Wednesday, January 16, 2013

It’s 10 P.M. Do You Know What Your Avatar Is Doing?

From the article: "A few years ago, a research psychologist at Stanford University named Jeremy Bailenson effectively proved the soundness of Anderson’srecruitment methods (pdf). A week before the 2004 presidential election, Bailenson asked a bunch of prospective voters to look at photographs of George W. Bush and John Kerry and then give their opinions of the candidates. What the voters didn’t know was that the photographs had been doctored: each voter’s own visage had been subtly morphed together with that of one of the candidates.

In this and two follow-up experiments, Bailenson found what Rudy Rucker, the novelist who wrote Software, would have predicted: voters were significantly more likely to support the candidate who had been made to look like them. What’s more, not a single voter detected that it was, in part, his or her own face staring back." Read more