Think FaceApp Is Scary? Wait Till You Hear About Facebook


The idea that FaceApp is somehow exceptionally dangerous threatens to obscure the real point: All apps deserve this level of scrutiny.

Source: Think FaceApp Is Scary? Wait Till You Hear About Facebook

FaceApp is a viral lark that takes a convincing guess at what you’ll look like when you’re old. FaceApp is also the product of a Russian company that sends photos from your device to its servers, retains rights to use them in perpetuity, and performs artificial intelligence black magic on them. And so the FaceApp backlash has kicked into gear, with anxious stories and tweets warning you off of its charms. Which, fine! Just make sure you save some of that ire for bigger targets.

The response to FaceApp is predictable, if only because this cycle has happened before. FaceApp went viral when it launched in 2017, and prompted a similar—if far more muted—privacy kerfuffle. But compared to Meitu, that year’s other viral face manipulator, which is quite a phrase to type, FaceApp was downright saintly in its data collection. At least FaceApp didn’t access your GPS and SIM card information. More energy was directed at bigger problems, like FaceApp’s blackface filter. (Yep!)

“This is definitely not a unique FaceApp problem. FaceApp is part of a larger privacy problem.”


The latest frenzy appears to have been kicked off by a since-deleted tweet that claimed FaceApp uploads all of your photos to the cloud. That certainly would be alarming. But FaceApp has denied the claim, and multiple security researchers have confirmed that it’s not so. FaceApp takes only the photo you ask it to manipulate. The company also says it deletes “most images” from its servers within 48 hours of uploading, although admittedly there’s no way to confirm that it does so in practice. If you want FaceApp to remove all of your data from its servers, you can send a request within the app, by going to Settings > Support > Report a bug and putting “Privacy” in the subject line. “Our support team is currently overloaded, but these requests have our priority,” FaceApp founder Yaroslav Goncharov said in a statement. “We are working on the better UI for that.”

Those measures don’t make FaceApp some paragon of data privacy. While the way it manages photos is kosher under Apple rules, FaceApp doesn’t make it clear enough to users that it’s sending them to a server. “I cannot think of any situation where an app should not be very painfully clear about a photo being uploaded to a remote server,” says Will Strafach, security researcher and developer of Guardian, an iOS firewall app. “Users always have the right to know this.”

Still, it’s important to note that while FaceApp calls St. Petersburg home, its servers are based in the US. The company said in a statement that “the user data is not transferred to Russia.” Like almost everyone else, FaceApp uses Amazon’s cloud. And it has at least a plausible reason for doing so: The processing power required to apply a Methuselahn filter on your face is more manageable there than on your device. More recent iPhones and Android devices have machine learning capabilities baked into their hardware, but it’s safe to assume that plenty of FaceApp’s reported 80 million users are on older models.

So what’s changed since 2017? On the FaceApp side, not much. But the world around it looks markedly different. Russia has become synonymous with nefarious online meddling, to the point that any company—even a silly filter app—becomes a bogeyman. Awareness of facial recognition’s perils has reached something close to critical mass. And the idea that one’s personal data might be worth protecting has gained real, immutable traction.

All for the better, or at least on those last two points. You should ask questions about FaceApp. You should be extremely cautious about what data you choose to share with it, especially something as personal as a photo of your face. But the idea that FaceApp is somehow exceptionally dangerous threatens to obscure the real point: All apps deserve this level of scrutiny—including, and especially, the ones you use the most.

“People give photos to lots of different apps. I think this is probably getting attention because it’s Russian developers,” says Christine Bannan, consumer protection counsel at the nonprofit Electronic Privacy Information Center. “But this is definitely not a unique FaceApp problem. FaceApp is part of a larger privacy problem.”

