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The INGroup’s presentation on ‘The Role of Infrahumanization in Communication’:
Out of all the groups that presented in class, I feel that your topic and study can be applied to all kinds of study beyond the scope of communications and information science. I say this because you are truly analyzing how and why people treat each other a certain way. In most cases, people might not even know that they are behaving and/or thinking this way. Outside of communications and IS, your study on how humans interact within and outside of their circles gives way to psychological and perhaps philosophical analysis. In regards to your presentation, I thought that the slides were concise and easy to comprehend. It covered a lot of the details that a person from an outside perspective would want to know about with your study. Good luck with further research.
I found the start to your presentation very interesting. It really made me think about who was talking and it made me curious as to who the rest of your group was. I think this did a great job of illustrating your case. My main critique for your presentation is that you need to be clearer about your methodology. Until Billy asked his question, I could not really figure out how you attained your data and reached your conclusions. In the paper, this will be very critical to explain well and to go through clearly. One thing I found very interesting from your presentation was that people really liked or really didn’t like someone online. I can see how this would be true but I have never really thought about it. If you don’t talk to someone face-to-face, you are less likely to have conflicting opinions about them because you aren’t getting their full self-presentation. I also agree with Jennifer; I think this study (if taken further with a more diverse participant pool) could have applications well outside communication and information science. Great job!
I thought that your topic on infrahumanization was very interesting, particularly when it is put in terms of how people treat ethnic minorities. I had never heard of this phenomenon, and I found it intriguing that you divided human emotion into primary emotions, like anger and sadness, and secondary emotions that only humans feel, such as admiration and sorrow. Your findings, which showed that CMC did in fact, increase the effects of infrahumanization, worried me, as they carry sad implications for the future of our society, especially since we are moving more and more reliant on online communication. I wonder then, if whether you will consider ways to reverse this trend when examining the implications of your findings. Other than that, you guys did a great job, keep up the good work!
Though I’m still not sure which definition of infrahumanization I prefer more (yours or Professor Hancock’s determination that it’s actually a process that transforms you into a goat), both the complexity of the word and the intricacies of your study peaked my interest. It truly is a shame that you don’t have more willing participants from more diverse political backgrounds to use as subjects, because I think the more trials you conduct, the more your findings will solidify, and the more earth-shattering this research could potentially be. However, I do agree with a previous post. You need to be a bit clearer in communication your method and the applications of theory. I was confused at the beginning of the presentation as to which theory you were actually drawing from as motivation to conduct this research, which you were applying, and what you were trying to prove using theory. I also am confused as to how 2 Republicans and 13 Democrats yielded 5 inter-group trials. I hope these are all things that you will clear up in the paper, which I am definitely interested to read.
Fantastic job, guys. Not only was your pink attire snazzy, but I could really appreciate the level of scrutiny and extreme detail that went into your research. This was an intriguing topic, and as others have commented above, its real world applications have a huge scope.
Your presentation of data was ultra clear and smooth, and whoever your graph designer is did a wonderful job. All your group members made valid contributions, and the symmetry in your graphs presented your findings with clarity and illustrated that your results were significant.
As far as improvement, I was wondering how participants who did not fall into a clear “democratic vs. republic” sphere would affect your data. As you acknowledged in your limitations, you will need to include a larger pool of participants for more substantive findings, and I was just wondering how a looser political affiliation would affect the results. Also, the final presentation by Bryce on whether this phenomenon was “uniquely human” or not seemed a bit forced and unprepared, but did little to affect the credibility of the rest of your arguments. Great job.
While I agree with earlier posts that the explanation of your methodology was slightly confusing, I thought that your explanation of the background theories you utilized was very thorough and provided a logical base for the rest of your presentation. You did a nice job of explaining the theory behind your reasoning with concrete examples, specifically stating how Republicans or Democrats would behave under these theories. I was also pleased that I remembered much of these theories from an earlier Communication class, so I found the study to be really relevant and interesting. Did you ever get a measure of how intensely your participants identify with the party they associate with? I was slightly concerned that your participants may not be politically interested or active enough to develop in or out groups with, but I do think that having the words political negotiation in the title of your study probably helped. Good work!
