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Researchers have struggled to find that special thing that social networking does to people that gives them such satisfaction. The researchers explained that few studies have attempted to find out which aspects of the social networking experience makes sites successful drawing people’s attention almost around the clock.
To study this effect, researchers measured specific psychophysiological patterns in 30 healthy volunteers aged 19 to 25 during three-minute exposure to different stimuli. These stimuli included using Facebook, observing pictures of relaxing environments and completing a Stroop test and a mathematical test
The Stroop test if often used to create stressful conditions for experiments. To perform this test the color of a word is written on a page in a color other than the one named. When the word flashes, you much name the color of the letters, not the color word which is spelled out. The tension created is a reliable stress condition.
While these tests were conducted skin conductance, blood volume pulse, brainwave patterns, muscle activity, breathing activity and pupil dilation were measured and compared. The Facebook data was extremely different from the relaxation and stress data. They also found that Facebook data revealed a high positive valence and high arousal or a state referred to as “Core Flow State”. This is the state that people reach when their skills are challenged and they are highly aroused and enjoying what they do. People want to repeat the experience.
The study suggests that more examination is needed for the emotional contributions of human –computer interactions.
Source: MedicalNewsToday, Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking
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