Take the most obvious example, and not only for its similar name. Facebook has nearly 2.5 billion monthly active users to FaceApp’s 80 million. It, too, applies facial recognition to photos that those users upload to its servers. It also actively pushed a VPN that allowed it to track the activity of anyone who installed it not just within the Facebook app but anywhere on their phone. When Apple finally banned that app, Facebook snuck it in again through the backdoor. And that’s before you get to the privacy violations that have led to a reported $5 billion fine from the FTC, a record by orders of magnitude.

People have expressed concern that FaceApp’s terms of service includes “a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you.” Rightly so. But see how closely it mirrors Facebook’s terms of service, which also says that “when you share, post, or upload content that is covered by intellectual property rights (like photos or videos) on or in connection with our Products, you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, and worldwide license to host, use, distribute, modify, run, copy, publicly perform or display, translate, and create derivative works of your content (consistent with your privacy and application settings).” (Which is as good a reminder as any to lock down your Facebook privacy settings.)

And it’s obviously not just Facebook. Look at Life360, a family-tracking app that turns user data into revenue through advertising and partnerships. TikTok is based in China, a country with a damning history of facial recognition abuses. For years, US carriers sold detailed location data of their customers without explicit consent. As noted by Ad Weekreporter Shoshana Wodinsky, FaceApp itself sends data to DoubleClick, the Google-owned ad company, and to Facebook. And so do countless others.

Should you be worried about FaceApp? Sure. But not necessarily more than any other app you let into your photo library. Or any other part of your phone.

“I wish people would think before they try out any app, but that just isn’t realistic. People want to use cool-looking services and they’ll never read a boring privacy policy before doing so,” says Joseph Jerome, privacy counsel at the nonprofit Center for Democracy & Technology. “There’s a real tension between individuals wanting to have fun with their photos and their images being used for a host of different facial recognition and image analytics products. This is why we’ve been calling for regulations around biometric data.”

Instead of these panics, which fade in and out in step with the virality of their targets, maybe a healthier focus is on broader awareness. Your data has value. Think twice about who you give it to, regardless of what country they’re in or how silly they make you look.


Viral App FaceApp Now Owns Access To More Than 150 Million People’s Faces And Names

“Your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm”

Source: Viral App FaceApp Now Owns Access To More Than 150 Million People’s Faces And Names

John Koetsier is a journalist, analyst, author, and speaker.

Everyone’s seen them: friends posting pictures of themselves now, and years in the future.

Viral app FaceApp has been giving people the power to change their facial expressions, looks, and now age for several years. But at the same time, people have been giving FaceApp the power to use their pictures — and names — for any purpose it wishes, for as long as it desires.

And we thought we learned a lesson from Cambridge Analytica.

More than 100 million people have downloaded the app from Google Play. And FaceApp is now the top-ranked app on the iOS App Store in 121 countries, according to App Annie.

While according to FaceApp’s terms of service people still own their own “user content” (read: face), the company owns a never-ending and irrevocable royalty-free license to do anything they want with it … in front of whoever they wish:

You grant FaceApp a perpetual, irrevocable, nonexclusive, royalty-free, worldwide, fully-paid, transferable sub-licensable license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, publicly perform and display your User Content and any name, username or likeness provided in connection with your User Content in all media formats and channels now known or later developed, without compensation to you. When you post or otherwise share User Content on or through our Services, you understand that your User Content and any associated information (such as your [username], location or profile photo) will be visible to the public.

FaceApp terms of use

That may not be dangerous and your likeness may stay on Amazon servers in America, as Forbes has determined, but they still own a license to do whatever they want with it. That doesn’t mean the app’s Russian parent company, Wireless Labs, will offer your face to the FSB, but it does have consequences, as PhoneArena’s Peter Kostadinov says:

You might end up on a billboard somewhere in Moscow, but your face will most likely end up training some AI facial-recognition algorithm.

Peter Kostadinov 

Whether that matters to you or not is your decision.

But what we have learned in the past few years about viral Facebook apps is that the data they collect is not always used for the purposes that we might assume. And, that the data collected is not always stored securely, safely, privately.

