Online participation is becoming an increasingly common means for individuals to contribute to citizen science projects, yet such projects often rely on only a small fraction of participants to make the majority of contributions. Here, we investigate a means for influencing the performance of citizen scientists toward enhancing overall participation. Building on past social comparison research, we pair citizen scientists with a software-based virtual peer in an environmental monitoring project. Through a series of experiments in which virtual peers outperform, underperform, or perform similarly to human participants, we investigate the influence of their presence on citizen science participation. To offer insight into the psychological determinants to the response to this intervention, we propose a new dynamic model describing the bidirectional interaction between humans and virtual peers. Our results demonstrate that participant contribution can be enhanced through the presence of a virtual peer, creating a feedback loop where participants tend to increase or decrease their contribution in response to their peers' performance. By including virtual peers that systematically outperform the participants, we demonstrate a fourfold increase in their contribution to the citizen science project.

Increasing citizen science contribution using a virtual peer / Laut, Jeffrey; Cappa, Francesco; Nov, Oded; Porfiri, Maurizio. - In: JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION FOR INFORMATION SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY. - ISSN 2330-1643. - 68:3(2017), pp. 583-593. [10.1002/asi.23685]

Increasing citizen science contribution using a virtual peer

Cappa, Francesco
;
2017

Abstract

Online participation is becoming an increasingly common means for individuals to contribute to citizen science projects, yet such projects often rely on only a small fraction of participants to make the majority of contributions. Here, we investigate a means for influencing the performance of citizen scientists toward enhancing overall participation. Building on past social comparison research, we pair citizen scientists with a software-based virtual peer in an environmental monitoring project. Through a series of experiments in which virtual peers outperform, underperform, or perform similarly to human participants, we investigate the influence of their presence on citizen science participation. To offer insight into the psychological determinants to the response to this intervention, we propose a new dynamic model describing the bidirectional interaction between humans and virtual peers. Our results demonstrate that participant contribution can be enhanced through the presence of a virtual peer, creating a feedback loop where participants tend to increase or decrease their contribution in response to their peers' performance. By including virtual peers that systematically outperform the participants, we demonstrate a fourfold increase in their contribution to the citizen science project.
Information Systems; Computer Networks and Communications; Information Systems and Management; Library and Information Sciences
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Increasing contribution in citizen science through virtual competitor.pdf

Solo gestori archivio

Tipologia: Documento in Post-print
Licenza: DRM non definito
Dimensione 234.7 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
234.7 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri
Pubblicazioni consigliate

Caricamento pubblicazioni consigliate

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11385/176986
Citazioni
  • Scopus 37
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 26
social impact