Archive for the ‘environment’ tag

Effects of the physical and environmental factors on the perception of privacy on the web amongst teenagers   no comments

Posted at 8:42 am in Uncategorized


I am very interested to investigate the potential effects of the physical and environmental factors on the perception of privacy on the web amongst teenagers.

Environmental factors (such as the room that we publish our information from) or physical factors (such as the medium or device that we use and it’s characteristics including its size or portability) can play a crucial role in our perception of privacy. Examples of this can be seen amongst teenagers.

I found myself very interested in this subject after reading an article by Elizabeth Kandel Englander on cyberbullying that was published on the Harvard Education Letter recently. As part of this article Englander talks about the effects of the physical environment (including the location or size of the screen) on the perception of privacy amongst teenagers. She writes:

“In a study I’m currently conducting, about half of the teens who said they had sent or posted something they regretted said they did so while in their bedrooms—and 83 percent said it happened from a room inside their home. About two-thirds said they were using a device with a small screen—which can also promote a false feeling of privacy, since the screen size means that others can’t easily read over your shoulder. ”

But what exactly triggers this ? How does our brain trick us into believing that what we are sharing online is not going to be seen by many people and how do we get persuaded ? What is the thought process from the moment that our sensors collect information about the environment until the moment that the perception happens ? What role does biology play in creating the illusion of privacy in our brains?

I would like to approach this subject from the perspectives of cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience.


cognitive  psychology:

I believe that approaching ideas about perceptions of privacy through perceptual psychology as a subset of cognitive psychology could shed light on how the teenage mind could interpret the stimuli from the physical environment in a way that it could create an illusion of privacy. Cognitive psychology could also help determine the cognitive processes that occur within the minds of the said teenagers which could direct the physical senses to lead into such conclusions.

cognitive  neuroscience:

Despite it being a very fast-growing field, neuroscience still has many questions unanswered. As it is a very diverse and wide discipline, I’m planning to focus on very basic details of the cognitive levels. This is perhaps an intersection between neuropsychology and biology and could potentially be where an expert cognitive-neuroscientist could come up with answers to complex questions about the way that the brain interacts with the environment. Without looking for answers, this could be a great opportunity to try to look at the issue from the perspective of a neuroscientist.


Some textbooks that I’m planning to use:

  1. Cognitive Neuroscience: The Biology of the Mind , Michael Gazzaniga , Richard B. Ivry , George R. Mangun
  2. The Student’s Guide to Cognitive Neuroscience, Jamie Ward
  3. Cognitive Psychology and its Implications, John R. Anderson
  4. Cognitive Psychology , Robert L. Solso, Otto H. MacLin, M. Kimberly MacLin





Written by Faranak on October 13th, 2013

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Introduction to Management 102   no comments

Posted at 5:01 pm in Uncategorized

I pick up from where I left off last week – in particular, consideration of the field of management studies from the perspective of an organization (to be managed) as an ‘open system’. This conceptualization implies that various sub-systems should be considered from a management engagement viewpoint: the internal (towards maintenance of the system) and external (towards the competitive position of the system). One of the challenges under management theory is how to balance these competing values upon management time: in particular, how to trade-off the encouragement of flexibility and change, while still retaining control to ensure employees act appropriately.

In returning to the main research focus – how the Web/Internet is changing the nature of competition between businesses – an open system emphasizes how objectives, plans and solutions must adjust rapidly to changes in the external environment. These changes can come from a variety of sources. Boddy gives examples of the increasingly global nature of the economic system at large, deregulation in certain industries, the closer integration between many different areas of business (such as telecoms and entertainment), increasing consumer expectations and computer-based information systems. Many modern-day organizations operate in non-linear systems in which small changes are amplified through many interactions with other variables so that the eventual effect is unpredictable. In other words, management decisions should be grounded in the external context in which the organization is situated and the long-term consequences of a management decision can be majorly disrupted by circumstances in the outside world in an unforeseen manner.

Boddy goes on to introduce the idea of the competitive environment (defined as “the industry-specific environment comprising the organization’s customers, suppliers and competitors” or “micro-environment”). He distinguishes it from the “general environment (defined as the “political, economical, social, technological, (natural) environment and legal factors that affect all organizations” or “macro-environment”), as illustrated below:

Together, they make up the “external environment” or “external context”. Forces in the external environment become part of an organization’s agenda when internal or external stakeholders pay attention to them and act to place them on the management agenda. In turn, these demand a response (see next week for more on management theory related to the type of response).

In terms of analyzing the competitive environment, Porter put forward a theory of five forces which most directly affect management and the ability to earn an acceptable return. These are also found in economic theory and competition law: the ability of new competitors to enter the industry, the threat of substitutable products, the bargaining power of buyers, the bargaining power of suppliers and the rivalry amongst existing competitors. This analysis can also be applied at an industry level to determine overall profitability, being factors which influence prices, costs and investment requirements, as illustrated below:

To give one example, technological change can affect the proximity of competition between products which in turn can constrain a firm’s ability to raise price (Boddy gives the example of YouTube threatening established media companies and online recruitment threatening the revenues that newspapers receive from job advertisements).

Where management differs from economics is the nature of the response. Through analyzing the forces in the competitive environment, managers aim to seize opportunities, counter threats and generally improve their position relative to their firm’s competitors in the future. Like economics, however, management also looks at trends, such as the state of the economy which is a major influence on consumer spending and capital investment plans. Sociological trends can also be relevant. For example, many consumer businesses are changing direction from a strategy aimed at mass market towards developing much small brands directed at small, distinctive groups of consumers. This reflects the growing diversity of the population, with many personal and individual preferences more apparent (such as through the Web). Again, in turn, this shift has severe implications for media that relied on advertising from mass market advertising. There are also many examples of digital technologies affecting established markets (such as DVDs, MP3s, broadband services offering delivering online content, VoIP and digital photography).

In summary, critical reflection on business environment conditions is essential to the type of management strategy adopted. Next week I turn to theories of generic management activities of planning and decision-making, including strategy and marketing (to lead into discussions of how e-marketing has revolutionized the business world).

Written by amk1g10 on November 2nd, 2011

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