Archive | October, 2010

Sway: The Irresistible Pull of Irrational Behavior

27 Oct

Thanks to the recommendation from Finley’s mother, I have started reading Sway. I started with the 4th chapter: Michael Jordan and the First-Date Interview, which specifically touches on character judgment as part of human nature.

One story that was particularly interesting was the one on the college substitute professor. Two separate bios were handed out to the class, each receiving only one bio and without any knowledge that half of their classmates were receiving different bios. Only two words had been changed in the entire bio, which described the professor as either “very warm” or “rather cold”.

“…once the students read the substitute’s bio, their opinions of him were set.” After a class with the sub, the students that received the “rather cold” bio gave the professor a negative evaluation and the students that had the “very warm” bios had only positive remarks about the professor.

Another interesting test that was performed was one on first impressions and dating. Men were given photos and bios of different women but they were not aware of the fact that the photos of the women did not correspond to the profiles. The based their opinions of the women of the attractiveness of their photo. The attractive women were perceived as social and the unattractive were considered socially awkward. Once the truth was discovered it didn’t matter because it was too hard for the men to change their opinions of these women after they’d already been formed.

important quotes from the chapter:

“…a single word has the power to alter our whole perception of another person–and possibly sour the relationship before it even begins. When we hear a description of someone, no matter how brief, it inevitably shapes our experience of that person.” “Think how often we diagnose a person based on a casual description.”

“Interestingly, even when we’re not given a clear-cut value tag, we are so eager to assign a value that we create our own diagnostic labels. Most of us simply can’t stay neutral for long, which is why we’re so susceptible to following the siren song of the diagnostic bias.”

“Each day we’re bombarded with so much information that if we had no way to filter it, we’d be unable to function.” “We use diagnostic labels to organize and simplify.” “Once you get a label in mind, you don’t notice things that don’t fit within the categories that do make a difference.”

“The baggage that comes with labeling is the notion of the blinders, really. It prevents you from seeing what’s clearly before your face; all you’re seeing now is the label.”
“The diagnosis bias causes us to distort or even ignore objective data.”
“…students dismiss objective data when the information doesn’t fit what they want to see.”

on job interviews : “All of the other top ten questions invite a performance by the candidate: “I work too hard…I’m a team player who enjoys a good challenge…My life’s dream is to work for your company…in this exact job.” Yeah, that’s the ticket.”
-mirror, mirror effect – job interviews, often look for someone who is similar to themselves

“…this molding process becomes self-perpetuating; when we take on characteristics assigned to us, the diagnosis is reinforced and reaffirmed.” “And this is the third trap of diagnosis: when we brand or label people, they take on the characteristics of the diagnosis. In psychological circles, this mirroring of expectations is known as the Pygmalion effect (describing how we take on positive traits assigned to us by someone else) and the Golem effect (describing how we take on negative traits). But let’s use “chameleon effect” as our catchall term.”

Cao Fei

27 Oct

This is an image from Cao Fei’s “COSplayer”, which stands for costume players. Cao Fei photographed different people role-playing as their favorite characters around China.

Cao Fei is an artist who has done a lot of work focussing on the mergence of digital and actual realms. As an artist, she acts as both the observer and the participant, which is especially evident in her work as China Tracy. China Tracy is her second life avatar who is a guide, philosopher, and tourist.

“Cao’s work reflects the fluidity of a world in which cultures have mixed and diverged in rapid evolution. Her video installations and new media works explore perception and reality in places as diverse as a Chinese factory and the virtual world of Second Life. ”

cao fei on art21

paper prototyping video

27 Oct

i tried out the party girl on noelis, the shy girl on justin, and vanessa played me as the perfectionist in the last run though so that i could get a perspective from the other side

notes and feedback:

-prep for characters with class and by acting it out all day before the date (at least)

-worked well that the character wasn’t exactly as it was portrayed because that shows the difficulty of acting out these characters while parts of my “real” self are still going to come through/interfere with the believability of my character

-interview/study people that are similar to my characters to get a better feeling for the role

it was extremely helpful to play out the characters with classmates to grasp the difficulty and realness of acting out the characters. i also gained a lot of insight into the entirety of the project and perspective of the person being “manipulated” when vanessa acted.

more on relationshopping

26 Oct

Quote from article: “Finding a connection with another person is all about the interaction: it is an experiential process.”

Internet Dating 2.0: Why Version 1.0 is Unsatisfying and Aversive

Online Dating: 10 Psychological Insights

26 Oct







Although opposites don’t tend to attract, by its nature internet dating does encourage diverse matches. The authors argue that it is changing the face of marriage by bring together types of people who previously never would have met.





Part of the problem is that people are encouraged by online dating to think in consumerist terms. Users are ‘relationshopping’: looking at other people’s features, weighing them up, then choosing potential partners, as though from a catalogue; it’s human relationships reduced to check-boxes.

link to article on psychblog

We Met at Starbucks Site Mock-up Ideas

21 Oct

example home screen with survey questions that end up leading to one of my profiles

example (with the party girl persona) of what a profile page might look like

Paper Prototyping Deliverables

19 Oct

oct19 deliverables

Lindsay Lohan’s eHarmony Parody

18 Oct

List of Personas

18 Oct

more specific details to come but the personas i am beginning to research are:

the artist

the pothead

the cook

the confused rap, hip-hop obsessed white girl

the perfectionist

the shy, quiet girl

the party girl

the computer geek

the nature freak

the graffiti artist

the fashionista

Questions About Technology and Relationships

18 Oct

what is the difference between online dating and traditional face to face dating?

how much of our relationships are already technologized?

how does technology currently have an impact on our relationships…the way we view prospective partners?

which is actually more real? don’t both dating spheres face the same/similar issues (key considerations: honesty, time and place, fate, judgment)?