer parents catch up with their Gen Y kids online, it's important that we take a deeper look at the underlying psychology and persuasive nature of social networking environments like Facebook.