Who vs. Where

Although a takeaway from mid-century psychology, I think it maps nicely to understanding online spaces. A distillation of one of Roger Barker’s early insights, from “Our Town“:

The repercussions for psychology seemed profound: if you wanted to know how people were behaving, it was less important to know who they were than where they were. An individual’s emotions, motivations, and life history were secondary to his or her location. A school wasn’t just some classsrooms and a gym, but a context whose physical layout and social forces shaped — or, in Barker’s stronger langauge, “coerced” — the actions of the students.

Jun 8 2013