(I reached out to Chato, Mayo and David to ask if they would like to present this work at
the research showcase)
Emotions under Discussion: Gender, Status and Communication in Online Collaboration
Mayo Fuster Morell,
Andreas Kaltenbrunner mail
Published: August 20, 2014DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0104880
Despite the undisputed role of emotions in teamwork, not much is known about the make-up
of emotions in online collaboration. Publicly available repositories of collaboration
data, such as Wikipedia editor discussions, now enable the large-scale study of affect and
dialogue in peer production.
We investigate the established Wikipedia community and focus on how emotion and dialogue
differ depending on the status, gender, and the communication network of the editors who
have written at least 100 comments on the English Wikipedia's article talk pages.
Emotions are quantified using a word-based approach comparing the results of two
predefined lexicon-based methods: LIWC and SentiStrength.
We find that administrators maintain a rather neutral, impersonal tone, while regular
editors are more emotional and relationship-oriented, that is, they use language to form
and maintain connections to other editors. A persistent gender difference is that female
contributors communicate in a manner that promotes social affiliation and emotional
connection more than male editors, irrespective of their status in the community. Female
regular editors are the most relationship-oriented, whereas male administrators are the
least relationship-focused. Finally, emotional and linguistic homophily is prevalent:
editors tend to interact with other editors having similar emotional styles (e.g., editors
expressing more anger connect more with one another).
On Aug 29, 2014, at 11:59 AM, Dario Taraborelli <dtaraborelli(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
I too recommend the use of micro-surveys. The full
rationale is here  but one of the immediate benefits I see is the ability to randomly
sample from the population of newly registered users. It shouldn’t be particularly hard to
set up an ongoing gender micro-survey to collect this data over time (it’s more a question
for UX/Product: would this interfere with the existing acquisition workflow). We can also
trigger a micro-survey at the end of the edit funnel and measure user drop-off rate by
Product has concerns about adding extra fields to the signup screen: they may not be
optimal from a UX perspective, but micro-surveys are the most flexible way of collecting
this kind of demographic data without heavy MediaWiki engineering effort.
On Aug 29, 2014, at 7:01 AM, Leila Zia <leila(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
On Fri, Aug 29, 2014 at 4:58 AM, Dan Andreescu <dandreescu(a)wikimedia.org> wrote:
I wonder if we might explore ways to improve such a survey. For example, we might
include the gender question in the signup form for a small percentage of newly registered
This experiment sounds more useful than the current gender data. Over time, it would
also allow us to track retention rate by gender for those who answer the question.
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