Our new research studies published in the paper “High-Low Split” at #chi4good this year show that users demonstrate different types of psychological construal using digital screens– that is, a focus on concrete details (low level construal) as opposed to “big picture” thinking (high level construal), and media is very very interested in this research. This May our work has been covered in over forty international news publications and blogs, such as The Daily Mail, The Washington Post, Psychology Today, Fox News, Entrepreneur.com, and many news outlets in India, such as the Economic Times and Hindustan Times.
This recent set of studies on digital versus non-digital platforms was a result of our earlier research that was prompted by watching players of games. Players of our digital version of the public health strategy game, POX: Save the People®, were more inclined to respond with localized solutions, rather than looking at the big picture, when compared to the board game with the same mechanics, rules, and conditions of play.
“The overwhelming interest in this set of studies shows us that first, people are hungry to understand the nuances of screens on cognition, even though we’ve had them for so many years,” says Mary Flanagan, director of Tiltfactor. “This research points to the need for more studies to investigate cognition in our digital era, so that we might best design to foster certain types of thinking.”