The Decentralists – Epsiode 11: The Psychology of Identity with Dr. Agnieszka Rychwalska

To open Season 4 of The Decentralists we are joined by a very special guest, Dr. Agnieszka Rychwalska, Assistant Professor of Psychology and researcher at the Center for Complex Systems and New Technologies at The Robert Zajonc Institute for Social Studies at the University of Warsaw. 

Among other things, Dr. Rychwalska studies the application of complex systems in psychological and social processes (modelling and analysis of social networks, experimental study of social impact mechanisms, analysis of large data sets from social networks mediated by new technologies), in particular to study the impact of new information technologies on social processes. 

Data accumulation by a few global actors, surveillance capitalism and manipulation of public opinion – all leading to greater social inequalities – are, in a way, a result of the fact that individuals share so much about themselves online. Is this a result of some unchangeable human trait? Or is Big Tech, forcing their users to divulge too much about themselves in order to make money from advertising? 

Why do people seem so willing to share so much of their identity online, especially on social media platforms? 

What are the dangers of creating multiple identity profiles online in order to be social with friends and family?

Join us this week for part one of a discussion about the psychology of identity and why it is important for all of us to understand who we are and how we identify ourselves online.