Slashdot is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop


Forgot your password?
DEAL: For $25 - Add A Second Phone Number To Your Smartphone for life! Use promo code SLASHDOT25. Also, Slashdot's Facebook page has a chat bot now. Message it for stories and more. Check out the new SourceForge HTML5 Internet speed test! ×

Comment Re:Really... Facebooking doesn't help productivity (Score 2) 40

It's any social media use at all while at work. One of the dimensions of "good" behaviors was participating in an online work community. Presumably, most people would not think that using Facebook would help their job performance, so they would not report that as "good".

Some "good" example survey items linked in the article:
I request help from people on social media when I am having trouble solving a problem at work.
I communicate with existing customers or clients via social media.
When someone posts something negative about our organization or its employees on social media, I try to do something about it.

Comment Re:Hmm.. (Score 4, Insightful) 40

The people participating in the study thought these behaviors would help their job performance.... communicating with customers, reaching out to new customers, participating in an online work community, communicating with coworkers, gathering information from colleagues, asking friends/coworkers/family for help solving a work problem, and using social media as a technical solution (e.g. transferring a file from one computer to another). On the surface, it looks like these things would help in many jobs. But from the data, they were unassociated with better work performance.

Submission + - Study: People That Think Social Media Helps Their Work Are Probably Wrong (

RichDiesal writes: In an upcoming special issue of Social Science Computer Review, researchers set out to understand how people actually use social media while at work and how it affects their job performance. By polling workers across 17 industries, they identified 8 broad ways that people use social media that they believe help their work, and 9 broad ways that people use social media that they believe harm their work. Although the harmful social media behaviors were related to decreased job performance, the beneficial social media behaviors were unrelated to job performance. In short, wasting time on social media hurts you, but trying to use social media to improve your work probably doesn't actually help.

Submission + - When You Are Popular on Facebook, People Think You're Attractive (

RichDiesal writes: In an upcoming issue of the Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication, researchers conducted an experiment on the impact of the number of Facebook friends a person has on impression formation. When viewing modified Facebook profiles (all with the same profile picture and an experimentally controlled number of friends), people rated profiles with lots of Facebook friends as more physically attractive, more socially attractive, more approachable, and more extroverted. Since potential employers look at Facebook profiles these days, perhaps it's time to hire some Facebook friends.

Submission + - NSF Report Flawed; Americans Do Not Believe Astrology is Scientific ( 1

RichDiesal writes: A new report from the National Science Foundation, reported a few days ago right here on Slashdot, states that roughly 40% of Americans believe astrology to be scientific. But this is in fact false; most of those apparently astrology-loving Americans have actually confused astrology with astronomy. In a 100-person Mechanical Turk study with a $5 research budget, I verified this by actually asking people to define astrology. Among those that correctly defined astrology, only 10% believe it to be scientific; among those that confused astrology for astronomy, 92% believe "astrology" to be scientific. Apparently US science education is not so far behind the Chinese after all.

Submission + - The Privacy Paradox: Why People Who Complain About Privacy Also Overshare (

RichDiesal writes: Researchers have recently been examining a phenomenon called the privacy paradox, which describes how social media users report that they are concerned about their privacy but do very little to actively protect it. In a new study, two personality traits were found to drive sharing: a person’s desire to talk about themselves to others regardless of context as well as the degree to which people found social media to be relevant to their personal social lives. So as it turns out, many people do want it both ways: they want to enrich their social lives by talking about themselves online to anyone who will listen, but they also don’t want this information to be read by just anyone. This implies that teaching people how to safeguard their information alone isn’t generally going to improve the privacy of their data; the human desire to share with others is too strong.

Submission + - How MOOC Faculty Exploit People's Desire to Learn (

RichDiesal writes: Just as businesses try to make something off of massively online open courses (MOOCs), so do the faculty running them. But instead of seeking money, MOOC faculty seek something far more valuable: a cheap source of data for social science research. Unfortunately, the rights of research participants are sometimes ignored in MOOCs, and succesful completion of courses are sometimes held hostage in exchange for mandatory participation in research, as in this case study of a Coursera MOOC. Such behavior is not tolerated in "real" college courses, so why is it tolerated in MOOCs taught by the same faculty?

