Enlisting Recovering Addicts as Tech Designers to Fight Relapse

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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.
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The Story on Snapchat Stories

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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…)

How can we #sciencethenews?

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[Cross-posted from Estelle’s Blog]

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…)

Love Online in Saudi Arabia … It’s Complicated

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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…)

Different Strokes for Different Folks: The Value of Personality Type in Recommender Systems and Social Computing

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Did you know that your personality type can be used to predict your behavior on an online recommender site (how long you stay, what you do, whether and how much you are likely to rate)  and even what to recommend to you? That’s what we found in our latest research using the MovieLens recommender system and the Big Five Personality scale for modeling user personality. To learn more, read on!

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