More than 30,000 people, including scientists, journalists and computer experts, have participated in the first ever crowdsourced, crowdsourced experiment to try to understand how people cope with stress.
The experiment is the latest effort by researchers to tap into the potential of crowdsourcing and social networks to help them understand and improve human behavior, a new paper in the journal PLOS ONE suggests.
It follows similar experiments in social psychology, behavioral genetics, neuroscience and psychology.
The new paper, published online in PLOS One on Sunday, shows that some of the most successful scientists in the world have been unable to hold onto information in social media.
Instead, they were forced to improvise.
Scientists who were unable to find ways to keep their information in a digital space could lose out in a competition for jobs and social prestige, the paper notes.
“It was hard to hold a conversation with a stranger on the street,” said the paper’s senior author, James B. Anderson, a researcher at the University of Chicago and Harvard Medical School.
“There was a tendency to get angry, to talk about my work, to get emotional.”
This was not a problem with only one or two of them.
A significant proportion of the researchers were not able to hold their information securely.
“There are many people who are at the same time at a high risk of anxiety, depression and self-harm,” Anderson said.
“So you’re going to have people who can’t get it together in this space, who are struggling.”
The paper suggests that social media can help people understand the emotional effects of their own stress, but it also raises questions about how social networks can be used to help people avoid stress, such as by providing information about how to manage stress or finding coping strategies.
The researchers surveyed more than 300 researchers in their field and found that they had trouble keeping information in digital form, while others could keep their digital information securely for up to two days without a problem.
The majority of researchers had a problem keeping their information secure and did not find their information easily retrievable in digital format.
People who were stressed also were less likely to share their information online and had a higher risk of self-harming.
“People who are stressed are more likely to have a lot of bad things happen to them in their lives,” said Anderson.
The paper also looked at how social media was used to get help, which suggested that the same people who were frustrated by the lack of communication were also more likely than those who were more confident and positive to seek help.
This suggests that it is not enough for researchers to be able to find people who need help, they must also be able do the research and have the right tools to help.
“The way we talk about the problems we face, and how we can make the world a better place, is really important,” Anderson added.
“It is very important that people know that when they are stressed, there is a very small chance that the problem will be solved.”
The researchers plan to test their hypothesis with another experiment to see if they can replicate the results with people who do not suffer from stress.