Virtual Library

Our research repositories present a collection of open-source resources that showcase research and analysis that has directly influenced our initiatives. Non-IST publications are copyrighted by external authors not affiliated with IST.

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Reports

To the Point of Failure: Identifying Failure Points for Crisis Communications Systems

Leah Walker, Alexa Wehsener

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Reports

Mapping the Ransomware Payment Ecosystem: A Comprehensive Visualization of the Process and Participants

Zoë Brammer

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Reports

Plan maestro de defensa contra los programas de secuestro

Grupo de Trabajo sobre Programas de Secuestro

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Reports

Cyber Incident Reporting Framework

Cyber Threat Alliance, Institute for Security and Technology

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Reports

Digital Tools, Cognition, and Democracy: A Review of the Literature

Zoë Brammer, Sage Miller, Leah Walker

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Reports

Reasoning: How digital technologies influence decision making and judgment

Stephanie Rodriguez

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Reports

Attention: How digital technologies influence what we notice, what we focus on, and how we learn

Stephanie Rodriguez

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We also welcome additional suggestions from readers, and will consider adding further resources as so much of our work has come through crowd-sourced collaboration already. If, for any chance you are an author whose work is listed here and you do not wish it to be listed in our repository, please, let us know.

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Reasoning: How digital technologies influence decision making and judgment

Stephanie Rodriguez

SUMMARY

Below is an editorial summary of “Reasoning”:

This report provides a working definition of reasoning, narrowing the scope of the discussion to judgment and decision making. We identify three aspects of digital technology that exert significant impacts on reasoning: user experience design, gamification, and search engines. Examples include social media platforms, gamified platforms like Robinhood, and search engines like Google and Wikipedia. Key findings include:

  • The mere presence of one’s phone can have adverse effects on cognitive performance in reasoning tasks.
  • Digital tools provide short-cuts that affect judgment: Images are often used as heuristics to process information and even infer truthfulness.
  • Digital tools provide short-cuts that affect analysis: We rely on heuristics in order to process large volumes of information. That is, the digital media environment is designed for cognitive efficiency, thus engaging the use of prior mental models and schemas (through the use of heuristics) to enable quick judgment formation and often rushed or more impulsive decision making.
  • Digital tools atrophy reasoning functions: By rewiring dopaminergic pathways, aggressive “gamification” tactics can encourage addiction and weaken judgment and decision making, thus inhibiting higher order decision making.

The significant ease with which one can acquire information has disincentivized the commitment of information to memory, and reliance on external digital information sources leads to a misattribution of the Internet’s knowledge as one’s own. Reasoning may be adversely affected if knowledge that informs mental models resides externally and is never committed to retrievable memories.

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