University of Hawaii System newsletter

Professor Examining Use of Social Networks

Posted on | September 2, 2011 | Comments Off on Professor Examining Use of Social Networks

Scott Robertson headshot

Mānoa Information and Computer Sciences Associate Professor Scott Robertson has been awarded a four-year, $948,537 grant from the National Science Foundation to study the use of social networks and new media in political deliberation, voter decision-making and civic participation.

Use of the Internet and social networking sites to get information about politics is increasing dramatically, especially among young people. It is important to understand what information people are getting from social software and how it influences their opinions and choices.

The team, which also includes two graduate students and a post-doctoral researcher, will study how people use social software to find information, measure how social information influences the understanding of traditional media, and observe how social information influences choices.

One part of the research will follow people through several election cycles and changes in technology. The team will also design better online searching, browsing and deliberation tools. Better tools in the area of digital politics, and insights into how they work, will broaden opportunities for civic participation in the 21st century, helping to bridge the digital divide.

Read the news release.