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Social Networks Can Make Things Worse During Emergencies

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Faced with a common hazard, people delay making decisions that might save lives, fail to alert each other to danger, and spread misinformation.

That may sound like behaviors associated with the current COVID-19 pandemic, but they actually surfaced in experiments on how social networks function in emergencies.

According to Dr. Hirokazu Shirado, an assistant professor in Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute, he expected his experiments to show that social networks, such as neighbors, work groups, and extended families, would improve decision-making by giving people actionable information. “What we found is that social networks make things worse,” said Shirado, who began the research while a member of the Human

Read more on psychcentral.com
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