Facebook isn't the only social network that experiments on its users.
Online dating site OkCupid revealed on Monday the results of a study it conducted, in which it told subscribers they were more compatible than they really were. The result? There's something to the power of suggestion.
OkCupid, which is owned by Internet conglomerateIAC (), gives its users a compatibility score based on how they answer a series of questions on the site.
Among users who were just 30% compatible, a single message from one OKCupid subscriber to another led to a conversation only 10% of the time. But here's the twist: when OkCupid duped users who actually had low compatibility, telling them that their compatibility score was 90%, they had a 17% chance of having an online conversation.
"The mere myth of compatibility works just as well as the truth," said Christian Rudder, co-founder of the online dating site, in a blog post about the results of the OkCupid study,
The experiment worked in the other direction as well. That is, when users with 90% compatibility were told that their compatibility figure was only 30%, the likelihood of a conversation dropped from 20% to 16%.
OkCupid's results come after Facebook ( Tech30) caused a stir in June by revealing that it had changed the content mix in the News Feeds of almost 700,000 users in early 2012. Some people were shown a higher number of positive posts, while others were shown more negative posts.,
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New apps may be posing a safety crisis on the road.
A new warning this morning that the very thing that was supposed to safely keep us connected, making hands-free calls while driving, may also be dangerous.
Chris Lawrence is in Washington with that story. He got a first hand look when researchers tracked his brain activity while he was on the road, driving and using new voice-to-text technology simultaneously. "You could be just as distracted with your eyes on the road and your hands on the wheel," Lawrence reports.
"The more I tried to multitask, the less my brain could do," he says, deteriorating driving performance.