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Echo Chambers? There's an App for That

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To combat echo chambers and isolation, MIT graduate students Mohammad Ghassemi and Tuka Al Hanai founded Connect, a web app that brings students from different backgrounds together over lunch. Their algorithm helps students find lunch partners “with similarities that comfort you, but also differences that intrigue you.”

The Connect founders want to bring their platform to Stanford and partner with social scientists to evaluate its effectiveness. At a Research Clinic on Feb. 7, 2017, SPARQ faculty affiliates touched on some of the founders' questions, including:

  • How can we track Connect’s effects on empathy, bias, and other psychological outcomes?
  • How can social psychology help Connect improve its app? 
  • How can Connect reach people who might not necessarily seek out its services? 

To learn more about our discussion, download the Echo Chambers Research Clinic Notes.