Judgment Comes In Pairs

Over the past few years, a number of psychologists have begun to look more closely at the role these kinds of unconscious – or, as they like to call them, implicit – associations play in our beliefs and behavior, and much of their work has focused on a very fascinating tool called the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT was devised by Anthony G. Greenwald, Mahzarin Banaji, and Brian Nosek, and it a based on a seemingly obvious – but nonetheless quite profound – observation. We make connections much more quickly between pairs of ideas that are already related in our minds than we do pairs of ideas that are unfamiliar to us. What does this mean?

Let me give you an example. Below is a list of words. Take a pencil or pen and assign each name to the category to which it belongs by putting a check mark either to the left or to the right of the word. You can also do it by tapping your finger in the appropriate column. Do it as quickly as you can. Don’t skip over words. And don’t worry if you make mistakes.

Male                                                                                                                                                                                                             Female

John

Bob

Amy

Holly

Joan

Derek

Peggy

Jason

Lisa

Matt

Sarah

That was easy right? And the reason that was easy is that when we read of hear the name “John” or “Bob” or “Holly”, we don’t even have to think about whether it’s a masculine or feminine name. We all have a strong prior association between a first name like John and the male gender, or a name like Lisa and things female.

That was a warm up.

Now let’s complete an actual IAT. It works like the warm up, except that now I’m going to mix two entirely separate categories together. Once again, put a check mark to either the right or the left of each word, in the category to which it belongs

Male or Career                                                                                    Female or Family

Lisa

Matt

Laundry

Entrepreneur

John

Merchant

Bob

Capitalist

Holly

Joan

Home

Corporation

Siblings

Peggy

Jason

Kitchen

Housework

Parents

Sarah

Derek

My guess is that most of you found this a little harder, but that you were still pretty fast at putting the words into the right categories.

*All text referenced is taken from Blink by Malcolm Gladwell*

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Show Us Your Face

Twitter Page

*Author screen shot photo from personal Twitter page*

Social media has really made an increased presence over the last 10 years. Do I have any detailed statistical data to back this up? No, but it doesn’t take rocket science to see the ever growing trend that social media has. Award shows now even have hash tag votes that engage the viewers and make them feel apart of the experiences. Many restaurants and even department stores now give discounts if you “Like” their Facebook page or mention them in a tweet. Even down to the very degree program of EMAC, which cleverly intertwines in depth reading, application and analysis of social media behavior. I believe for scenarios such as this, SNSs are a wonderful thing. For instance, the Nutrition Hut, I shop that I frequent for breakfast, gives discounts if you check in on Facebook to their page. I’m not a fan of letting the whole social media stratosphere know where I am and what I’m doing. But in this case, I don’t hesitate. Why? Because there’s something in it for me? I save money and they get more promotion for their business. It’s a clear win win. But when do the use of SNSs become the poster child for something they weren’t intended for?

Too often we see people using social media to post half naked selfies, start twitter arguments or make discriminatory comments. What do these things all have in common? In the safe environment of the SNS world, it’s really ok to say what you feel, without thinking of repercussions, because technically no one us actually “seeing” you do anything. They’re looking at a representation of you through text, picture or video. Could this perhaps be the reason why most people use sites such as Facebook to “articulate previously established relationships than to meet strangers”? In A Networked Self, Zizi Papacharissi shows that people typically use SNSs to be reacquainted with old friends or colleagues, not to meet new people. Papacharissi also brings up the interesting point that married people and people in relationships tend to use social media more than their single counterparts. Based on the idea that you may overlap friend or associate pools with your significant other, this makes sense. It’s a broader sense of networked publics, as danah boyd defines as the space constructed through networked technologies and the imagined collective that emerges as a result of the intersection of people, technology and practice. The more intersections you have, the more chances there are for “imagined communities” that we either include or exclude others from, as Benedict Anderson suggests. We feel more comfortable to say and do what we want on social media, partly because we are already familiar with the audience.