Once something is uploaded to the cloud, you’ve lost control whether or not you’ve given away legal license to your content. That’s one reason why privacy-sensitive Apple is doing most of its AI work on-device.

And it’s a good reason to be wary when any app wants access and a license to your digital content and/or identity.

As former Rackspace manager Rob La Gesse mentioned today:

To make FaceApp actually work, you have to give it permissions to access your photos – ALL of them. But it also gains access to Siri and Search …. Oh, and it has access to refreshing in the background – so even when you are not using it, it is using you.

Rob La Gesse

The app doesn’t have to be doing anything nefarious today to make you cautious about giving it that much access to your most personal computing device.

Follow John Koetsier on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out his website or some of his other work here.

Labeling Theory: How do the labels we use change our reality?

Labeling Theory: The labels we apply – or the others apply to us – determine our identity, our behaviour and also our reality.

Source: ▷ Labeling Theory: How do the labels we use change our reality?

“Be curious, not judgmental”, wrote Walt Whitman. Life is neither good nor bad. Where some see a problem, others may find an opportunity. Every time we label the events, we turn them into good or bad. Every time we judge what happens to us, we start a battle against the reality in which we will almost always have the chance to lose.

Labels, that rudimentary mechanism of reaction with which we limit reality

Labels can become so useful that we find it difficult to escape them. In some situations they make life easier for us since they become cardinal points, a rapid system of orientation that activates the response mechanisms we have learned without having to think too much. They are like a simplified trigger that connects a complex reality with a simple answer.

Our deep passion for labels comes, in large part, from our need to feel safe and control our environment. A label is a quick response that makes us feel that we have the control, even if it is only an illusionary perception.

If we labeled a person as “toxic”, we don’t need anything more, we will try to stay away from him. If we labeled a situation as “undesirable” we will do everything possible to escape it.

The problem is that the world is not so simple. Every time we apply a label we are reducing the wealth of what we’re labeling. When we classify the events as “good” or “bad”, we stop perceiving the complete image. As Søren Kierkegaard said: “When you label me, you deny me”, because every time we label someone we deny his wealth and complexity.

The Labeling Theory: How do the labels we use shape our reality?

Psychologists began to study labels in the 1930s, when linguist Benjamin Whorf proposed the hypothesis of linguistic relativity. He believed that the words we use to describe what we see are not mere labels, but end up determining what we see.

Decades later, cognitive psychologist Lera Boroditsky demonstrated it with an experiment. She asked people of English or Russian mother tongue to distinguish between two very similar but subtly different shades of blue. In English, there is only one word for the blue color, but the Russians automatically divide the spectrum of blue into lighter blues (goluboy) and darker blues (siniy). Interestingly, those who spoke Russian distinguished the difference between the two tones faster, while those who spoke English needed much more.

Labels not only shape our perception of the color, but also change the way we perceive more complex situations. A classic study conducted at Princeton University showed the enormous scope of labels.

These psychologists showed a group of people a video of a girl playing in a low-income neighborhood and to another group showed the same girl, playing in the same way, but in a high-middle class neighborhood. In the video were also asked some questions to the girl, to some she answered well, with others she made mistakes.

Darley and Gross discovered that people used the socioeconomic status label as an index of academic ability. When the girl was labeled as “middle class”, people believed that her cognitive performance was better. This reveals to us that a simple label, apparently innocuous and objective, activates a series of prejudices or preconceived ideas that end up determining our image of people or reality.

The problem goes much further, the implications of labeling are immense, as demonstrated by Robert Rosenthal and Lenore Jacobson. These educational psychologists found that if teachers believe that a child has less intellectual capacity – even if it’s not true – they will treat him as such and that child will end up getting worse grades, not because he lacks the necessary skills but simply because he received less attention during the lessons. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy: when we believe that something is real, we can make it real with our attitudes and behaviors.

Nobody is immune to the influence of labels. The labeling theory indicates that our identity and behaviors are determined or influenced by the terms that we or others use to describe us.

