A lurking bias: Representativeness of users across social media and its implications for sampling bias in cognitive science

Valtteri Vuorio, Zachary Horne

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

Within internet there exists the 90-9-1 principle (also called the 1% rule), which dictates that a vast majority of user-generated content in any specific community comes from the top 1% active users, with most people only listening in. When combined with other demographic biases among social media users, this casts doubt as to how well these users represent the wider world, which might be problematic considering how user-generated content is used in psychological research and in the wider media. We conduct three computational studies using pre-existing datasets from Reddit and Twitter; we examine the accuracy of the 1% rule and what effect this might have on how user-generated content is perceived by performing and comparing sentiment analyses between user groups. Our findings support the accuracy of the 1% rule, and we report a bias in sentiments between low-and high-frequency users. Limitations of our analyses will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 45th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
EditorsMicah Goldwater, Florencia Anggoro, Brett Hayes, Desmond Ong
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
Pages3611-3616
Volume45
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2023
Event45th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society: Cognition in Context - Sydney, Australia
Duration: 26 Jul 202329 Jul 2023
https://cognitivesciencesociety.org/cogsci-2023/

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Cognitive Science Society
PublisherThe Cognitive Science Society
ISSN (Electronic)1069-7977

Conference

Conference45th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society
Abbreviated titleCogSci2023
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CitySydney
Period26/07/2329/07/23
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • 90-9-1 principle
  • participation bias
  • cognitive science
  • data science
  • social media

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