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Travis Ross, a graduate student in IU’s department of Telecommunications spoke to an audience of students and faculty today about his research on how social norms influence people in games. He says this approach is important because game designers often do not think in terms of social norms. He asks whether game designers can use social norms in their game designs to influence gamer behavior. Perhaps social norms could influence gamers to behave prosocially and enable game designers to increase their profit on their games.
Jared Lorince, a graduage student in the Cognitive Science department, also presented his work on information seeking behaviors. He asks whether the foraging seeking behavior of animals might inform the ways in which we search for information online. He says that especially exploratory search, where people don’t have one thing they’re looking for, can be informed by this type of research. The aggregation of people’s trajectories through the search space can help inform individuals as they set out on exploratory searches.
Katherine Sender, a professor at Penn, visited IU’s Department of Telecommunication today to discuss her new book, The Big Reveal: Makeover Television, Audiences, and the Promise of Transformation. Her work focuses on makeover television shows like Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and What Not to Wear. She says, a true inner self is a concept that is at the heart of an audience analysis of these shows. Being reflexive and recognizing who this inner self is is important to the process of producing ourselves in an “authentic” fashion, Sender says.
Brenda Weber joined professor Sender in discussing her new book, Makeover TV: Selfhood, Citizenship, and Celebrity. She suggests that Pimp my Ride has as much gender in it as What Not to Wear. She rejects the notion that makeover shows are simply toxic cultural wastelands. Instead she says they are worthy of in depth analysis because they are “smart, banal & hurtful and lots of interesting elements are built into them.”
Weber suggests that the makeover expresses anxiety about the lack of selfhood. She says there is deep anxiety on a larger social level about the ambiguity of self. The self, she says, is our greatest economic asset. If we make poor choices about the self, we may harm our earning potential. Makeover shows lead us to believe that we have to harness our selves so that we can compete through global networks.
Today in IU’s Department of Telecommunications brownbag series, new professor, Paul Wright discussed his work on males and pornography. Driving his inquiry were questions about whether there has been an increase in % of adult male consumers over time, whether there are reliable demographic predictors for pornography consumption, and whether consumption is correlated with attitudes/behaviors of concern to conservative moralists and/or public health officials?
He noted that historically there have been three perspectives on pornography in the academic literature: libertarian, moralist and feminist. Today there is also a public health perspective which is concerned about the transmission of STIs and unplanned pregnancies. Most of the literature on the soccializing effects of pornography comes from the libertarian and feminist perspectives. There is relatively little from the moralist or public health perspectives.Wright’s work seeks to help fill this void.
Using General Social Survey data Wright asked whether certain demographic and personal identifying variables, help to predict whether males will be more likely to emulate (or learn) behaviors observed in pornography. Theory suggests that there is a general socializing effect of pornograpy.
Wright reports a .3% increase in pornography consumption from 1973 to 2010. Pornography consumption over time, according to GSS data, has remained fairly constant. Religious people view less porn than non-religous, non-whites consume more (though barely more) porn than whites, education today is not a predictor of pornography consumption, according to Writght.
Males who consume pornography, were more likely to use condoms, engage in paid sex behavior, approve of adult premarital and teenage sex, and approve of extramarital sex.