Achievements

 
 
 
 
 
December 2018 – December 2018
Cologne

Best-Paper Award

Euro CSS 2018

Laura Burbach won the best-paper award for her poster “Perceptions of us and them and the influence of social media usage.”

Selected Publications

Democracies in the late 2010s are threatened by political movements from the borders of the political spectrum. Right-wing populist parties increasingly find agreement in larger parts of the population. How are these people convinced to these political beliefs? One explanation can be seen in polarization and the phenomena that arise from it such as the spiral of silence. In this article we empirically investigate how digital media usage influences the perception of polarization in Germany using a survey with 179 respondents. We use polarized opinions and mea- sure agreement from two perspectives with them. We find an influence of social media usage on the perception of polarization in our sample. Further, polarization seems to be perceived differently depending on the topic. The results contribute to an understanding of how to adequately design presentation of sensitive or controversial topics in digital social media and could be utilized in student eduction to sensitize social media users to the effect of polarization of opinions.
In: European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science, 2018

The filter bubble theory, popularized by Eli Pariser in 2011 is subject of academic discussion. With political polarization seemingly increasing, this issue increases in relevance. As recommender algorithms in news-related data bases or search engines such as Google are often intransparent, the project Datenspende: BTW17 aimed at providing data from the users point of view. Google search results for the major German political parties and their leaders of over 1000 participants were collected in order to make sophisticated analyses possible. Based on the data provided, we conducted exploratory tests to investigate how search results of different users differed. As we deemed the order of the search results relevant as well, we compared how the first three, six and nine results were different respectively. We found that differences were the strongest for the first three results, with large differences between the search terms as well, indicating that for some queries filter bubbles could exist.
In: European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science, 2018

The use of recommendation systems is widespread in online com- merce. Depending on the algorithm that is used in the recommender system diferent types of data are recorded from user interactions. Typically, better recommendations are achieved when more detailed data about the user and product is available. However, users are often unaware of what data is stored and how it is used in recommendation. In a survey study with 197 participants we introduced diferent recommendation techniques (collaborative filtering, content-based recommendation, trust-based and social recommendation) to the users and asked participants to rate what type of algorithm should be used for what type of product category (books, mobile phones, contraceptives). We found diferent patterns of preferences for diferent product categories. The more sensitive the product the higher the preference for content-based iltering approaches that could work without storing personal data. Trust- based and social approaches utilizing data from social media were generally rejected.
In: Proceedings of the 12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, pp. 306–310, 2018

When social media becomes a dominant channel for the distribution of news, manipulation of the news agenda and news content can be achieved by anyone who is hosting a website with access to social media APIs. Falsehoods masked as legitimate news with the intent to manipulate the public are called Fake News. This type of propaganda is disseminated by sharing of individual social media users. Fake news pose a threat to democracies as they influence the public agenda and contribute to polarization of opinions. To limit the dissemination of fake news, social media websites utilize fact-checking badges to flag possibly fabricated content. It has however not been investigated whether these badges are effective and who responds to them. In a survey study with 120 participants we found little evidence for the effectiveness of such badges. However, believability of news in a social media sites were generally rated rather low.
IEA 2018: Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018) pp 469-477, 2018

Democracies in the late 2010s are threatened by political movements from the borders of the political spectrum. Right-wing populist parties increasingly find agreement in larger parts of the population. How are these people convinced to these political beliefs? One explanation can be seen in polarization and the phenomena that arise from it such as the spiral of silence. In this article we empirically investigate how digital media usage influences the perception of polarization in Germany using a survey with 179 respondents. We use polarized opinions and mea- sure agreement from two perspectives with them. We find an influence of social media usage on the perception of polarization in our sample. Further, polarization seems to be perceived differently depending on the topic. The results contribute to an understanding of how to adequately design presentation of sensitive or controversial topics in digital social media and could be utilized in student eduction to sensitize social media users to the effect of polarization of opinions.
In: International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media, pp. 189–202, 2018

Recent Publications

(2018). Political Opinions of Us and Them and the Influence of Digital Media Usage. In: European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science.

Preprint Slides

(2018). Similarity of Search Results in the Datenspende BTW17 Dataset - CSS Data Challenge 2018. In: European Symposium Series on Societal Challenges in Computational Social Science.

Preprint Slides

(2018). User preferences in recommendation algorithms: the influence of user diversity, trust, and product category on privacy perceptions in recommender algorithms. In: Proceedings of the 12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems, pp. 306–310.

Preprint PDF Dataset Poster Slides

(2018). Believability of News - Understanding Users Perceptions of Fake News and the Effectiveness of Fact-Checking Badges. IEA 2018: Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018) pp 469-477.

Preprint PDF Slides

(2018). Human Factors in the Age of Algorithms. Understanding the Human-in-the-loop Using Agent-Based Modeling. In: International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media, pp. 357–371.

Preprint PDF Slides

(2018). Political Opinions of Us and Them and the Influence of Digital Media Usage. In: International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media, pp. 189–202.

Preprint PDF Slides

(2018). Elitism, trust, opinion leadership and politics in social protests in Germany. In: Energy research & social science : ERSS, (43), pp. 132–143.

Preprint PDF

Recent & Upcoming Talks

Recent Posts

More Posts

During this years “Wissenschaftsnacht” our research group presented our research to the open public. The room was packed although we were schedulded at 11:15 P.M.

You can see the talk in the following youtube clip.

CONTINUE READING

From September 17 to 21 Laura Burbach participated in the 4th Aachen International Summer School. Interesting Topic of the Summer School was „Introduction to Structure Equation Models (SEM) and Measurement Theory„. Laura learned much about the basics of designing, estimation and interpretation of SEM-models and how to build a SEM-model with the software LISREL.