Submission + - 20-Somethings Think It's OK to Text and Answer Calls in Business Meetings (

RichDiesal writes: In an upcoming article in Business Communication Quarterly, researchers found that more than half of 20-somethings believe it appropriate to read texts during formal business meetings, whereas only 16% of workers 40+ believe the same thing. 34% of 20-somethings believe it appropriate to answer the phone in the middle of a meeting (i.e., not excusing yourself to answer the phone — answering and talking mid-meeting!). It is unclear if this is happening because more younger workers grew up with mobile technology, or if it's because older workers have the experience to know that answering a call in the middle of a meeting is a terrible idea. So if you’re a younger worker, consider leaving your phone alone in meetings to avoid annoying your coworkers. And if you’re an older worker annoyed at what you believe to be rude behavior, just remember, it’s not you – it’s them!

Submission + - Online Tool to Determine if You Are Addicted to Online Games (

RichDiesal writes: Problematic online gaming is related to low self-esteem, depression, and other negative consequences to your psychological health. On this webpage, you can complete the 12-question Problematic Online Gaming Questionnaire and get an assessment of your own addiction. After you submit your answers, additional analysis of your responses will appear comparing you to the sample collected by the research team and indicating your risk factors. The data is collected and analyzed solely via Javascript, so rest assured that the extent of your addiction will remain known only to you.

Submission + - Textual Harassment at Work: Romance and Sexual Harassment on Social Media (

RichDiesal writes: Textual harassment, which is sexual harassment occurring via social media, is on the rise and potentially a nightmare for human resources professionals. In traditional sexual harassment, human resource professionals can generally assume that the harassment they are concerned with takes place within the boundaries of the office. However, just as social media blur the line between “work” and “not work”, textual harassment blurs the responsibilities of HR regarding sexual harassment. If an employee makes a comment that is perceived as harassing via social media to another employee, is it the organization’s responsibility to act?

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: Best Programming Text for PhD Social Scientists?

RichDiesal writes: I teach Ph.D. students in the social sciences. One of the skills that I bring to our department is that I have a background in programming, which is becoming increasingly important both for academics conducting research studies and for practitioners working in the field, although few programs yet recognize this. To pass on this knowledge, I recently taught a class to Ph.D. students in programming based primarily on my own experience. Although this mostly works, I "learned by doing", and this doesn't translate perfectly to the classroom. So I'd like to provide a more comprehensive/better introduction to programming, which starts with a good text. An important outcome of this class needs to be a deliverable: students needs to be able to come out in one semester with a sufficient grasp of PHP/MySQL to code surveys and basic experiments (think random assignment of signups to a couple of different conditions, who are treated slightly differently). So we can't spend a whole lot of time on theory, although the fundamentals certainly need to be there. Also tricky: some of the students come in with basic programming experience through conducting statistical analyses in R, but others are essentially frightened of computers — so it's a WIDE range of abilities to work with. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
The Internet

Submission + - Lack of Sleep Leads to Wasted Time on the Internet at Work (

RichDiesal writes: In a new paper appearing in the Journal of Applied Psychology, Wagner, Barnes, Lim and Ferris investigate the link between lack of sleep and the amount of time that employees will spend wasting time on the Internet while at work – a phenomenon called cyberloafing. Using two studies – one using historical search data collected from Google Insights and another using a sample of undergraduates, Wagner and colleagues found that those who sleep less are more likely to cyberloaf the next day. They also found an interaction such that highly conscientious people were less likely to cyberloaf after a night of interrupted, poor quality sleep than less conscientious people.

Submission + - Facebook's Bad For You But Good For Me (

RichDiesal writes: Research recently published in Cyberpsychology, Behavior and Social Networking reveals that on average, people perceive Facebook to negatively affect other people, but do not believe themselves to be affected in the same way. Student participants believed the privacy of others was reduced due to Facebook use, but did not perceive their own privacy to be affected. They also perceived later job opportunities for other people to be decreased due to a Facebook use, but did not perceive a decrease in opportunities for themselves.

Slashdot Top Deals

I just need enough to tide me over until I need more. -- Bill Hoest