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Mark Zuckerberg on psychology and social media

October 12, 2011

In response to Florida Governor Rick Scott attacking Florida universities for graduating too many psychology majors (among other disciplines), a group of department chairs put out a report explaining and defending the discipline. Toward the end they list some famous psychology majors, and among them is Mark Zuckerberg.

Here’s Zuckerberg in the Deseret News:

“All of these problems at the end of the day are human problems,” he said. “I think that that’s one of the core insights that we try to apply to developing Facebook. What [people are] really interested in is what’s going on with the people they care about. It’s all about giving people the tools and controls that they need to be comfortable sharing the information that they want. If you do that, you create a very valuable service. It’s as much psychology and sociology as it is technology.”

And it’s not just talk — he’s hiring psychology PhDs (including a University of Oregon graduate).

See also here (psych major stuff starts around 1:00; gets especially interesting around 2:50).

 

2 Comments
  1. Cara permalink
    October 12, 2011 3:57 pm

    This reminds me of some of the talk in the last week about whether Steve Jobs was or was not a “genius.” Some people say he’s not really that important because he never “invented” anything, just ran with other people’s ideas. But I think knowing what to run with – having the understanding of people’s day to day lives to know how products could make those lives easier or at least enhanced – that was the genius part. Other people may have done the inventing, but the application and integration into people’s lives was the meaningful contribution that made him great. Knowing that people would respond more favorably to technology if its design fit into the rest of the aesthetic of their lives. He didn’t have a psychology degree (or any degree for that matter), but I feel like it’s the same idea.

  2. Weylin permalink
    October 27, 2011 2:34 pm

    Thanks for defending psychology in Florida (and elsewhere), Sanjay! :)

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