The labels say more about who’s labeling, than who is labeled

Toni Morrison, the American writer, winner of a Pulitzer Prize and Nobel Prize for Literature, wrote: “The definitions belong to the definers, not the defined”. Each label we place, with the objective of limiting the others, actually restricts our world. Each label is the expression of our inability to deal with complexity and uncertainty, with the unexpected and the ambivalent.

In fact, we usually resort to labels when reality is so complex that it overwhelms us psychologically, or when we don’t have the cognitive tools to assess in a fair measure what is happening.

From this perspective, each label is like a tunnel that closes our vision to a more vast, wide and complex reality. And if we don’t have a global perspective of what is happening, we cannot respond adaptively. In that moment we stop responding to reality to begin to respond to the biased image of reality that we have built in our mind.

Flexible labels reduce our stress

Using fixed terms to describe people or ourselves is not only limiting, but also stressful. On the contrary, thinking about identity more flexibly will decrease our level of stress, as indicated by psychologists at the University of Texas.

The study, carried out with students, revealed that those who believed that the personality could change, both their own and that of the classmates they labeled, were less stressed in situations of social exclusion and, at the end of the year, they become less ill than people who used to apply fixed labels.

Having a more flexible view of the world allows us to adapt more easily to changes, so we will stress much less. Furthermore, understanding that everything can change – ourselves or people – will prevent us from falling into the arms of fatalism, so that we can develop a more optimistic vision of life.

How to escape from labels?

We need to remember that “good” and “bad” are two sides of the same coin. If we don’t understand it, we will remain trapped in dichotomous thinking, victims of the labels we apply ourselves.

We also need to understand that if someone does something wrong from our point of view, it doesn’t mean that he is a bad person, but simply a person who did something that doesn’t correspond to our value system.

Remember that “Sometimes it is the people no one can imagine anything of who do the things no one can imagine”,  as Alan Turing said. Because sometimes, we just have to open up to experiences, without pre-established ideas, and let them surprise us.


Yeager, D.S. et. Al. (2014) The far-reaching effects of believing people can change: implicit theories of personality shape stress, health, and achievement during adolescence. J Pers Soc Psychol; 106(6): 867-884.

Boroditsky, L. et. Al. (2007) Russian blues reveal effects of language on color discrimination. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA; 104(19): 7780-7785.

Darley, J.M. & Gross, P.H. (1983) A hypothesis-confirming bias in labeling effects. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology; 44(1): 20-33.

Rosenthal, R., y Jacobson, L. (1980) Pygmalion en la escuela. Expectativas del maestro y desarrollo intelectual del alumno. Madrid: Ed. Marova.

Virtually Better: How Virtual Reality Is Helping Treat Social Anxiety 

“The effectiveness of virtual reality exposure therapy is important because social anxiety disorder is vastly undertreated,” says Dr. Page Anderson.

Source: Virtually Better: How Virtual Reality Is Helping Treat Social Anxiety » Brain World

Kellie Williamson

We humans are deeply social creatures. We live our lives in the company of others: we work together, eat together, play together, and sleep together. Yet, for some of us, interacting with other people can really be “hell.” The prospect of talking with a stranger, ordering food in a restaurant, or speaking up in a work meeting, can, for some people, be an incredibly daunting and fear-provoking experience. This is very much the case for sufferers of “social anxiety disorder.”

Social anxiety is the intense fear of being negatively evaluated or judged in social situations. While it is not uncommon to feel nervous in certain social settings (think first date or giving a presentation), sufferers of social anxiety disorder experience this fear to such an extreme and excessive degree that they tend to avoid opportunities to socialize. Sufferers may find themselves avoiding job interviews, missing out on opportunities for promotion, and, in some severe cases, avoid public spaces altogether. As many as 15 million Americans suffer from social anxiety disorder, yet, only one-third of sufferers receive treatment. Seeking treatment can be difficult as doing so requires sufferers to interact with strangers — the kind of interpersonal experience that many sufferers are prone to avoiding.

