This 2 years stand-alone project MERITS (P 25593-G22) is funded by the Austrian Science Fund
It deals with socio-cognitive aspects of Social Tagging, a popular functionality of social Web environments (e.g., Delicious) allowing users to describe collected resources by a set of freely chosen labels (tags) and thus, to prompt their own and others’ search processes through social cues.
From a cognitive perspective, MERITS investigates the production of tags as a manifestation of a resource reflection that unfolds as a search of human memory (e.g., Seitlinger, Ley & Albert, 2015). Close attention is paid to the temporal dynamics during reflection (e.g., increasing contributions of deeper, conceptual memory structures) and the way these micro level dynamics are coupled to socio-cognitive processes on a macro level, such as the emergence of a shared tag vocabulary (that is also denoted ‘semantic stabilization‘).
An increased understanding of this coupling of micro and macro level dynamics shoud help (i) modeling/simulating processes of stabilization in social tagging systems (e.g., Seitlinger & Ley, 2016), (ii) analyzing effects of stabilization on individual learning in collaboration scenarios on the Web (e.g., Ley & Seitlinger, 2015), and (iii) designing and evaluating automatic tag recommendation mechanisms supporting the process of stabilization (e.g., Seitlinger, Kowald, Trattner & Ley, 2013).
Insights gained about socio-cognitive processes of stabilization will be applied in the follow-up project OMFix to investigate convergent phenomena involved in opinion formation in social media as well as to design creatively stimulating services helping to mitigate such echo chamber effects.