Project brief

 

This project was created in my senior thesis class, where my research focused on cognitive bias. My method includes experiments and research. The final deliverable of this project is a search engine extension that ensures safe user experiences on digital platforms.

 

Design Challenge

  • How can we avoid receiving false information?

  • How can we enable system two(system two allocates attention to the effortful activities that demand it)while experiencing the digital world?

  • How can we spend more time thinking while navigating Online.

Plugin Icon.png

Search Engine Plugin

Benefits: A highly effective and direct way to notify users while users are Online.

 

Disadvantages: Not every search engine supports plugin

Targeted User

Young adults who are born in the Internet-age, who frequently use technology devices with habits browsing different websites.

Direction / Key Feature

 

How to slow users down when browsing Online?

Activation

Activate system two in users’ mind. Visual design of this plugin will activate user’s system two and slow users down to make careful decisions.

Protection

Help users taking precautions when navigating new websites. Viewer mood before entering
the new websites can prevent users from releasing personal information by mistake or believing fraud. 

Time saving

Usually when users visited new websites, they need to create new accounts. If it is not necessary, users can go to their often use website and use without the additional registration procedure which could save a lot of time.

 

Persona

Name              Age

Alicia                          22

Work

Data Analysis

Character

Creative, outgoing, enthusiastic, empathetic

Goal

Look for the most convenient Online experiences. Keep her personal information secured. Avoid scams and find information she needs in a short time.

Frustration

There is always useless information or irrelevant advertisement pop up while she uses the Internet. She also experienced scam websites or fraud websites that try to defraud money or her personal information.

 

Background

She is born in the Internet-age and spends 40 percent and above time Online each day.

 

Task Analysis

Plugin-TaskAnalysis.png

Site Map

 

Geometric Shape Font

Font Megrim differs from traditional fonts that we use daily, based on geometric shapes, This font asks the viewers to spend more time.

Relaxing Colors

Colors also slow viewers down however, colors with high contrasts can distract viewers too much. Hence, I decided to use these relaxing colors to relax viewer’s eyes and slow viewers down.

Logo/Name 

Turtle always connotes slowness, I named this plugin Smart Turtle

to express slowing down can instead help making wise decisions.

Hard Edge Shapes

Shapes with hard edges can interrupt the reading flow and thus slow viewers down.

Design Direction

Font - Megrim

ABCDEFGHIJKLM

NOPQRSTUVWXYZ

abcdefghijklm

nopqrstuvwxyz

1234567890

Color

#185c06

#85fb8f

#c2f3b4

#5f8df3

#fada90

#fff592

Logo

Final Logo.png

Prototype

 
 

Download Plugin from your browser

Notification

Block List

Site Suggestion

Viewer Mode

Risk Alarm

Experimentation

 

After researching a variety of topics, I decided to experiment on how cognitive bias happens when users confront mental models? I decided to use social platforms that current users are familiar with: Google and Pinterest as a mental model for other social platforms that users do not use frequently in daily life: Behance and Zillow. I am looking forward to exam how people would react to these mental models and how they make heuristic decisions on what they are looking at.

 

Cognitive Bias & Mental Model

What is Cognitive Bias?

A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them. Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain’s attempt to simplify information processing. Biases often work as rules of thumb that help you make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed.

 

What is Mental Model?

Mental models are how we understand the world. They shape what we think and how we perceive. They also shape the connections and opportunities that we see. Mental models are how we simplify complexity, why we consider some things more relevant than others, and how we reason.


 

Experiment One

This participant is 25 years ago with a background in engineering, and he uses Gamil every day and has no familiarity with Behance.

Gmail

White background and black words. Minimalism. All important information is placed in the center of the page. Different style of font creating a hierarchy

Behance

Prototype

Participant's Reaction

Participant spontaneously said when he first look at this: This is Gmail Right? 

After 5 seconds: What is this? It looks like Gmail. I have no idea what this is.

After 30 seconds: With the thumb icon and the like icon, I know it is for reading, but I have no idea what this is.

Experiment Two

Participant two is 21 years ago with a background in design, and she uses Pinterest every day and has no familiarity with Zillow.

Pinterest

Zillow 

Prototype

Participant's Reaction

Participant spontaneously said: This is Pinterest Right?