Social anxiety is typically treated using a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy. Under the guidance of a psychologist, patients are initially supported in facing their fears by imagining the fear-provoking setting, and later, by encountering the setting in real life, while accompanied by their therapist. One of the challenges of this kind of therapy is that exposing patients to fears in the real world involves unpredictability and uncertainty, where things can go awry, risking reinforcing a patient’s fear. In light of this, some psychologists are now embracing virtual reality technologies, which are offering a new form of exposure therapy to patients, an approach with very promising results.

At the Virtual Reality Medical Center in La Jolla, California, executive director and clinical health psychologist Dr. Brenda Wiederhold specializes in treating social anxiety disorder with the use of virtual reality exposure therapy. For over 20 years, Wiederhold has used various forms of virtual reality technology to help patients cope with the public-speaking demands of a new job, adjust to major life transitions (like going away to college), and enter new and challenging social environments. For Wiederhold, virtual reality creates a benign setting in which the feared social scenario can be controlled, and the patient’s responses can be carefully monitored, in a safe environment.

As with traditional cognitive behavioral therapy, Wiederhold’s treatment begins by teaching patients to recognize their bodily signals of anxiety, and then helps them to reframe the automatic thoughts they experience when encountering their feared situation. Once a patient has made progress with these skills, they can begin practicing in virtual social environments. Under Wiederhold’s careful supervision, patients wear virtual reality headsets and enter a virtual representation of the scenario they fear the most — be it talking in a boardroom meeting, presenting to an auditorium full of people, ordering a meal at a restaurant, or stopping a stranger on the street to ask for the time.

These virtual settings are populated with avatars that act and respond dynamically, almost like real people. As patients become more familiar with their virtual setting, Wiederhold is then able to adjust and ramp up the stressors in the controlled environment, giving patients an opportunity to practice their most feared worst case scenarios — for instance, by imitating restless, bored, or disruptive co-workers, or uninterested audience members, the patient is given a chance to build up a sense of control in these otherwise erratic settings. As such, patients are able to experience being in their feared situation, and coping through it, in the presence and safety of a therapist. Thanks to this controlled exposure, patients are then better equipped to face their fears in the real world.

Wiederhold has an extremely high success rate, with 92 percent of her patients showing considerable improvement in their social anxiety, leaving therapy displaying less avoidant behavior. Yet, according to Wiederhold, virtual reality exposure therapy does not work for everyone. “There is a small subset of people for whom virtual reality therapy does not work because they cannot become immersed in the setting,” says Wiederhold. “To be effective, patients have to suspend disbelief, let go of control, and give themselves permission to enter into the world.”

Perhaps surprisingly, immersion in the virtual world does not depend too heavily on the virtual world being an exact replica of the real world. As Wiederhold explains: “The very first virtual reality settings I used were crudely animated, and I did not think they would work. However, even crude animation is helpful for my clients.” For Wiederhold, it is about featuring the right cues. With social anxiety disorder, patients are very aware of other people’s eyes, gestures, and emotions, so it’s a matter of making the eyes very visible, with good and clear hand gestures. When presented with the right cues, patients’ brains then fill in the rest of the fear-provoking details, and the situation feels remarkably real. By facing their fears in a virtual world, patients are then one step closer to facing their fears in the real world.

The clinical successes of virtual reality exposure therapy have been underscored by growing empirical evidence. In a study, Dr. Page Anderson, associate professor from the department of psychology at Georgia State University, and colleagues conducted a randomized controlled trial of virtual reality exposure therapy in treating social anxiety disorder. There were 97 participants in the study. Each participant suffered from social anxiety disorder and a fear of public speaking. Anderson found that participants randomly allocated to virtual reality exposure therapy experienced improvement in their symptoms, and were less avoidant in public speaking contexts. Even after a one-year follow-up, participants’ improvements had been sustained.

