The Twitter Echo Chamber (Sort Of), and More – Boston News

Twitter Echo Chamber

Let’s explore some of the most interesting stories that have emerged from Boston business schools this week.

Here’s Why Twitter Isn’t the Echo Chamber You Think It IsQuestrom School of Business News

In new research recently published in MIS Quarterly, Northeastern Questrom’s Jesse Shore and Chrysanthos Dellarocas with Hong Kong University of Science and Technology’s Jiye Baek (Questrom, Ph.D. ’18) found that Twitter users tend to “post more moderate content” than the content to which they are exposed.

Shore explains that this finding stands in stark contrast to the theory that the platform “opens us up to a greater diversity of perspectives, nudges us to ever-more extreme positions,” and creates an echo chamber for opinions.

“I hope this study helps move the public conversation beyond the notion of echo chambers. In many ways Twitter users are the opposite of the way they are described in the press: they are exposed to diverse information, but post more moderately,” Shore says.

You can read more about the research here.

How ‘Credibility-Enhancing Displays’ Can Boost Sales and Drive People to ActionMIT Sloan Ideas Made to Matter

MIT Sloan Associate Professor of Management Science and Brain and Cognitive Sciences David Rand and Yale doctoral candidate Gordon Kraft-Todd pursued new research that suggests that businesses will inspire potential customers to engage their services if they “walk the walk” since “beliefs are spread more effectively by actions than by words because actions reveal information about the actor’s true beliefs.”

Kraft-Todd explains:

“This is true of solar panels, but it’s true of any campaign where the common denominator is some new or rare behavior. If practitioners organize a campaign around a novel technology or practice, then the first thing they should do is get spokespeople and advocates who themselves are adopters.”

You can read more from the full article here.

Dysfunctional TeamsHarvard Business Review

Harvard Business School Professor Amy Edmondson was a guest on a recent episode of HBR’s advice podcast “Dear HBR,” where she and co-hosts Alison Beard and Dan McGinn unpack listener questions about “what to do when your team isn’t communicating, doesn’t respect its leader, or has one employee who’s causing problems.”

When Professor Edmondson was studying medical errors as research for her new book The Fearless Organization: Creating Psychological Safety in the Workplace for Learning, Innovation, and Growth, she discovered that the better teams were “more able and willing to talk about the mistakes that occurred so that they could catch and prevent them from causing harm. People have to feel safe to bring their brains to work. And [that feeling of security] is not normal. Fear is really quite widespread.”

In the episode, Edmondson fields questions that touch on office dynamics between junior employees and senior management, sudden shifts in decision-making processes, as well as the surprising drawbacks of more transparent cultures.

You can listen to the entire HBR episode and read more about Professor Edmondson’s research here.



About the Author

Jonathan Pfeffer

Jonathan Pfeffer joined the Clear Admit and MetroMBA teams in 2015 after spending several years as an arts/culture writer, editor, and radio producer. In addition to his role as contributing writer at MetroMBA and contributing editor at Clear Admit, he is co-founder and lead producer of the Clear Admit MBA Admissions Podcast. He holds a BA in Film/Video, Ethnomusicology, and Media Studies from Oberlin College.

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