Laura Dabbish, Carnegie Mellon UniversityPhoto
Segal Seminar Series

Laura Dabbish, Carnegie Mellon University

December 2, 2014,4: 00 - 5: 30p.m.
Ford Engineering Design Center
Room 1.350 (ITW Classroom)
2133 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208

Social Transparency Online


An emerging Internet trend is greater social transparency, such as the use of real names in social networking sites, feeds of friends' activities, traces of others' re-use of content, and visualizations of team interactions. There is a potential for this transparency to radically improve collaboration and learning.  In this talk, I will describe my research identifying how social information influences collaborative performance in online work environments. 

First I have been studying professional social networking communities. Social media allows individuals in these communities to create an interest network of people and digital artifacts, and get moment-by-moment updates about actions by those people or changes to those artifacts. It affords and unprecedented level of transparency about the actions of others over time. I will present qualitative and quantitative work examining how members of these communities use transparency to accomplish their goals. Second I have been looking at the impact of making workflows transparent. Many of today’s most innovative social work environments, often involve distributed workers who do not know one another personally and are typically unaware of the presence of other workers. In a series of field experiments we are investigating how socially transparent interfaces influence perceptions and behavior.


Laura Dabbish is an associate professor in the Human-Computer Interaction Institute in the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University, with a joint appointment in the Heinz College of Public Policy, Information Systems and Management. Laura studies the design and use of communication technologies, with a focus on the workplace. Her research spans the fields of Human-Computer Interaction, Computer-Supported Cooperative Work, Information Systems and Organizational Behavior. She received her B.Sc. in Computer Science from the University of Southern California, and her M.S. and PhD from Carnegie Mellon in 2006 as part of the first cohort to receive a PhD in the field of Human-Computer Interaction. Laura has spent time at Microsoft Research, studying communication technology usage, and Motorola, Inc., developing software for cellular technology infrastructure. She directs the Connected Experience Lab within the HCI Institute at CMU (

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