The Social fMRI: Measuring, Understanding, and Designing Social Mechanisms in the Real World
Author(s)Aharony, Nadav; Pan, Wei; Ip, Cory; Khayal, Inas; Pentland, Alex Paul
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A key challenge of data-driven social science is the gathering of high quality multi-dimensional datasets. A second challenge relates to design and execution of structured experimental interventions in-situ, in a way comparable to the reliability and intentionality of ex-situ laboratory experiments. In this paper we introduce the Friends and Family study, in which a young-family residential community is transformed into a living laboratory. We employ a ubiquitous computing approach that combines extremely rich data collection in terms of signals, dimensionality, and throughput, together with the ability to conduct targeted experimental interventions with study populations. We present our mobile-phone-based social and behavioral sensing system, which has been deployed for over a year now. Finally, we describe a novel tailored intervention aimed at increasing physical activity in the subject population. Results demonstrate the value of social factors for motivation and adherence, and allow us to quantify the contribution of different incentive mechanisms.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Media Laboratory; Program in Media Arts and Sciences (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
Proceedings of the 13th international conference on Ubiquitous computing - UbiComp '11
Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Aharony, Nadav, Wei Pan, Cory Ip, Inas Khayal, and Alex Pentland. “The social fMRI.” In Proceedings of the 13th international conference on Ubiquitous computing - UbiComp 11, 445. Association for Computing Machinery, 2011.
Author's final manuscript