Researchers Study the Hidden Danger of Confidence

A new study suggests that feeling prepared or confident, for example for a big meeting or a job interview, that this confidence and preparedness may trickle into other parts of your life where you are not nearly so prepared, thereby creating false confidence.

The Ohio State University and other researchers conducted three studies to examine this phenomenon. Researchers found that feeling prepared in one area of life made people more confident in their beliefs about things that were completely different—whether those thoughts were positive or negative.

The findings are unsettling. Knowing that any given person’s confidence in one regard to make them overly confident when thinking about other issues.

One example researchers gave of how these findings could have real life impacts, if a person had been preparing for a big presentation at work. As they come to perfect their presentation it is coming time to vote on a political candidate. The person preparing for the presentation may have been unsure about their support for a candidate, but the leak over from their presentation conference may assure them of their choice and they will stop researching that candidate.


OSU Researchers Look Into How Individual Players Affect Football Program Revenue

In the first study of its kind data suggests that the most elite college football players might bring in an average revenue of $650,000 a year. According to the Ohio State University, who relied heavily on data from Rivals (a recruiting news service), those ranked highest by the Rivals publication are the ones bringing in this kind of money.

Four-star Rivals recruits generated $350,000 year and three-star Rivals recruits brought in about $150,000 a year. Meanwhile the study found that 2-star recruits may actually reduce revenue slightly by $13,000.

While one study never tells the whole story during the continued debate about how college athletes should be compensated this study begins to tell the story of how players impact the income of the highest earning college sport.

Researchers at the Ohio State University hope that this first look into the effect players have on college football program bottom lines will open up the dialog to new possibilities.

New Study Finds Screen Time Doesn’t Negatively Affect Social Skills

Despite the “common wisdom” in our society that says young people are not socially skilled because of their time spent on smartphones and social media a new study suggests otherwise.

Scientists analyzed and compared evaluations made by parents and teachers on students who started school in 1998 and those who started 2010. In 1998 Facebook didn’t exist and wouldn’t for another six years. In 2010 the first iPad was released.

Both groups, according to the data gathered from their evaluations, were rated about the same when it came to interpersonal skills like forming and maintaining friendships or get along with people who are different. They were also rated about the same when it came to self-control, meaning, for example, the ability to control their temper.

Researchers reported that in every comparison made the two groups were rated about the same and in some cases the scores of the children born later even went up. These researchers say there is little evidence screen time affects children’s social skills.

Researchers believe older folk’s views on social media and smartphones are shaped by “moral panic” which is an older generations tendency to worry that the younger generation are doing something wrong. It is a narrative that has played out through the generations and with all kinds of technology.


Secret Doors in Your Mobile Apps: an OSU Study

The study found that many mobile apps might have hidden, programmed behaviors that the average user would be totally unaware of. Usually apps work on the premise of interacting with users via the data they input. This input can vary from word data, swipes or button presses.

In this particular study 150,000 apps were examined. Of those 100,000 were chosen based on their popularity in the Google Play store, another 20K were chosen for their popularity in an alternative market, along with 30K pre-installed apps that appear on Android systems.

8.5% of those apps, 12, 706 apps, contained some kind of programming labeled by the research team as “backdoor secrets.” These are hidden commands in the app which trigger background behaviors unknown to the user.

Other apps had programmed master passwords that would allow anyone with the master password to potentially private data. Other apps had secret keys that could trigger hidden options like bypassing a pay-to-play screen.

Another 4.028 apps (about 2.7%) were found to block content when it contained specified key words that were meant to be censored, or if it was cyber bullying or discrimination.