We have become so attached to social media that we feel naked without it. As this Tuesday ends my one week fast from Facebook, I had to constantly remind myself not to respond to messages or wall posts. Even if there were not messages or posts from anyone, I just wanted to be free to browse my home page when I felt bored. Ironically, the fast started on my birthday which made it even harder! How was I supposed to show my gratitude for the people who wished me a happy birthday!? Only 8 people actually called me on my birthday. Could we be damaging the intent of Facebook and other such sites as a communicative cop out to show we’re thinking of someone by virtually messaging, re-tweeting, poking, or writing on their wall? While I believe that we should all use SNSs to our advantage, we should not use them to hide our true beings or a free ticket to be openly disrespectful. Perhaps we will be better off if we remember to keep the three dynamics in mind as mentioned in Chapter 4 (p.49) of A Networked Self: Invisible audiences (all audiences aren’t necessarily present or absent online), Collapsed contexts (difficulty to keep social contexts from lack of spacial, social, and temporal boundaries) and The blurring of public and private (the difficulty to maintain each as distinct).

Here’s an interesting dialogue about the effects of overuse of social media with author and columnist Margie Warrell

Snap.Crackle.Flash.

Samsung Galaxy

I started video blogging about a year and half ago. At first, it was just something fun to do to coincide with the weekly music reviews I post on my website, www.peauxeticexpressions.com. Quality was a concern, but not of the utmost, so I used the web cam on my laptop. This past summer, I decided things had to change. I needed to step my game up visually to get people’s attention. But first, I needed a new camera. I searched and looked at numerous cameras, but never found one quite like my baby. The Samsung Galaxy 16.3 Megapixel Digital Camera.  It records HD videos, has an LCD touch screen, and a 21x optical zoom. If you can’t tell, I love it. But on to the more pertinent issue at hand. What does this awesome camera really have to do with anything?

In the excerpt from Phaedrus, Plato drives the point home that rich rhetoric has an intense awareness of the truth. The truth must not only be made aware of, but also understood to make a sound argument.  “At the same time I boldly assert that mere knowledge of the truth will not give you the art of persuasion,” from Phaedrus, page 1.  It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words, so why not make it the best picture possible?  The truth doesn’t get much clearer than what a picture represents. True, pictures can also be manipulated to present “the truth” we want to exhibit. But pictures can reveal expressions of happiness, excitement or sadness. They also can reveal the winning shot of a basketball game or great highlights from a live concert.

Iwan Rhys Morus touches on primarily Victorian enthusiasm, and even some criticism of telegraphs in “The Nervous System of Britain”. One important comparison that Morus makes is that with the telegraph and the human nervous system.  Both of these scenarios involve sending messages throughout a medium or body system.  Similarly, the Samsung Galaxy camera can act as a telegraph of sorts by sending pictures and videos through social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc), email and YouTube.  Imagine how excited the Victorians would be to see this!!  It’s a domino effect where the nervous system acts as a catalyst to carry out the same tasks that the telegraph does.

Bush’s, “As We May Think” article most directly addresses the effect on photography in society. He compares the difference between wet and dry photography. It was a comparison I had never heard of until now. Wet photography would more than like be something a professional photographer uses, while dry photography may be more suitable for amateurs like myself. But, could there be a caveat to this theory?  Bush insinuates that dry photography is making more of a presence, even in areas it traditionally could not have been possible (such as with film). He cautions that the process is slow now, but will likely be improved once someone cracks the code on how to speed it up. Perhaps there will be a “damp” happy medium until we transition to completely dry photography. The Samsung Galaxy camera is surely doing its part to propel that movement.

The only gripe I have about the Samsung Galaxy camera is that it does not have a microphone input. But hey, with features this cool, I don’t have a problem speaking louder to be heard. Shown below, here is one of the recent green screen videos I created for my video blog, with the help of the Samsung Galaxy camera, of course.