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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Facebook心理実験のとりあえずのまとめ

 


Facebookで行われた心理実験については日本でも大きく報道されました。いくら利用規約に書いてあったとしても、何も知らされずに実験台のモルモットにされたこと(される可能性があったこと)への怒りはもっともです。まずは英語学習的に「実験台のモルモット」はguinea pigとかlab ratと表現されていることを確認しておきましょう。laboratoryの略語labはTOEICでも登場しますね。

We are Facebook's digital guinea pigs: the web as a real-life experiment
Should we worry about Facebook's psychological manipulation? Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic investigates
Posted by
Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic
Friday 4 July 2014 15.07 BST

Facebook turns 700,000 users into lab rats for a psychology experiment
by JOHN HAYWARD 3 Jul 2014
Gaze not overlong into the Facebook abyss, for it gazes also into you. And messes with your timeline, to manipulate your emotional state and monitor the results.

サブタイトルのGaze not overlong into the Facebook abyss, for it gazes also into you.はどっかで見た事があると思って調べたら、ニーチェでした。

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

(Wikiquote)
怪物と闘う者は、その過程で自らが怪物と化さぬよう心せよ。おまえが長く深淵を覗くならば、深淵もまた等しくおまえを見返すのだ。 --146節
"Wer mit Ungeheuern kämpft, mag zusehn, dass er nicht dabei zum Ungeheuer wird. Und wenn du lange in einen Abgrund blickst, blickt der Abgrund auch in dich hinein."
(『善悪の彼岸』Jenseits von Gut und Boseは英語だとBeyond Good and Evilのようです)

以下のニュースがコンパクトにまとまっていると思いました。



肝心の論文は3ページほどなんでとても読みやすいです。in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and non- verbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.という「直接会わなくても感情は伝わる」という結論は、ブログをやっている自分としては実体験を確認したものという感じでしょうか。

Experimental evidence of massive-scale emotional contagion through social networks

Emotional states can be transferred to others via emotional contagion, leading people to experience the same emotions without their awareness. Emotional contagion is well established in laboratory experiments, with people transferring positive and negative emotions to others. Data from a large real-world social network, collected over a 20-y period suggests that longer-lasting moods (e.g., depression, happiness) can be transferred through networks [Fowler JH, Christakis NA (2008) BMJ 337:a2338], al- though the results are controversial. In an experiment with people who use Facebook, we test whether emotional contagion occurs outside of in-person interaction between individuals by reducing the amount of emotional content in the News Feed. When positive expressions were reduced, people produced fewer positive posts and more negative posts; when negative expressions were re- duced, the opposite pattern occurred. These results indicate that emotions expressed by others on Facebook influence our own emotions, constituting experimental evidence for massive-scale contagion via social networks. This work also suggests that, in contrast to prevailing assumptions, in-person interaction and non- verbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion, and that the observation of others’ positive experiences constitutes a positive experience for people.

今回に限っては感情を巡る実験なので事前に説明してしまうと、実験結果の信憑性が下がってしまうので仕方がないのではという気もしますが、勝手にやられた方はたまったものではないですね。研究者の一人が実験の経緯などを説明してから謝罪したポストの抜粋が以下です。

The goal of all of our research at Facebook is to learn how to provide a better service. Having written and designed this experiment myself, I can tell you that our goal was never to upset anyone. I can understand why some people have concerns about it, and my coauthors and I are very sorry for the way the paper described the research and any anxiety it caused. In hindsight, the research benefits of the paper may not have justified all of this anxiety.

彼女ははっきり謝っていますが、一方のサンドバーグはのらりくらりという印象です。


10:49 am ET Jul 2, 2014 FACEBOOK
Sandberg: Facebook Study Was ‘Poorly Communicated’

“This was part of ongoing research companies do to test different products, and that was what it was; it was poorly communicated,” Sandberg, Facebook’s chief operating officer, said while in New Delhi. “And for that communication we apologize. We never meant to upset you.”

先ほどのニュース動画でTIMEのthe classic corporate non-apology: Sorry if we upset youという表現が面白かったので元記事を確認しておきます。

Sheryl Sandberg Apologizes for Facebook News Feed Experiment
Jared Newman @OneJaredNewman July 2, 2014

Note that Sandberg did not say sorry for the study itself, which involved seeing if users became unhappier when they saw a greater proportion of negative posts, or happier when they saw more positive posts. (They did, in both cases.)

Sandberg didn’t say how Facebook would better do a better job of “communicating” in the future, or what that would look like. (Maybe the solution is not to communicate.) Basically what we have here is a variant on the classic corporate non-apology: Sorry if we upset you.

今回は研究成果を公表したので明るみに出ましたが、影でいろいろやっているのではという不信が募ってしまいますね。個人的にはサンドバーグがインドに行っている方が驚きましたが。。。
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