I saw a number of very cool projects today. One was about personality tests and how much they have changed over the years. They have gotten much more complex and do a better job in assuring that the user responds honestly. Many personality tests in the past ask questions that allow people to answer based on how they want to see themselves, although it may not be truthful. Some questions may be clear as to what trait they are judging so people may answer based on how they want to be perceived. There have also been many methods that have proven to be complete nonsense. For instance, the idea of phrenology, which is a pseudoscience based on the measurements of the skull. This method was developed in 1796 by Franz Joseph Gall and was very popular in the 19th century, however now we know that it was a primitive idea and can be disregarded with modern neuroscience. The book that the presentation was based on comes with an online quiz is a very popular tool for businesses in hiring new employees. It assures that the person answers honestly by asking a series of questions with only 20 seconds to respond to each. After taking the test, it presents you with 5 personality traits and a book that clarifies what each one means. After hearing the presentation, I became interested in finding out what traits would describe me.
Another interesting project was on video game addiction and how serious it can be. Many people think that addiction is strictly regarding drugs and alcohol, but there are many other addictions that can be just as harmful. One case the presentation talked about was a man who played a game for 50 straight hours with very little sleep and no food or water and died of a heart attack almost immediately. Another was a case of a 13-year-old boy in South Korea who killed a woman for a Pokémon game for Gameboy. This really stood out to me because that is absolutely insane. I remember playing Gameboy when I was a kid and even though I really wanted new games every now and then, I would have never even thought of killing someone over it. Another case was a man who got so invested in Clash of Clans that his family hated him, he spent $300 a day on in game costs, and rarely left his house. This may have been attributed to an extreme competitiveness. Some people latch on to small things that they are good at and keep doing them until they are the best.
Finally, I saw a cool project about the concept of social media from the point of the view of corporations. The project talked about the terms and conditions that nobody ever reads when they sign up for a new subscription or service. Companies could very easily take advantage of this and add some clause that could really harm the user. I thought the presentations went very well overall and I liked how everyone had a chance to move around and see everyone’s ideas.