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Got 20 minutes? Be part of this coronavirus relationships study.
How does the COVID-19 pandemic affect relationships? One study aims to find out. If you have 20 minutes, take the survey!
- Psychology researchers are looking for people to participate in study about relationships during the coronavirus epidemic.
- Anyone—regardless of sexual orientation or relationship commitment—can participate in the 20-minute survey here.
- After the initial survey, there will be two 5-10 minutes follow-up assessments at 10-day intervals, and one final 10 to 15 minute assessment in six months time.
Want to participate in a coronavirus study that doesn't require any prodding and poking?
Researchers from the psychology department at the University of Innsbruck, Austria, are collecting data on how the COVID-19 pandemic affects relationships. The main objective of the study is to examine factors that help or hurt couples during this period relative to normal times, ranging from the physical living space, job situation, the division of labor in the couple, to partners' personality factors and levels of aggression. "There is much discussion about such questions these days but little data—a gap we hope to help closing with our study," says Dr. Marcel Zentner, Professor of Psychology at the University of Innsbruck. "Eventually, we expect our findings to be used to improve prevention and intervention methods for couples and families that are struggling during unusually stressful periods like these."
What does the study involve?
According to the study website, there will be 4 quick assessments, described as below:
- In the first assessment we will ask you to complete some questionnaires about your relationship, how you cope with the current situation. It will also include some questions about yourself, your way of reacting and coping in general, because these factors are known to influence our close relationships. This first questionnaire will take about 20 minutes.
- In the second and third assessments (at 10-day intervals), we will ask you to complete a small portion of the previous questionnaires about your current relationship situation, relationship satisfaction, and levels of strain. They will take about 5-10 minutes.
- In a follow-up assessment (after 6 months) we will ask you to answer some final questions about how your relationship has evolved. This will take approximately 10 to 15 minutes.
Bonus: It's for a good cause
Beyond the thrill of participating in scientific research, there's another good reason to participate. The University of Innsbruck, Austria, will donate 50 Euro to child protection charity SOS Children's Villages for every 100 participants.
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"Deepfakes" and "cheap fakes" are becoming strikingly convincing — even ones generated on freely available apps.
- A writer named Magdalene Visaggio recently used FaceApp and Airbrush to generate convincing portraits of early U.S. presidents.
- "Deepfake" technology has improved drastically in recent years, and some countries are already experiencing how it can weaponized for political purposes.
- It's currently unknown whether it'll be possible to develop technology that can quickly and accurately determine whether a given video is real or fake.
The future of deepfakes<p>In 2018, Gabon's president Ali Bongo had been out of the country for months receiving medical treatment. After Bongo hadn't been seen in public for months, rumors began swirling about his condition. Some suggested Bongo might even be dead. In response, Bongo's administration released a video that seemed to show the president addressing the nation.</p><p>But the <a href="https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=324528215059254" target="_blank">video</a> is strange, appearing choppy and blurry in parts. After political opponents declared the video to be a deepfake, Gabon's military attempted an unsuccessful coup. What's striking about the story is that, to this day, experts in the field of deepfakes can't conclusively verify whether the video was real. </p><p>The uncertainty and confusion generated by deepfakes poses a "global problem," according to a <a href="https://www.brookings.edu/research/is-seeing-still-believing-the-deepfake-challenge-to-truth-in-politics/#cancel" target="_blank">2020 report from The Brookings Institution</a>. In 2018, the U.S. Department of Defense released some of the first tools able to successfully detect deepfake videos. The problem, however, is that deepfake technology keeps improving, meaning forensic approaches may forever be one step behind the most sophisticated forms of deepfakes. </p><p>As the 2020 report noted, even if the private sector or governments create technology to identify deepfakes, they will:</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"...operate more slowly than the generation of these fakes, allowing false representations to dominate the media landscape for days or even weeks. "A lie can go halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on," warns David Doermann, the director of the Artificial Intelligence Institute at the University of Buffalo. And if defensive methods yield results short of certainty, as many will, technology companies will be hesitant to label the likely misrepresentations as fakes."</p>
Context is everything.
The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced a number of new behaviours into daily routines, like physical distancing, mask-wearing and hand sanitizing. Meanwhile, many old behaviours such as attending events, eating out and seeing friends have been put on hold.
A new study looks at how images of coffee's origins affect the perception of its premiumness and quality.
- Images can affect how people perceive the quality of a product.
- In a new study, researchers show using virtual reality that images of farms positively influence the subjects' experience of coffee.
- The results provide insights on the psychology and power of marketing.