Questions for “The power of ‘like’”


Responding to a post with a simple “like” can have far-reaching effects on the  behavior of others.


To accompany feature “The power of ‘like’


Before Reading

1.  How many hours each day do you think you spend on computers or smartphones? How much of that time is on social media? Be honest.

2.  When you see that someone else has “liked” a friend’s social-media post, does it change how positively you view that post? How does it feel when someone likes your post?

During Reading

1.  In a 2011 study, how did having friends around change teens’ driving behaviors?

2.  What is an MRI machine? How is fMRI different?

3.  In Lauren Sherman’s MRI study, how did teens respond to popular versus unpopular Instagram posts?

4.  What happened in participants’ brains when they viewed their own popular Instagram photos?

5. What happened in participants’ brains when they viewed other people’s photos showing risky behaviors?

6.  In a study of Reddit, a computer program randomly upvoted some posts. What was the result?

7.  What happened to other Reddit posts that the computer program randomly chose to downvote them?

8.  What did Sarah Boyle’s study find out about students who saw alcohol-related posts during the first six weeks of college?

9.  How were the results different in men and women students?

10.  How do posts about alcohol differ across social media sites?

After Reading

1.  How do social media posts feed on their own popularity?

2.  When you “like” a post on social media, how might that affect what other people see — and how they feel?

3.  What types of subjects do you tend to “like” on social media? For these topics, which could have the biggest impact on others, and why (based on your reading of this story)?