After 3 seconds: What is this? It looks like Pinterest.

After looking at this for about a minute she asked: This a house realtor website?

Summary

While we are experiencing with digital world, we can easily be fooled by false information if the given information is presented in a way we are familiar with.

Examination

 

Experiment Set-Up

Control Variable: five tens multiplications

Independent Group: Font/ Font Size/ Font Color used in printing the multiplications

Experimental Group

Experimental subjects include twenty young adults 25-year-old who are active Internet users with a strong ability in doing math problems.

Hypothesis

The testing subject will spend more time-solving math problems printed in more complicated fonts and colored fonts. Longer time will help testing subjects increase their accuracy.

Testing One

Testing subjects were given two sets of math problems(five tens multiplications) and were asked to finish the problems in one minute and three minutes

 

Testing Two

Testing subjects were given two sets of math problems(five tens multiplications). One set of problems are printed in Helvetica font size 14 and the other set are printed in Helvetica font size 30

 

Testing Three

Testing subjects were given two sets of math problems(five tens multiplications). One set of problems are printed in Helvetica font size 14 and the other set are printed in Christopher font size 14 (handwritten font)

 

Testing Four

Testing subjects were given two sets of math problems(five tens multiplications). One set of problems are printed in Helvetica font size 14 and the other set are printed in Party LET font size 14 (decorative font)

 

Testing Five

Testing subjects were given two sets of math problems(five tens multiplications). One set of problems are printed in Helvetica font size 14 and the other set are printed in Gilbert Color font size 14 (colored font)

Observation / Feedback

Test One

Requiring Testing subjects to spend more time can hardly make them spend more time. In two scenarios, they finished within a similar amount of time, and for the session with the longer time they did not use the extra time on checking the accuracy.

 

Test Two

The larger font size did not help the testing subjects in shortening the time. Testing subjects expressed that they find the smaller font set of math problems are easier to recognize since the problems look similar to what appeared on their elementary school studying materials.

 

Test Three

Testing subjects took more time-solving problems that were printed in the handwritten font, they indicate that they are unfamiliar with this font hence they spent more time figuring out the letter. The accuracy of this set of problems is also higher.

 

Test Four

The accuracy from this test with a more complicated font is higher than the Helvetica font set. Testing subjects indicated that the more complicated font required them to spend more time reading the problems.

 

Test Five

Testing subjects indicated that the color font indeed took them more time in figuring out what the numbers are and at the same time find the colored font distracting. The accuracy is similar to the problem set with the Helvetica font.

The accuracy of solving each set of math problems did not vary a lot when facing different variables. The average accuracy of each set of math problems to each testing subject is four out of five. However, testing subjects did indicates that they feel a lack of motivation when completing these problems. If they were given conditions or rewards the accuracy and their concentration were will increase.

Conclusion

Besides time, motivation is the foundation for testing subjects to carefully solve the problems presented to them. A more complicated font ask them to spend more time and take action more carefully. Some color variations can also slow people down.

Research Process

Mind Map

 

Research Content

Cognition
Cognitive psychology is the field of psychology dedicated to examining how people think. It attempts to explain how and why we think the way we do by studying the interactions among human thinking, emotion, creativity, language, and problem solving, in addition to other cognitive processes.

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of mind and intelligence, embracing philosophy, psychology, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics, and anthropology. 

Cognition Bias
A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them and affects the decisions and judgments that they make.

Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain's attempt to simplify information processing. Biases often work as rules of thumb that help you make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed.

Consciousness
what we lose when we fall into a deep sleep without dreams or when we go under anesthesia and is what we regain when we recover from sleep or anesthesia. Neuroscientist Antonio Damasio worded that consciousness has two-part, a mind, which is a flow of mental images, and a self, that allow us to feel automatically present. We are only fully conscious when self comes to mind. To fully understand consciousness, we need to know how minds are put together and how selves are constructed. Conscious is not only formed biologically but also a form of socio-culture regulation.

 

Selective Attention

Selective attention is the process of directing our awareness to relevant stimuli while ignoring irrelevant stimuli in the environment.

Cognition Bias
A cognitive bias is a systematic error in thinking that occurs when people are processing and interpreting information in the world around them and affects the decisions and judgments that they make.

