Even trivial acts of social approbation affect teenagers’ opinions

How do “likes” affect teenagers’ brains?

  • Photos depicting risky behaviours with many “likes” lowered adolescent self control while simultaneously triggering a reward response-a result that applied equally to boys and girls.
  • As Dr Sherman expected, the participants were significantly more likely themselves to “like” photos already depicted as having been “liked” a lot than they were photos depicted with fewer previous “likes”.
  • To study both at the same time, she collaborated with a team of colleagues to look at how use of the “like” button affects the brains of teenagers lying in body scanners.
  • The photos themselves were each assigned a specific number of “likes”, ranging between zero and 45.
  • As a study published in Psychological Science by Lauren Sherman of the University of California, Los Angeles, and her colleagues shows, peers’ influence can travel even through something as apparently trivial as the “like” button in social media.

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@TheEconomist: “How do “likes” affect teenagers’ brains?”


Even trivial acts of social approbation affect teenagers’ opinions


Even trivial acts of social approbation affect teenagers’ opinions

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