WSC Network Research Highlight: The Social Price of Smartphones

People on smartphones

Smartphones have become pervasive. Work Science Center Network Member, Kostadin Kushlev, recently published a review on the social costs of smartphone usage. Smartphones are designed to capture our attention, and increased use has been shown to increase perceived distraction and negative mood while decreasing feelings of social connectedness, meaning, and enjoyment. Beyond the negative effects of being distracted by a smartphone during social situations, smartphones have begun to eliminate the need for many common social interactions, altogether.

Motivated to Procrastinate

Woman drinking coffee instead of working

In general, people who have higher fears of failure are more likely to procrastinate, but sometimes this fear of failure is linked to stereotyped beliefs about one’s group (i.e., race, gender). This stereotype threat has been shown to impede performance on standardized tests and limits the achievement goals that individuals set for themselves. A study published in 2013 looks at motivation, stereotype threat, and procrastination behavior in women in STEM classes.

WSC Network Research Highlight: Heavy Drinking with Clients

Drinks and cellphone

Heavy drinking with clients is a common occurrence, but can be problematic, both for employees as well as their employer. A study recently published in Human Relations by a team of researchers including Work Science Center Network Member, Mo Wang, and led by Songqi Liu, examined what leads to new employees engaging in heavy drinking with clients (HDC) and what the potential work-related outcomes might be.

WSC Network Research Highlight: Job Insecurity and Satisfaction

Stressed worker

In the modern workforce, many workers worry about the security of their employment, and this may have negative outcomes for them and their organizations. A team of researchers led by Work Science Center Network Member, Mindy Shoss found that even for, and perhaps especially for, people who like their jobs, the threat of losing one’s job has negative consequences ranging from an intention to quit to increased stress.

Conversation Content and Women in STEM

Women at work

A study sought to supplement STEM women’s self-reported feelings of disengagement with behavioral data, by recording workplace conversations amongst STEM faculty. Conversations between forty-five male and female colleagues at a major research university in the U.S. were recorded for three consecutive work days, and the audio files were later coded for either research or socializing conversations. Those discussions were then related to measures of job disengagement.

WSC Network Research Highlight: Disclosing Disability Status

Coworkers talking

Disabilities that are concealable can be particularly strenuous when deciding whether to disclose given the concern that others may question the truthfulness of the disclosure. Typically, if people can conceal their identities, they often do. Results of 28 in-depth interviews with individuals with disabilities suggest four factors that may lead to whether individuals disclosed their disability status.

Gender Differences in University Administrators' Perspectives on Policies for Women in STEM

Woman walking at university

A survey of 1,529 administrators across 96 public and private universities in the United States revealed that women and men in administrator positions view strategies for attracting and retaining women in STEM faculty positions differently. 

Where Are All the Women Scientists?

Girl learning science

For decades, historians have delved into historical records to dismantle the stereotype that only men have made significant contributions and advancements to science, technology, engineering and technology. Margaret Rossiter’s Women Scientists in America, published in 1982, was a landmark biography that focused on women who contributed to the growth of American science. While these facts have been published, they have not made their way into the classroom or mainstream culture. There have been numerous female astronomers, chemists, biologists, psychologists and researchers who were indispensable in their contributions toward STEM, but are their names known?

Network Research Highlight: Respect Leads to Voice

Woman speaking up in meeting

WSC Network Member Sharon K. Parker recently published a study that investigates some factors that influence why an employee may speak up or not. Parker and her collaborators looked at two factors that could influence voice, or change-oriented communication intended to advance an organization's interests. In particular, they studied the impact of received respect as a social factor that could encourage employees to heighten their voice at work

Mapping Signs of Trust in Robots

Doctor and robot interacting

A paper published on sensing human trust in machines explores the psychophysiological features that indicate how humans perceive intelligent system. A subsequent goal of the study was to build a trust sensor model to train machines to adjust their behavior according to the subject’s perception. The results of the study showed that the body tends to change in a specific pattern in response to increased trust in a machine in real-time. By using and improving these models in the future, it is possible that machines will be able to adjust their behaviors based on human psychophysiological response. This would increase the trust between humans and machines and allow for effortless interactions that increase the efficiency of work


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