Saturday, October 31, 2009

Snubbed by a computer

I'm reading an article from CNN about rejection online (e.g., un-friending on Facebook), and found the following section incredibly amusing:

These data include Williams' "cyberball" studies, which ask a participant to play a virtual ball-tossing game with two other icons. In one study group, the participant plays the game for the entire six minutes, but in the second group, he or she is included for only a fraction of that time and then ignored. The second group reports feelings of anger and lower levels of self-esteem.

Whether participants believe they're playing with humans doesn't appear to affect their feelings of rejection.

"Even when people get rejected by the computer, they feel bad," Twenge said.

Amusing, although I'm sure I feel exactly the same way.

Kenneth Loflin, a student who participated in Williams' study, got so frustrated by his fellow players that he gave the computer screen an offensive gesture.

"I'm a people person, and I like people to like me," he said.

So that's how to be a "people person!" Screw that Dale Carnegie nonsense.

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