Audrey Hamilton: The study of online behavior often focuses on the negative, such as cyber-bullying or cyber-attacks. But psychologist Dana Klisanin is studying the ways people are using the Internet to help others. She calls it digital altruism. I’m Audrey Hamilton and this is “Speaking of Psychology. “
Dana Klisanin studies and designs media and interactive technologies that encourage people to live consciously. Dr. Klisanin is currently investigating the impact the internet and social media have on heroism. She is the designer of an award-winning online game “The Cyberhero League.” She is also the founder and CEO of Evolutionary Guidance Media R&D, Inc. Welcome, Dr. Klisanin.
Increasingly digital platforms are encouraging us to bring out our selfless side online. By Kharunya Paramaguru Dec. 02, 2013
When the Oxford Dictionary announced this month that “selfie” was its word of the year—noting that its use in the English language had increased by 17,000% in the past year—it confirmed in the minds of some that the open architecture of the web and social media has enabled us to “look like raging narcissists.” But as the number of digital platforms designed to encourage sharing, helping and giving—often with no tangible reward for users—proliferate, the web appears to be allowing our selfless, rather than selfish, side to thrive.
Digital Human Episode 1 of 6
Aleks Krotoski explores what technology tells us about ourselves and the age we live in. In this first programme; is the digital world allowing us to be more altruistic than ever? So does altruism exist online? With all the stories of cyber-bullying and trolling it's very easy to forget the random acts of kindness that the technology also allows. Aleks explores some amazing stories of online altruism. But when no good deed goes unpublished and you can keep score of your goodness through 'followers', 'likes' and the accompanying boosts to ego and reputation is truly selfless altruism online an impossibility? And in the end, if good gets done does it matter?Contributors: Primatologist Frans De Waal, Psychologist Dana Kilsanin, Founder of Random acts of pizza Daniel Rodgers, YouTube DIY guru Chez Rossi
Producer: Peter McManus.
Several technologies and social innovations were featured in the second Futurists: BetaLaunch (F:BL) invention expo, part of the recently-concluded WorldFuture 2012 conference Dream. Design. Develop. Deliver. (Toronto July 27-29). F:BL is a “petting zoo” where WorldFuture attendees can interact with artifacts from the future and engage with the exhibitors. Below is an interview between THE FUTURIST magazine and Dana Klisanin, CEO, Evolutionary Guidance Media R&D, Inc. and creator of the Cyberhero League, a social platform that will enable children to actively impact the welfare of people, animals, and the environment through everyday activities, and one of ten F:BL winners.
PR Web, June 26, 2012, Most of the research being done about the internet is evaluating it as a threat. From cyber-warfare to cyber-bullies and cyber-crime, the internet is often seen as a kind of wild west frontier, filled with criminals. Dr. Dana Klisanin has just received a major award for young researchers by focusing on the way online culture is bringing out the best in people, and organizing them to save the world. Klisanin, who received her PhD in psychology from Saybrook University in 2003, has identified a new personality archetype emerging in the modern world: the “cyberhero.” (Click title to continue reading.)
"We know the internet has changed the way we shop, socialize, and schedule – but how is it changing our sense of human potential. When we dream of who we might be in a networked world, what are we dreaming about? According to Dana Klisanin, Executive Director of Evolutionary Guidance Media Research & Design, society has focused on the negative sterotypes of internet users... like "cyberbullies" or addits... while a new conceptual archetype demonstrating human potential has emerged and inspired millions: the "cyberhero". (Click title to continue reading).
March 3, 2012, "Although the bulk of psychological research continues to focus on the negative uses of the Internet, i.e., cyberbullying and the cyberbully, the total number of people engaging in acts of digital altruism and other forms of pro-social digital activism exceeds 100 million." – Dana Klisanin
Dana Klisanin, Ph.D is the Founder and Executive Director of Evolutionary Guidance Media Research & Design, Inc., where she conducts research in the area of positive media and strategizes with corporations and non-governmental organizations interested in promoting social responsibility through media campaigns. In her recently-published paper The Hero and the Internet: Exploring the Emergence of the Cyberhero Archetype, Dana examines digital altruism, which is “altruism mediated by digital technology.” Having previously identified three distinct forms of digital altruism including (1) everyday digital altruism, (2) creative digital altruism, and (3) co-creative digital altruism, she has now turned her focus on individuals who engage in digital altruism and represent the “cyberhero archetype”. (Click title to continue reading)
USA TODAY, Sharon Jayson, February 2011
Millions of Americans follow their local teams, and many fans, including kids, see the players they admire as heroes. But are they really? Just because someone is a celebrity, doesn't make them a hero experts say.
Those who study heroism say there is a tendency to confuse it with fame or celebrity worship, which has sparked some researchers to take a closer look at just what makes a hero in the 21st century.
Social psychologist Scott Allison, a psychology professor at the University of Richmond in Virginia, says many become famous today due to media exposure so that "someone may say Lady Gaga is a hero and someone else may disagree."
"What happens is someone becomes famous and we hope here's a hero. We don't realize fame doesn't mean they're a great person. Being famous does not mean they're a hero," says Allison, co-author of Heroes: What They Do & Why We Need Them, published in November.. . .
. . . Dana Klisanin, a research psychologist in New York City, suggests there's an emerging "cyberhero" who takes advantage of the Internet for digital altrusim. The study she presented to the American Psychological Association in 2009, was spurred by those who are proactive online to help others, she says.
"I started to ask 'Who are the people doing this? Where would they fall in our current framework of heroism?' We traditionally think of a hero out there risking their life for someone or doing something more traditionally thought to be heroic," she says. "That's when I started looking into the background of the hero and started to formulate the theory that perhaps living in the 21st century there's a new type of hero arising."