N=billions: The smartphone revolution in the behavioral sciences
Geoffrey Miller, Visiting Professor, Business & Society Area, NYU Stern Business School & Associate Professor, Psychology, University of New Mexico
March 12, 12:30pm ET Berkman Center for Internet & Society, 23 Everett St, 2nd Floor This event is now at capacity, please join the webcast.
5.9 billion people now use mobile phones, of which 1.1 billion are smartphones. Smartphones will empower behavioral scientists to collect terabytes of ecologically valid data from vast global samples – easily, quickly, and remotely. Smartphones can record where people are, what they are doing, and what they can see and hear. They can run interactive surveys, tests, and experiments through touch screens and Bluetooth peripherals. This talk focuses on what smartphones can do now, and will be able to do in the near future, as research platforms. Smartphone research will require new skills in app development, Big Data analysis, and recruitment through social media, and will raise tough new ethical issues, but smartphones could transform the behavioral sciences even more profoundly than PCs and brain imaging did. By 2025, billions of potential research participants will be carrying ultra-broadband, sensor-rich smartphones with GPS, augmented reality goggles, and biosensors that allow remote psychophysiology. These will render some current research methods obsolete, and will open extraordinary new opportunities for understanding human nature and culture.
Geoffrey Miller is a Visiting Professor, Business & Society Area at the NYU Stern Business School and an Associate Professor, Psychology at the University of New Mexico.