Couchsurfing and Airbnb are websites that connect people with an extra guest room or couch with random strangers on the Internet who are looking for a place to stay. Although Couchsurfing predates Airbnb by about five years, the two sites are designed to help people do the same basic thing and they work in extremely similar ways. They differ, however, in one crucial respect. On Couchsurfing, the exchange of money in return for hosting is explicitly banned. In other words, couchsurfing only supports the social exchange of hospitality. On Airbnb, users must use money: the website is a market on which people can buy and sell hospitality. (more…)
Over 300,000 Americans have died from drug overdose in the last two decades, and that many will die from drug overdose over the next five years. Due to this dramatic increase in overdose deaths, the need for effective treatment is great. However, substance use disorders (SUDs), such as alcoholism and drug abuse, have been historically difficult to treat given their chronic cycles of treatment and relapse. As many as 75% of the individuals who complete professional treatment will relapse within one year. To improve treatment outcomes, new and supplemental approaches are needed. In our recent study, we explored if and how technology (e.g., smartphone apps) might supplement traditional treatment options and serve as an additional source of support for individuals in early recovery from SUDs.
While most social media focus on feeds of content from your friends, Snapchat Stories let you control more of what’s “fed” to you. With powerful algorithms figuring out what you like and auto-play videos catching your attention as you scroll, it’s hard to imagine the appeal of Stories’ simple list of contacts with temporary videos or slideshow updates. Yet Facebook and Instagram are starting to roll out Story features of their own. What is so compelling about Stories that the stadiums are adding private studios? (more…)
Mainstream media are most adults’ primary source of new information about science. Yet even when mainstream media outlets cover science (which they rarely do), the coverage contains errors approximately 20-30% of the time. Consequently, a hefty majority of Americans (over 70%!) lack adequate literacy to reason about scientific evidence as it relates to civic life. As scientists, how can we bridge the gap between the ivory tower and the general public? (more…)
Finding love online is complicated and usually comes with a side of social stigma. Sure, true love might exist on the inter-webs, but you also might struggle with skeptical family and friends who believe otherwise. Now just imagine replicating the scenario in the conservative culture of Saudi Arabia. Our new DIS paper shows just how complicated things become. (more…)