How the Internet is ruining your brain

July 4, 2012


Heard it all before?

January 16, 2011

Do you ever get the feeling the same old management ideas just keep coming round again, possibly with a different name? Or that we’ve just got used to a regular turn over in euphemisms? You could be right! One way of finding out is to use something like Googlelabs Ngram Viewer. This is based on all those books that Google has been busy scanning into their great virtual library. One thing you can do with it is to look for trends in the use of particular words, or pairs of words, over time. For example, those dear old euphuisms for making people redundant: ‘downsizing’ and ‘rightsizing’. Pop them into the Ngram viewer and what do you get? ‘Downsizing’ appears in about 1980, ‘rightsizing’ in the more PC, late 1990s. Now you know what it can do, enjoy!

PS: The use of the word ‘enjoy’, in all its manifestations, has been relatively stable over the last 100 years.

Website psychology

December 13, 2010

A fascinating and emerging area of psychology is in website design. I find this sort of thing really interesting as in many ways the web is where a significant amount of human ‘behaviour’ now takes place – and if you’ve got kids, probably most of their behaviour! As a starter have a look at this presentation from Pamela Rutledge:

Must have a GSOH! (Data mining the heart)

September 10, 2010

Building on what I was saying about Internet Psychology, a few posts ago, I see that the US site OKCupid has started to publish stats based on its users behaviour.  These have then been turned into ‘real-world’ advice! For example,  it seems that men get more responses from women if they don’t smile in their pictures, and women are more likely than men to contact people they don’t find attractive. There you go, I knew it was all about personality not looks! Interestingly they have also discovered what people tend to lie about. Top of the list is height, with most users adding an extra two inches; closely followed by salary, with lots of folk giving themselves a 20% pay rise. And as if this wasn’t fascinating enough, they also indicate what stops people replying – even I presume to a tall, unsmiling sort of person – and it’s… bad grammar and netspeak. CUL8R A3.

Lots more at:

The experiment with a billion participants

August 2, 2010

It’s reckoned that there are over one billion people using the Internet. It’s changing who and what we are, so never mind Web 2.0, when it comes to social development we may well be on the way to Human 2.0. All this means that the impact of the web has become a major topic of research for psychologists, just think of all those willing participants for online experiments ranging from what makes you laugh to the fundamentals of intimacy and relationships.  If you want to know more, try: The Oxford Handbook of Internet Psychology, Oxford University Press (2009).

Photo credit: Suat Eman/

Typealyze your blog!

July 21, 2010

You what? Quite difficult to explain quickly, but if you want to explore how the communication style in your blog or website reflects your persona try this:

Make sure you read the ‘About’ bit because there’s some interesting intent behind this project.

Your internet id

April 16, 2010

id not ID. Has it ever occurred to you that in a Freudian way the Internet is where you can give free rein to your id? Id: that’s the one whose best friends are the ego (the unconscious mind’s ‘referee’) and superego (home to morals & values). Why? Cyberspace is a place where you can behave as you like without identifying yourself or being controlled. Great for the id which is concerned with all things impulsive and uninhibited. Not sure what this means for people who write Blogs (!) but it might help to explain other online activity.


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