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social media

Using social media such as Facebook, Xing or Twitter has become part of everyday life for many people. Social media help people to maintain and extend their social networks. Social relationships are (semi-)publicly displayed; social contexts collapse and members from different groups receive the same information. This information is usually displayed in so-called feeds, short messages often presented out of context. At the same time, social media explicitly ask for information sharing and present incentives for sharing by displaying activity in profiles. Social media thereby influence with whom and how people share information and knowledge. The junior research group Social Media is thus mainly interested in how social media affect (professional) knowledge exchange.

Next to the cognitive component – knowing who knows what – the emotional component, namely trust in the interaction partner, plays a major role in professional knowledge sharing. The junior research group studies these cognitive and emotional processes often in professional settings, e.g., on business networks such as Xing or LinkedIn, but also in online experiments. The group also examines how visualizations can help people to process complex volumes of data and to make better decisions. The results from these studies are relevant for the praxis field knowledge work with digital media.

Many people are nowadays permanently connected with their network via smartphones and other digital media. The junior research group also studies how the changed communication patterns (e.g., many short, rather mundane messages instead of longer and more intimate conversations) affect social relationships and emotions.

Team social media


Ambient Awareness

Most news on social media are only skimmed and not read attentively. However, regular skimming of such messages is by no means useless, but can help to develop so-called ambient awareness, an awareness of who is doing what and who knows what in the network. Based on preliminary work from the ERC project ReDeftie, the underlying processes and effects will be further investigated.

Dr. Tide: Digital Research Tailored Information Detector

Organizations have to process and understand their internal data. In order to do so, many organizations use visualization tools to design graphs and tables. However, when actually designing these visualizations, often questions emerge: How should complex data be visualized to improve decision making? How can cognitive overload of the users be prevented? How flexible or interactive should self-service visualization options be?

Informal learning with YouTube

The video-sharing platform YouTube is meanwhile the 2nd largest search engine. “How to…” videos can be found for almost any topic – ranging from make-up tips over solutions for software problems to reparing washing machines. These videos can provide an easy and cheap access to learning opportunities for everybody. How frequently are they used for informal learning and which role does the protagonist play?

Overcoming cognitive and motivational barriers for networking: contact recommendation systems in professional settings

The project investigates which factors have a positive or negative impact on networking behavior in professional settings, and how these factors can be promoted or attenuated respectively. In addition to studying the influencing factors, an algorithm for recommender systems in professional social media will be developed. The project goal is to make networking on professional social media platforms easier, thereby helping knowledge workers with their work.

Parental Mobile Media use for Stress Management

Mobile media have become part of the everyday lifes of families and are used in various ways. However, current research still focuses relatively little on the use of media by parents. The aim of this dissertation project is to investigate how parents use mobile media such as smartphones to cope with stress and under which circumstances stress management with mobile media is successful.

Trust and sport consumption

Crises are frequent in sport, be they doping or poor performance. How do such crises influence confidence in athletes and ultimately the demand for sporting events? Most professional athletes and teams now have profiles on social media such as Facebook or Instagram. Do these more direct interactions with athletes (comments, likes) lead to a stronger bond that can mitigate the negative effects of a crisis?

Former Projects

graduation papers