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Dr. Guadagno explains how social network analysis research prevents information warfare

Is Social Media Fabricating Society? Hear From Social Technology Expert Dr. Rosanna Guadagno on How to Combat Information Warfare

By Sharlene Oong on Jan 22, 2019
From being a form of digital communication technology, social media has quickly become a successful widespread business tool for large corporations i.e., Uber, JetBlue, Staples, and many more. However, while social media has bridged the gap between organizations and the public, the misuse of platforms have recently raised questions about its overall credibility. For instance, the recent news of Facebook’s billion dollar lawsuit where users questioning their privacy rights, as well as the validity of the platform. In response to this ongoing issue, researchers are conducting studies of social network analysis to fully understand the dynamics of these communication channels, including IGI Global’s International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies(IJICST) Editor-in-Chief, Dr. Rosanna Guadagno, from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Stanford University, USA. Read below her solutions to the overarching issue of social media below:

What inspired you to pursue research activities in your field?

When I was in college, I had very different career plans – where I wanted to become a therapist. To prepare for graduate school, I got involved in psychology research and was instantly hooked! The research appeals to my natural curiosity, as well as my love of pursuing knowledge. In between college and graduate school, I spent some time working in the software industry – which took place in the early to mid-1990's. From my experience in the industry, I started to believe that the use of technology for psychological processes was going to become far more important than I thought, and I wanted to study it.

Why are your respective areas of research important to the field at large?

My primary research areas pertain across the following: gender roles, social influence and persuasion, and mediated communication. These areas are important to study for two reasons:

    (1) Myriad studies have shown that men and women use technology differently.

    (2) The rise of social media facilitated the rapid, viral spread of factual and fabricated information.

Understanding how social influence and persuasion processes function in conjunction with technologies and large-scale communication is important for the reduction of conflict across social media.

In your opinion, what are some of the benefits of your research to the academic community?

Understanding how other people influence our behaviors in mediated contexts can inform scholars across a wide variety of disciplines. For instance, I have been focusing on how my work can help fight against information warfare. Once scholars understand the mechanisms behind a certain process (e.g., why do people believe in fake news?), we can design interventions to disrupt this process. In similar fashion, my work relates to the use of technology to encourage the adoption of healthy habits and behaviors.

What are the future directions of your research areas?

Right now, I am completing my first book and I am starting a new line of research examining the role of social influence and social media in the spread of Fake News.

How does your research set the pace the evolving research trends you foresee in the future?

There has been an increasing shift in studying actual behaviors of people, as measured by our devices. This includes their social media behaviors (e.g., posts, likes, shares), their media streaming behavior, and health information measured by devices with different sensors (e.g., heart rate and sleep cycles from fitness trackers). Analyzing their behavior through devices are important because empirical evidence largely indicates that the relationship between our beliefs and attitudes does not always translate into actual behavior. So, assessing actual behavior can help scholars better understand people. Increasingly, I am seeing more research on these subjects presented at conferences and published in journals. For IGI Global’s International Journal of Interactive Communication Systems and Technologies (IJICST), I would love to publish such papers in the future, and I would like to personally invite those in this field to submit an article through the journal’s Call for Papers.

How has your experience publishing with IGI Global been?

I have been publishing with IGI Global for ten (10) years and have always found it to be a pleasant experience. The staff are always helpful and professional, the editorial policies are clear, and the feedback from the reviewers and editors have always improved the quality of my work.
We would like to thank Dr. Guadagno for sharing her research on social interactive technologies. We hope the discussion will promote further conversations on the topic.
Dr. Guadagno's research is available through IGI Global’s world-renowned InfoSci®-Journals database of nearly 25,000 peer-reviewed articles with 1,000,000+ reference citations sourced from 185+ scholarly journals. Offered as low as US$ 5,100 US$ 4,080*, this database hosts key features such as full-text PDF and HTML format, no DRM, unlimited simultaneous users, and no embargo of content (research is available months in advance of the print release). This comprehensive database spans across 350+ topics in 11 core subject areas, including business and management, computer science, education, engineering, social sciences and humanities, and more. Purchase or recommend this database to your institution’s librarian.
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of IGI Global.
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