Cognitive biases are often a result of your brain's attempt to simplify information processing. Biases often work as rules of thumb that help you make sense of the world and reach decisions with relative speed.

Illusion
Illusion, a misrepresentation of a “real” sensory stimulus—that is, an interpretation that contradicts objective “reality” as defined by general agreement.

Illusions in a scientific context are not mainly created to reveal the failures of our perception or the dysfunctions of our apparatus, but instead, point to the specific power of human perception. The main task of human perception is to amplify and strengthen sensory inputs to be able to perceive, orientate and act very quickly, specifically, and efficiently. 


 

Pin Point

How visual design affects how we conceive information?

What are things we think are true but actually are not?

What are things that we don’t usually focus on?

History

  • Attempts to understand the mind can be traced to the ancient Greeks, most notably to Plato and Aristotle. Of the two, Aristotle was the more scientific, tying his theories about mental processes more closely to observation than to abstract speculation.
     

  • With the rise of modern science in the 17th and 18th centuries, philosophers such as John Locke and David Hume attempted to develop accounts of mental operations that would be as objective as Newtonian physics, but their efforts were hampered by a lack of robust experimental methods and theoretical ideas.

 

  • Even in the 1970s and 1980s, as cognitive science became established, consciousness remained a controversial topic among scientists, who openly questioned whether it was a valid area of scientific investigation. 

 

  • Scientific psychology did not arise until the mid-19th century when German physiologist Wilhelm Wundt and others developed more rigorous methods for conducting psychological experiments. 

 

  • In the 1920s and ’30s, much research in psychology and linguistics, among other social sciences, was dominated by an ultra experimental approach called behaviorism, which rejected theorizing about “invisible” mental processes and emphasized the formulation of general laws that govern observable human behavior.

  • The Cognitive Revolution began in the mid-1950s when researchers in several fields began to develop theories of mind based on complex representations and computational procedures. Its resurgence is perhaps best marked by the publication of Ulric Neisser’s book, ‘’Cognitive Psychology’’, in 1967. Since 1970, more than sixty universities in North America and Europe have established cognitive psychology programs.
     

  • Prominent scientists (including Crick) did decide to tackle consciousness, which ushered in a shift in thinking that surged in the 1990s, fuelled by the increasing availability of brain-scanning technologies such as functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG). At this point, scientists finally embarked on a major search for the mechanisms in the brain that are associated with the consciousness of information.
     

  • Selective attention test conducted by Christopher Chabris and Daniel Simons which become one of the best-known experiment in psychology. In 2004 they shared the Ig Nobel Prize in Psychology. The book The Invisible Gorilla was inspired by their research.

Future

  • Curiosity
    By learning about our cognition and brain more explicitly, our curiosity can be fulfilled.
     

  • Understanding Culture
    How our illusions and heuristic lie to us, and how they persuade subjectivity as objectivity to our brain are highly formed by culture and environment.
     

  • Artificial Intelligence
    Becoming more competent in how we think and react, will facilitate our development in the area of artificial intelligence allowing machine learning to be more effective.
     

  • Avoiding Risks
    Today when we encounter risks, it is hard to go across not to mention to avoid the risks since there are blind zones when we perceive. Aware of what our biases are and what we might not pay attention to will strengthen our ability to avoid risks.

Visual Research

Our Brain and Cognition

When we are talking about neuroscience, the images that came to mind are usually as mysterious and complex as the above images. Indeed, the deep secret within our brain and the truth of our consciousness are very complicated while dichotomous topics. However, with the lacking of sufficient knowledge, our curiosity promotes us to make more inquiries.

Attention and Focus

Visualization is one of the most direct ways in which humans perceive the world, but when we see things, our brains make selections and create a hierarchy of what our brain believes is more important than the other. When we look at the following images, we might find the pattern or the object moving, but this is one way how our illusion and intuition deceive us. Images on the second row also present how our eye working with our brain and making selections on how we receive information.

Cognitive Bias

Many say that Cognitive biases are widely accepted as something that makes us human. It is interesting to realize how much our perceptions of the world are influenced by our biases. It is at the same time shocking to see how many areas are influenced by biases which I believe making be aware of our biases more critical.

Inspiration

thinking fast and slow.jpg

Next Project - Interactive Drawing Site