Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Online time may foster youngster’s social involvement

21.02.2006


Adults often express fear that young people spend too much time online and, as a result, are losing a sense of the importance of social interaction, civic involvement and participation in social communities.



A Northwestern University researcher who for seven years has been studying a remarkable online community of 3,000 youngsters aged 10 to 16 disagrees.

"The involvement of youngsters in online communities today is qualitatively, not quantitatively, different than it was a generation ago," says Justine Cassell, professor of communication studies and director of the Program on Technology and Social Behavior at Northwestern University.


She is presenting her findings Sunday, Feb. 19, at the annual meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in St. Louis.

"For young technology enthusiasts, involvement might not mean attending meetings in school gymnasiums or sitting around campfires. Their social or civic engagement may take place in online communities in the glow of their home computer screens," Cassell says.

In studying the online group of young people who represent 139 countries and have different social backgrounds and levels of computer proficiency, she and her colleagues David Huffaker of Northwestern University and Dona Tversky of Stanford University find that the youngsters demonstrate high levels of civic involvement and care passionately about their communities and the world.

Cassell has studied the characteristics of youth leadership and leadership styles by analyzing data resulting from the 1998 online Junior Summit that she directed.

Without ever seeing one another face-to-face, and in a community almost entirely free of adult intervention, these children traded messages in an online forum about the ways technology could improve life for the world’s young citizens. They then elected leaders to represent their community in a real world meeting with political and industry leaders from around the world.

"While other studies have reported that leadership in the online world is similar to leadership in the off-line or physical world, those studies have been based on the behaviors of adult technology users," says Cassell. "We have found that young leaders using technology do not necessarily reproduce adult styles of leadership."

Cassell and her colleagues found that they could predict who was going to be elected a leader after analyzing the kinds of language the youngsters used online. And, whereas in the real world "leader language" has been found to contain many references to the leader’s ideas and abilities, that was not the case in the data from the online Junior Summit.

The leaders in Cassell’s online community were more likely to synthesize the ideas of others and to be highly socially adept -- characteristics more typical of women than men in studies of adult, offline leaders. In fact, more girls than boys were elected to leadership positions in the online community.

Cassell also found that online community members appear to place high value on collaboration, social ability and persuasiveness. In adult studies those styles of leadership are found to exist more frequently in women than in men.

Cassell’s paper is titled "Youth Leadership Online: A New Paradigm for Civic Participation" and is part of an AAAS panel on teenagers and technology.

Wendy Leopold | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Social Sciences:

nachricht The competitive edge: Dietary competition played a key role in the evolution of early primates
01.08.2018 | Grand Valley State University

nachricht Diversity and education influence India’s population growth
31.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Social Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: It’s All in the Mix: Jülich Researchers are Developing Fast-Charging Solid-State Batteries

There are currently great hopes for solid-state batteries. They contain no liquid parts that could leak or catch fire. For this reason, they do not require cooling and are considered to be much safer, more reliable, and longer lasting than traditional lithium-ion batteries. Jülich scientists have now introduced a new concept that allows currents up to ten times greater during charging and discharging than previously described in the literature. The improvement was achieved by a “clever” choice of materials with a focus on consistently good compatibility. All components were made from phosphate compounds, which are well matched both chemically and mechanically.

The low current is considered one of the biggest hurdles in the development of solid-state batteries. It is the reason why the batteries take a relatively long...

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum bugs, meet your new swatter

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

A novel synthetic antibody enables conditional “protein knockdown” in vertebrates

20.08.2018 | Life Sciences

Metamolds: Molding a mold

20.08.2018 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>