The Psychology of Open Communities

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Proposal
Short Form
Beginner

Excerpt

Open source software may be made of ones and zeroes, but open source communities are made of people. This talk is a whirlwind tour of what research psychology has to tell us about how individuals and groups learn, falter, and grow. The talk will emphasize "takeaways" - ways for you to use this research to improve your communities and your experiences in them.

Description

Open source software may be made of ones and zeroes, but open source communities are made of people. This talk presents a whirlwind tour of what research psychology has to tell us about how individuals and groups learn, falter, and grow.

Topics we’ll cover:

- The psychology of empowerment, with a focus on Incremental Learning Theory (see Dweck) and Self-Efficacy (see Bandura), and overcoming Learned Helplessness (see Seligmann).

- The psychology of decision-making, including the Paradox of Choice (see Schwartz), Prediction (see Kahneman and Tversky), and Motivational Crowding (see Frey and Jegen).

- The psychology of groups, and what helps them function well or poorly. We’ll cover Diffusion of Responsibility (see Latane and Darley), Conformity (see Asch, Schultz), and Implicit Bias (see Banaji).

The talk will emphasize “takeaways” – ways for you to use this research to improve your communities and your experiences in them. Although we won’t have time to get into methodological details, all research will be cited and I will provide supplemental materials including an overview of each topic, further research to read, and tips on how to evaluate primary psychology literature.

Tags

community, psychology, learning, decision-making

Speaking experience

I have given talks on open source outreach at Reflections | Projections (2012), SCaLE (2014), OSBridge (2014), Grace Hopper (2014) and Tapia (2015), and have accepted talks on the topic at LibrePlanet (2015) and PyCon (2015). I've also talked about how privilege influences communication at Alterconf Boston (2014) and on open science at LibrePlanet (2014). I have spoken on various psychology topics at Sprout, a community science center (2011, 2012). I also have extensive experience speaking at workshops, unconferences, and meetups.

This will be my first time giving this particular talk.

Speaker