To understand the impact of the Internet, first look to game theory not psychology
Are you looking to blame the Internet for something? Forget what you’ve read in most popular media. It’s not making people more angry, narcissistic or lonely. But go ahead and blame it for the current dysfunction in DC. Along with gerrymandering, the internet is responsible for contributing to the conditions in which it makes sense for a small group of hardline Republican representatives to create gridlock and bring the government of the most powerful nation earth to a halt.
Not a week goes by in which a headline in a major new outlet doesn’t claim that the Internet turns us into something or other. The internet has been blamed for everything from stupidity to narcissism to loneliness to anger. When you dig down into such stories, you often find that the popular writers have either misunderstood the study—which often merely shows that the Internet reflects offline realities –or are cherry picking small, outlier studies while ignoring the preponderance of the research. (Yes, people who score high on offline narcissism scales behave in more narcissistic ways online. Yes, anger spreads more quickly online compared to other emotions. But guess what? Well-established research shows anger also spreads more quickly offline.) Overall, there is scant evidence, or reason, that the Internet alters fundamentals of human psychology.
The internet doesn’t change the players. It does, however, change the game. Sometimes, drastically.
In other words, if you want to understand what the Internet changes, look first to game theory, not psychology. We don’t have a different kind of human as a result of the Internet. We do, however, have different kinds of structures which change the games humans play in their social, personal and political lives.
Read more – > https://medium.com/technology-and-society/90d3613bed96
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