According to Anderson: “The effectiveness of virtual reality exposure therapy is important because social anxiety disorder is vastly undertreated, especially among young adults, and is associated with being less likely to go to college, gaining employment, and remaining in employment.” Virtual reality technology not only offers therapists more control of the social setting, but also allows patients to benefit from safe, repeated exposure to feared situations. “In the real world, if you put yourself out there, and face your fear, you try to get through it as quickly as possible and it is not therapeutic. In a virtual reality environment, patients can repeat the experience until they feel they have mastery over it.”

In explaining how this virtual reality exposure therapy works, Anderson highlights recent psychological and neurological theories of how fear works: “Fear memories do not just fade away. Instead you have to develop competing memories, by giving yourself new experiences of whatever you fear. By doing this, the brain pathways that tell you to avoid something become less strong relative to the pathways that tell you to approach something. It is a matter of learning to inhibit your avoidance response.” The brain regions involved in fear responses are the limbic system, specifically the amygdala and hippocampus, and the prefrontal cortex.

“The prefrontal cortex is where your decision-making is happening. With exposure therapy, the idea is, you improve the ability of your prefrontal cortex to inhibit or override the powerful fear response of the more primal and instinctive limbic system,” says Anderson. Virtual reality exposure therapy gives patients the opportunity to form new, less fearful memories of their feared situations, which overtime can lead patients to override their avoidance tendencies.

Having found strong evidence in support of the efficacy of virtual reality exposure therapy, Anderson’s next venture is to develop and test self-administered, online treatment for social anxiety disorder that allows patients to be treated from home. In the future, it may well be possible for sufferers of social anxiety disorder to more easily overcome their initial aversion to seeking treatment in person, and to begin the daunting process of facing their fears alone.

This article was originally published in the Spring 2017 issue of Brain World Magazine.

Information Addiction: When information becomes a “drug”

New studies reveal that the excess of information can make us develop information addiction.  How the excess of information can turn you infoholic?

Source: ▷ Information Addiction: When information becomes a “drug”


Can’t stop checking your Smartphone, even if you are not waiting for any important message? Do you enter the online newspapers several times to check the news? Are you curious to know more about your neighbor or co-worker, even though you have no intention of relating to them? Do you “check” what others share in their social networks just out of curiosity? Maybe you are an infoholic!

It’s your brain’s fault! Researchers at the University of Berkeley discovered that information acts on the reward system of the brain in the same way as food or drugs.

Sometimes, we just want to know

We are curious. It’s not a secret. Curiosity encourages us to explore and discover. But perhaps we are much more curious and tattlers than we would be willing to admit. And maybe that curiosity can make us get saturated with useless information. Or that we get stuck in a search loop in which we never go into action, stunned by the number of options, the number of factors to consider and the new information that appears every day and contradicts the previous one, generating chaos and eliminating the space for the necessary reflection.

These researchers scanned people’s brains while they were immersed in a game of betting. Each participant received a series of lottery tickets and had to decide how much he was willing to pay to get more information about the odds he had of winning. In some cases, the information was valuable, as when there was a lot of money at stake, but in other cases that information did not contribute anything, as when there was little money at stake.

There was a trend: participants tended to overestimate the importance and value of information. And the greater the risk or the likelihood of winning, the more curiosity about that information increased, although in reality this had no influence on their decisions. I mean, they just wanted to know, for the sake of knowing.

Researchers believe that this behavior indicates that we not only look for information that is beneficial or valuable for some reason, but we like to obtain information in a general sense, whether we use it or not. It’s like wanting to know if we will receive a job offer, even if we don’t intend to accept it.

“Anticipation helps us determine how good or bad something can be. Anticipating a more pleasurable reward will make the information look more valuable than it really is”, the researchers said.

The brain scans revealed that the information activated the areas of the brain related to the reward, those that cause a release of dopamine and that are also activated in cases of addiction.

They concluded that “For the brain, information is its own reward, regardless of whether it is useful or not … In the same way that our brain likes the empty calories of junk food, information makes us feel good, even if it’s not useful.”

