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Can Networks Be Better Designed to Suppress the Worst Qualities in Human Nature?

There appear to be two primary classes of potential theories concerning links between online service design and emergent moral and ethical qualities in user behavior. One theoretical approach is economic while the other concerns human factors and user interface design.
An economic theory, for instance, might predict that when users are heavily invested in earning goodwill from their online personas, they behave better, while the human factors-based explanations are concerned with the overall quality of experience and in particular with the invocation of interpersonal cues that activate empathetic responses. The large variety of widely used web services in the last few years provides an opportunity to discover unintended experiments to test both kinds of theories. Some of the least nasty online communities are best explained using both types of theory, with 2nd Life being an example.

Official Website: http://research.yahoo.com/event/can_networks_be_better_designed_to_suppress_the_worst_qualities_in_human_nature

Added by smitten on May 16, 2007