CONTINUE READING

From August 13 to 17, Laura Burbach participated in the ESSA Summer School in Social Simulation: „Models in the real world“. She received insights in the linking of Agent-Based Models with empirical data and in the way how agents and their decisions and behaviours as well as their environment can be modelled in different kinds (very simple models vs. complex models) of ABMs. Furthermore, she attended many interesting talks and connected with people who are working with ABM as well.

CONTINUE READING

Die Mitarbeitenden der Nachwuchsgruppe „Digitale Mündigkeit“ können erste Erfolge nachweisen. So wurden zwei Beitrage auf der 10th International Conference on Social Computing and Social Media eingereicht und akzeptiert. Darüberhinaus wurde ein Artikel im Journal „Energy Policy and Social Sciences“ akzeptiert. Näheres finden sie dazu unter Publikationen auf dieser Webseite.

CONTINUE READING

Mit Laura Burbach nimmt ein Mitglied der Nachwuchsforschungsgruppe Digitale Mündigkeit an einer Summer School zum Thema Modelle in der realen Welt teil, in der Agentenbasierte Modelle entwickelt und mithilfe empirischer Daten validiert werden. Die Summer School findet vom 13. bis 17. August 2018 in Växjö in Schweden statt. Wir sind gespannt, was sie von der Summer School berichtet.

CONTINUE READING

Team

Mitarbeitende im Projekt „Digitale Mündigkeit“

Das Projekt „Digitale Mündigkeit“ adressiert Themen an der Schnittstelle zwischen Mensch und Technik. Um dieser Komplexität Rechnung zu tragen, werden die Fragen interdisziplinär bearbeitet. Das Team ist dementsprechend divers besetzt und deckt Bereiche wie Bildungs- und Wissensmanagement, Kommunikationswissenschaft, Technik-Kommunikation, Informatik und E-Technik ab.

Laura Burbach, M.A.

Laura Burbach ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin am Lehrstuhl für Communication Science und am Human-Computer Interaction Center (HCIC). Sie hat an der RWTH Aachen den Zwei-Fach-Master Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft und Bildungs- und Wissensmanagement studiert. In ihrer Masterarbeit beschäftigte sie sich mit dem Thema Life-Logging-Nutzerprofile und Motivation.

Seit 2018 ist sie Teil der Nachwuchsforschergruppe Digitale Mündigkeit und befasst sich damit, wie Meinungsausbreitung in sozialen Medien stattfindet. Aktuell untersucht sie, ob und inwiefern verschiedene Empfehlungssysteme von Nutzern sozialer Medien akzeptiert werden.

Link zum Google Scholar Profil

Dr. André Calero Valdez

André Calero Valdez ist Senior Researcher am Lehrstuhl für Communication Science und Human-Computer Interaction Center der RWTH Aachen University und Leiter der Nachwuchsgruppe „Digitale Mündigkeit„.

Er hat an der RWTH Aachen Informatik studiert, mit den Vertiefungsgebieten Software Engineering und Psychologie. Aufgrund seines hervorragenden Studienabschlusses wurde ihm ein Promotionsstipendium durch die RWTH gewährt. In seiner Dissertation beschäftigte sich André mit der nutzerzentrierten Entwicklung und Evaluation eines Small-Screen-Devices für Diabetes Patienten.

Seit 2013 arbeitet André als Post-Doc an der RWTH Aachen University und befasst sich mit der Schnittstelle von Algorithmen und Menschen in unterschiedlichen Anwendungesbreichen. Er arbeitet in den Bereichen empirische Sozialforschung, Technologie-Akzeptanz, eHeatlh, Industrie 4.0, Empfehlungssysteme, Informationsvisualisierung und soziale Medien.

Seit 2014 ist André Gastprofessor an der Medizinischen Universität Graz an der HCI-KDD Gruppe bei Herrn Prof. Dr. Andreas Holzinger.

Link zum Google-Scholar Profil Link zur akademischen Webseite

Patrick Halbach, B. Sc.

Patrick Halbach ist studentische Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für Communication Science und Human-Computer Interaction Center der RWTH Aachen University.

Er studiert aktuell noch an der RWTH Aachen den Zwei-Fach Masterstudiengang Technik-Kommunikation mit Grundlagen der Informatik und untersucht in seiner Abschlussarbeit den Einfluss von Social Media und Empfehlungssystemen auf die Meinungsbildung in der digitalen Gesellschaft.

Im Anschluss wird er im Projekt Digitale Mündigkeit als wissenschaftliche Hilfskraft weiterarbeiten.

Link zum Google Scholar Profil

Johannes Nakayama, B. Sc.

Johannes Nakayama arbeitet als studentische Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für Communication Science und am Human-Computer Interaction Center an der RWTH Aachen University. Er hat seinen Bachelorabschluss an der RWTH im Fach Technik-Kommunikation mit Beifach Informatik erworben und studiert zurzeit im konsekutiven Masterstudium weiter.

Link zum Google-Scholar Profil

Nils Plettenberg, B. Sc.

Nils Plettenberg ist studentische Hilfskraft am Lehrstuhl für Communication Science und Human-Computer Interaction Center der RWTH Aachen University. Er hat an der RWTH Aachen den Zwei-Fach-Bachelor Technik-Kommunikation mit Grundlagen der Elektrotechnik studiert. Zurzeit befindet er sich in den letzten Zügen des Bachelors Elektrotechnik, Informationstechnik und Technische Informatik.

Link zum Google Scholar Profil

Contact

  • +49 241 80 49239
  • RWTH Aachen University, Campus Boulevard 57, 52074 Aachen, Germany
  • Email for appointment