More information is not always better

We tend to think that the more information, the better. But it’s not always that way. Sometimes accumulating a lot of information can be detrimental to analysis, reflection and critical thinking. Consuming information as a drug implies that there is no processing of it, so it is useless.

In a world that bombards us with information constantly, we must keep it in mind or we risk losing ourselves in a sea of ​​news and content specifically created to “dope” us, not to grow or encourage us to reflect. We can really become infoholics.

In fact, a previous study conducted at the University of California revealed that social networks activate the amygdala and the striatum, brain structures involved in emotions and the anticipation of rewards, which are the same that are activated in addictions.

The desire to obtain more and more information, without doing anything profitable with it, generates the same impulsive behavior that is seen in addictions, silencing the inhibitory system that allows us to regain control.

Of course, that does not mean we should stop informing ourselves. It means that we must be critical with the information we consume and, above all, that we need to pass it through a sieve. Is it really worth losing so much time of our life consuming information that we will forget the next day?


Kobayashi, K. &i Hsu, M. (2019) Common neural code for reward and information value. PNAS; 116 (26); 13061-13066.

Turel, O. et. Al. (2014) Examination of neural systems sub-serving facebook «addiction». Psychol Rep; 115(3): 675-695.


The brand connected consumer – Media Psychology

Tiffany White tells a cautionary tale about the modern, connected consumer. Tiffany Barnett White is Associate Professor of Business Administration and Bruce and Anne Strohm Faculty Fellow at the University of Illinois, College of Business. She joined the faculty at Illinois in 1999 and received a Ph.D. in marketing from Duke University in 2000. […]

via The [brand] connected consumer – Tiffany White  — consumer psychology research

The [brand] connected consumer – Tiffany White 

consumer psychology research

Tiffany White tells a cautionary tale about the modern, connected consumer.

Tiffany Barnett White is Associate Professor of Business Administration and Bruce and Anne Strohm Faculty Fellow at the University of Illinois, College of Business. She joined the faculty at Illinois in 1999 and received a Ph.D. in marketing from Duke University in 2000. Professor White is a consumer psychologist with research interests in the area of consumer-brand relationships. Her research addresses affective, cognitive, and behavioral aspects of these relationships, including self-brand attachments and the development and deterioration of consumer trust. Her research has been published in top journals in marketing and consumer psychology. She is married and the mother of two children.

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The man who gave us brainstorming meetings did his best thinking alone


The 1940s book that popularized “brainstorming” is also an ode to solitude as a balm for the imagination.

Source: The man who gave us brainstorming meetings did his best thinking alone

By Lila MacLellan

Some companies have a serious addiction to brainstorming. Whenever a problem arises, the team is called to gather and shout out possible solutions, with at least one notetaker scrambling to get everything down. It’s as if this were the only known way out of a pickle, or into a new project—and it can feel like a supreme waste of time, especially when the same few dominating personalities ruin the mood.

Yet the value of brainstorming is rarely questioned. (A notable exception is a 2012 New Yorker story arguing that research cannot scientifically validate the effectiveness of the custom, but even that did little to get in the way of its ubiquity.) Perhaps that’s because the idea…

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Money on the Mind


Researchers are exploring the influence of inequality on how we behave.

Source: Money on the Mind

Psychology Today Editorial Staff

By Abigail Fagan

Income inequality in the United States has reached its highest peak since the Great Depression. Americans in the top 1 percent of earners currently make a staggering 40 times as much as the bottom 90 percent. Furthermore, in 1978 the top 0.1 percent of the population laid claim to 7 percent of the nation’s wealth. By 2012, that amount had increased to 22 percent. Across industrialized nations, income inequality has been linked to an array of harmful outcomes, including higher rates of debt, crime, mental illness, and even mortality.

To better understand such correlations, researchers are investigating how economic inequality might influence the behavior of those who are aware of it.

“There’s rather little understanding about how income inequality affects how individuals…

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