CS Special Seminar: Matti Vuorre "Understanding the roles of digital technologies in psychological functioning"

This talk is arranged at the Department of Computer Science.

Understanding the roles of digital technologies in psychological functioning

Matti Vuorre
University of Oxford

Tuesday, 5 April at 11:15
via Zoom: request the link by email [email protected]
Note! the link will be sent by email to CS staff.

Abstract: In the past two decades, the internet fundamentally changed how humans conduct and organize their social, commercial, and leisure activities. These changes have inspired many to conjecture that digital and online environments, or features therein, have broad impacts on human social, affective, and cognitive functioning. In this talk, I present my research aimed at understanding the relationships between how novel digital technologies are used and how they impact users' psychological functioning. I discuss two strands of this research. First, I highlight my recent works on the impacts of video game play on affective and cognitive well-being. These works were ground-breaking in being the first large scale studies to use behavioural telemetry, obtained in collaboration with leading international video game companies, in predicting well-being. Second, I present my work on trying to understand how other internet-enabled technologies relate to users' mental health and well-being. This work is conducted by combining large scale public and proprietary datasets on technology indicators and well-being. I close with discussing the short- and long-term outlook of these research projects, and their broader societal significance.

Bio: Matti received his PhD in Cognitive Psychology at Columbia University in New York and has since worked as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. His research is aimed at understanding how modern digital environments impact people’s social, emotional, and cognitive functioning. These topics present social scientists with new and interesting problems, because many of these behaviours can no longer be directly observed. At the same time, the technology industry is collecting unprecedented quantities of behavioural data. Therefore, in his recent work Matti has developed transparent collaboration and data sharing models with international technology industry partners. His most recent works in this area focused on the impacts of video game play on players' affective and cognitive well-being. Matti also works with existing datasets, such as public panel studies, to examine the roles of digital technologies in people's well-being. Throughout these topics, Matti is interested in applying and developing probabilistic models to best answer questions about human psychological functioning. Matti is from Helsinki, but has also lived in New Zealand, the US, and the UK. Outside of academia, he is an avid hiker and photographer.

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