Sunday, July 06, 2014

This Week in EID – Episode 10

Some really interesting topics this week:

Embodied and Enclothed Cognition was a piece from one of David McRaney’s interviews over at You Are Not So Smart.  I love that podcast, too bad it is only once a month.  The interview I discussed in this post talks about the power of uniforms.  When you are wearing clothing that has a link to a particular ability or attribute, it has a powerful influence on you.  Imagine how different you might behave if you are wearing a doctor’s lab coat, a military uniform, a punk rocker’s outfit, or whatever.  It is unconscious, but influential nonetheless.

Entooled Cognition.  When you are holding a hammer, the whole world is a nail.  It seems this is more true than we thought.  Perhaps the reason we respond so quickly to emails is not that it is easy, it is that our hands are already on the keyboard.  Maybe we need to tie our hands down.  Or better yet, use speech-based interfaces and have our emails read to us while we are across the room.

The Ethics and Big Data Research post was written before I realized that everyone was going to jump on the Facebook research bandwagon.  And of course, my take on it was different than most because I was thinking as someone who teaches research ethics to future practitioners who might find themselves exactly where Facebook is today.  In fact, that is why we teach it.  Good thing too, it seems.

The Priming with Music piece was based on a really fascinating article I read that looked at some fundamental ways that music affects thinking.  The fascinating part is that abstract musical structures can prime your thinking to be abstract.  And detail-oriented music can have the opposite effect – leading you to think more detailed.  Priming is not surprising any more – just look at how many times I post about it.  But this kind of priming is much more fundamental and I think has broader and more powerful implications.  For good and for evil HF purposes, so be careful.