The Psychology of Location-Based Networking


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Slide deck used to introduce university students to elements of psychology lurking inside selected location-based social networks.

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  • Ref: 10m members
  • Ref: 800m active members
  • Ref: 10m users, 3m active
  • Very limited geographical roll-out. Ref:
  • Ref: Wikipedia. More than 50m monthly UV, 20m members and over 50m reviews.
  • ASA investigation launched. TripAdvisor replaced its tagline.
  • Most popular photo-sharing service on iOS.
  • Ref: 150m images from 20m users
  • Ref: 51 million registered members and 80 million unique visitors.
  • App isn’t preferred by hipsters.
  • 250,000 downloads for an estimated 8m users
  • Ref: G+ has 62 million members, according to Bloomberg, and it's growing by 625,000 every single day.
  • Vibrant G+ photo community plus easy access to G+ photo albums.
  • Refs:
  • influence
  • National Academy of Science. Lewis, Gonzales, Kaufman, 2012.
  • Portes, A. (1998).  Social Capital: its origins and applications in modern sociology  Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1-24. Putnam, Robert. (2000), "Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community" (Simon and Schuster).
  • The Psychology of Location-Based Networking

    1. 1. The psychology of location-based services By Bernie @topgold Goldbach
    2. 2. Play Spaces <ul><li>Foursquare </li></ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Google </li></ul><ul><li>TripAdvisor </li></ul><ul><li>Instagram/PicPlz/Flickr </li></ul>
    3. 3. Psychology <ul><li>Operant conditioning </li></ul><ul><li>Influence </li></ul><ul><li>Public profile </li></ul><ul><li>Social capital </li></ul>
    4. 4. Foursquare
    5. 5. Foursquare Badges
    6. 6. Facebook
    7. 7. FB Checkin
    8. 8. Google Latitude
    9. 9. Google Offers
    10. 10. TripAdvisor
    11. 11. TripAdvisor Cred
    12. 12. Instagram
    13. 13. Instagram Community
    14. 14. Flickr
    15. 15. Flickr App
    16. 16. PicPlz
    17. 17. Picplz Android App
    18. 18. Google Plus
    19. 19. G+ Photos
    20. 20. Psychology of Operant Conditioning <ul><li>Conditioning in which an operant response is brought under stimulus control by virtue of presenting reinforcement contingent upon the occurrence of the operant response” </li></ul>
    21. 21. Learned Behaviour <ul><li>a form of  learning  during which an individual modifies the occurrence and form of its own  behavior  due to the  association  of the behavior with a  stimulus ” </li></ul>
    22. 22. Unconscious Behaviour <ul><li>An unconscious form of learning in which a behavior is linked to a specific stimulus through a process of reinforcement.” </li></ul>
    23. 23. Thorndike’s Law <ul><li>Psychologist Edward Thorndike said in 1911 that responses become more frequent if followed by satisfying consequences but less frequent if followed by aversive consequences.” </li></ul>
    24. 24. Peer Influence <ul><li>Social  influence  takes many forms and can be seen in conformity, socialization,  peer pressure, obedience, leadership, persuasion, sales, and marketing” and in-app behaviour. </li></ul>
    25. 25. Making Social Spaces <ul><li>… <insert socnet> is a great tool for meeting people. I can check the stream of people I followed, but hadn’t met, to see if anyone was nearby.” </li></ul><ul><li>When I check into a place, I can see if anyone else is there, even if I don’t know them, and say hello!” </li></ul>
    26. 26. Influence <ul><li>Students who share certain tastes in music and in movies, but not in books, are significantly likely to befriend one another. “ </li></ul><ul><li>… little evidence for the diffusion of tastes among Facebook friends.” </li></ul><ul><li>… to shed light on the mechanisms responsible for observed network homogeneity and to provide a statistically rigorous assessment of the coevolution of cultural tastes and social relationships.” </li></ul>
    27. 27. Profile <ul><li>  Our friendships and professional connections have moved  online , making influence measurable for the first time in history.” </li></ul>
    28. 28. Enhancing Profile <ul><li>Raw numbers </li></ul><ul><li>Ripples, retweets, favs </li></ul><ul><li>Influence score </li></ul><ul><li>List membership </li></ul><ul><li>Upvotes and likes </li></ul><ul><li>Probably not badges </li></ul>
    29. 29. Social Capital <ul><li>  Connections within and between social networks.” </li></ul>
    30. 30. Real Social Capital <ul><li>Cooperation. </li></ul><ul><li>Collective results. </li></ul><ul><li>The fruit of social relations, consisting of the expectative benefits derived from the preferential treatment and cooperation between individuals and groups.” </li></ul>
    31. 31. Your Pocket Media Culture <ul><li>You are where you check in. </li></ul><ul><li>You are where you lurk. </li></ul><ul><li>You become what you watch. </li></ul><ul><li>Use these socnets and you’re assimilated. </li></ul>
    32. 32. Follow? And comment? <ul><li>Find me @topgold in many familiar places. </li></ul><ul><li>Read my blog for more: </li></ul><ul><li>Listen: </li></ul><ul><li>View: </li></ul>
    33. 33. #LITgd <ul><li>Part of the Games Development curriculum at </li></ul>