The presentation was mostly well done except for describing more details about how the experiment was actually carried out. I think it is interesting that when people were asked about the Outgroup when using CMC that the “human” qualities dropped drastically. You explained this well by defining SIDE and the presence of overattribution. When I think about future research or analysis, I think it could be interesting to play around with some of the cues that are present. For instance, while there is usually FtF interaction and then CMC or in this case, text chat, it seems like it is binary and there is nothing in between. Face to face interaction is very complex since there are a variety of cues present. If people could talk face to face but a voice scrambler was used to remove all signs of tone or inflection, I wonder if infrahumanization would be affected. Since face to face interaction could be divided into gestures and inflection, one of these properties could have more of an impact in SIDE and could perhaps be applied to politics. Imagine if politicians with less inflection were found to be more successful or mostly Democrats. That could be an interesting hypothetical application.
An interesting topic that was very well done! I think the beginning of the presentation really helped the class to understand infrahumanization, as it was not a topic I was familiar with prior. My comment is in response to Ashley’s comment in class. She asked if students of the same race, gender, etc. who met in F2F were more likely to see them as part of their ingroup, even if they were labeled as the outgroup. Often, we are introduced to someone with multiple facts, even in CMC. I wonder how the data would shift if in CMC each participant said their age, gender, race, and major. This could decrease their feelings of infrahumanization if there are similarities, or increase them. Great job, and I look forward to seeing where this takes you!
Hi guys! Great presentation! I loved the pink shirts and the point that you guys were making with your outfits. When we label people, we tend to put them into boxes, and it’s really hard to get them outside any part of the box without getting to know them. Although I didn’t know anything about infrahumanization before your presentation, it was so interesting to learn about and it made so much sense. I wonder how it would work if you studied people and how they see others when using a less stigmatized topic. Talking about politics means animosity may be natural, but people just having normal conversations online vs. in person may see their partner as less human. I would be really interesting in finding how your results could be applied to society more broadly.
A very interesting presentation! It also seemed to be on a unique topic. I’m glad I got to learn about a new term (infrahumanization) and can now categorize a concept I have seen happen so often. I also interested in seeing what you continue to find! I commend you for your seemingly intuitive hypotheses. They seemed to all be proven correct if I’m not mistaken? maybe there is some other findings you can extract from the data? I’m also not at all surprised that in both conditions, f2f settings saw more humanity or uniquely human words than cmc. The comment “was I even talking to a real person” in one of the cmc conditions was so accurate. I’m sure your research will be useful for design implications for group tasks and conversations completed over cmc.
Great presentation! Your matching outfits were great and your graphs made everything much more easy to understand. I especially liked the graph of human vs. non human and positive vs. negative valence with the red circle. I also thought the quotes you gave from participants really summed up your findings nicely. I don’t know much about the specifics of the study, but I remember hearing about people studying whether the internet brought people together or allowed marginalized people to find each other and become further marginalized. I think the results pointed towards the latter. Your study reminded me of this and seems to reinforce the same results.
I thought your presentation was really interesting and easy to understand. The beginning of your presentation served as a useful example for your discussion. I thought your findings on more human words overall in face to face was also interesting, since it went against theory that stated outgroups have less human words used on them overall. Could it be that in order to maintain our own self image as respectable human beings, we use more human language to maintain our own impressions of ourselves? Perhaps, like you mentioned, “put downs” are more satisfying to place on the outgroup when human words are used.
I thought your presentation was quite good, especially the beginning, which was unique. Your methodology seemed a little limited, just because of the limits of your participant group: You had very few members of one group and a lot of the other–but if you take this further I’m sure you can get more Republican participants. I thought that the distinction between “human” words and “favorable” words was very interesting, and could be a good direction to take the discussion section.
In your paper, I would perhaps explain your results a little more clearly, since I was sometimes confused about whether participants were talking with the in/outgroup or about the in/outgroup at some times. Generally, though, great job!
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