COHFA | Psychology: Projects in Progress

Title

Social Media and Current Events

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Senior

Major

Psychology/Sociology

Minor

N/A

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Patrick Cushen, Ph.D.

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

Over the last decade the Internet has seen rapid growth in our society. By 2011, 75.6% of families reported owning a computer in their household (File, 2013). That growth has led to the dawn of the age of smartphones and social media applications and today 64% of American adults own a cell phone (Smith, 2015). It can be difficult to determine credibility when using social media for information. One reason for this might be that the line for what is credible or not becomes slightly blurred in the social media world, partially because certain pages or accounts on social media are different than others in that some are labeled with words like “official” or “verified”. The purpose of this study is to look at the effect of “verified”, “non-verified” Twitter accounts, and news updates to determine if the status of the social media source matters. We gathered participants’ demographics and tested false memory formation using images of a robbery followed by a distraction running span task. Next, participants were given a confidence test. Finally, we gauged their Twitter usage with a Likert Scale questionnaire. Upon completion of this study, we hypothesize participants will be more likely to encode false information coming “verified” Twitter accounts than any other presented medium.

keywords: social media, false memory formation,encoding, credible sources

Location

Classroom 210, Waterfield Library

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Affiliations

Psychology: Projects in Progress

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Nov 18th, 8:00 AM Nov 18th, 10:00 AM

Social Media and Current Events

Classroom 210, Waterfield Library

Over the last decade the Internet has seen rapid growth in our society. By 2011, 75.6% of families reported owning a computer in their household (File, 2013). That growth has led to the dawn of the age of smartphones and social media applications and today 64% of American adults own a cell phone (Smith, 2015). It can be difficult to determine credibility when using social media for information. One reason for this might be that the line for what is credible or not becomes slightly blurred in the social media world, partially because certain pages or accounts on social media are different than others in that some are labeled with words like “official” or “verified”. The purpose of this study is to look at the effect of “verified”, “non-verified” Twitter accounts, and news updates to determine if the status of the social media source matters. We gathered participants’ demographics and tested false memory formation using images of a robbery followed by a distraction running span task. Next, participants were given a confidence test. Finally, we gauged their Twitter usage with a Likert Scale questionnaire. Upon completion of this study, we hypothesize participants will be more likely to encode false information coming “verified” Twitter accounts than any other presented medium.

keywords: social media, false memory formation,encoding, credible sources