Technology and new patterns of behaviour

07 October 2009


New information and communication technologies are the driving force behind tremendous societal changes. In light of this, the Institute for Science, Innovation and Society (InSIS), is launching a new project in collaboration with the CABDyN Complexity Centre, and the Institute of Cognitive and Evolutionary Anthropology. The aim is to discover how modern communication technologies are changing behaviour.

The Institute for Science, Innovation and Society, part of the 21st Century School, focuses on research, policy development and teaching programmes that provide new approaches to understanding technological and social change. This project is a key opportunity to help policy makers to understand more clearly how behaviour is changing due to new communication technologies.

The €2.5 million study will examine electronic records of mobile phone calls made by 7 million people in a European country to find out whether new trends and patterns of behaviour are emerging. All data has been rigorously anonymised so that individuals cannot be identified, and researchers will never hear the content of the calls. The project will also examine social mechanisms in an online world, by studying the impact of social networking sites such as Facebook. Using computer modelling, the team will be able to chart large-scale patterns and trends in human behaviour as well as observing behaviour at an individual level.

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