What can social psychology teach us about (better) UX research?
Jessica Cameron, PhD@jessscameron
5Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviours are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others
(Iyengar & Lepper, 2000)
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Social proofScarcityReciprocitySocial proofScarcity
How can social psychology help us craft more effective user testing sessions?11
Social psychology research requires:Neutral environmentsScripted interactionsClear hypothesesRandom assignment to condition
The environmentNeutral yet comfortable
The interactionEvery word matters
1. Please continue.2. The experiment requires you to continue.3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.4. You have no other choice but to continue.
The hypothesisCool effects are not enough
The participantsRepresentative versus random
Does your test lab make all of your participants comfortable?What purpose is your banter serving?What purpose is your research serving?Do your participants really represent your users?
29How can social psychology help us understand what users have to say?
30How reliable are participants comments?a not veryb not at allc it dependsd all of the above
There is a mismatch between what people say and what they do
When asked directly about a possible effect of the position of the article, virtually all subjects denied it, usually with a worried glance at the interviewer suggesting that they felt either that they had misunderstood the question or were dealing with a madman.(Nisbett & Wilson, 1977)
How can you get more value out of what participants say?Reduce participants biasesReduce your own biases
Ask questions that minimise biasFraming effectAnchoring and adjustmentDunning-Kruger effectFundamental attribution error
Framing effectHow you ask the question matters
How easy did you find that website to use?How satisfied are you with the amount of information that you found?How likely are you to recommend this website?How amazing is this presentation?
How easy or difficult did you find that website to use?How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the amount of information that you found?How likely or unlikely are you to recommend this website?How amazing is this presentation?
Can we do better?
Tell me about what you found easy. Now tell me about what you found more difficult.Did you feel like the information you read answered your question?What would you tell a friend about this website?
Anchoring effectBiases can multiply
1 x 2 x 3 x 4 x 5 x 6 x 7 x 8
8 x 7 x 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1
Dunning-Kruger effectYou dont know what you dont know
(Kruger & Dunning, 1999)
Fundamental attribution errorIt might be your fault
Is it the person or the situation?Are you the situation?
Thank you!Jessica Cameron@jessscameron