ISTI Day 2023-2024
June, 14th

Giovani in un'ora - Ciclo di seminari - Sesta parte

Day - Time: 09 November 2023, h.11:00
Place: Area della Ricerca CNR di Pisa - Room: C-29
Speakers
Referent

Fabio Carrara

Abstract

Virginia Morini - "Netnography of mental health online supportive groups: Reddit case study"

Abstract: Disclosing personal experiences for seeking mental health support is a well-established phenomenon in psychotherapy. Whereas therapy traditionally occurs between the therapist and the client, nowadays, the ubiquitous nature of Online Social Platforms has quickly led to the rise of online self-help communities where users who have endured specific difficulties can anonymously disclose their feelings and offer/seek hope, friendship, and support to others facing similar challenges.

Although recent research has analyzed these online supportive boards from different points of view, most studies are limited to one mental health disorder and focus on a small amount of users' shared content and/or interactions.


Valentina Pansanella - "Investigating polarization: cognitive and algorithmic biases and external effects on opinion formation"

Abstract: Opinions, increasingly shaped by online platforms, influence societal behavior. These platforms often amplify users' existing biases, potentially leading to echo chambers or polarization. Our research aims to understand how these mechanisms interact in online social networks. We developed models of opinion dynamics and used these to estimate "open-mindedness" in online discussions. Our findings showed that algorithmic bias increases fragmentation, but also helps maintain moderate opinions. We also found that in a polarized media landscape, higher "open-mindedness" often results in extreme polarization. Despite these insights, more empirical work is needed to uncover the level of open-mindedness within polarizing topics. Our methodology was able to replicate the evolution of a real discussion around a non-political controversial matter.