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Book Cover for: Mindmasters: The Data-Driven Science of Predicting and Changing Human Behavior, Sandra Matz

Mindmasters: The Data-Driven Science of Predicting and Changing Human Behavior

Sandra Matz

A refreshingly relatable exploration of how algorithms penetrate the most intimate aspects of our psychology, and how we can regain mastery over our lives--from the pioneering expert of psychological targeting.

There are more digital pieces of data than stars in the universe. This data helps us monitor our planet, decipher our genetic code, and take a deep dive into our psychology.

As algorithms become increasingly adept at accessing our minds, they also become more and more powerful at controlling it--enticing us to buy a certain product or vote for a certain political candidate. Some of us say this technological trend is no big deal. Others consider it one of the greatest threats to humanity. But what if the truth is more nuanced and mind-bending than that?

In Mindmasters, Columbia Business School professor Sandra Matz offers a fascinating insider perspective on the art and data-driven science of psychological targeting. By relating her own personal story of growing up in a small village--where few aspects of life remain truly private--to her groundbreaking research in computational psychology, Matz reveals how Big Data offers insights into the most intimate aspects of our psyche and how these insights empower external influence over the choices we make.

Filled with Ted-Talk-like explanations and real-life examples from Matz's research and consulting work, Mindmasters paints a nuanced picture of the power of psychological targeting. Like nosy neighbors, it can be creepy, manipulative, and downright harmful--with scandals like Cambridge Analytica being merely the tip of the iceberg. Yet, like any tight-knit, supportive village community, it also holds enormous potential to help us live healthier and happier lives--for example, by improving our mental health, encouraging better financial decisions, or enabling us to break out of our echo chambers.

With passion and clear-eyed precision, Matz shows us how to manage psychological targeting and redesign the data game in a way that empowers us to take back control and ask more of our personal data.

Mindmasters is a riveting look at what our digital footprints reveal about us, how they're being used--for good and for ill--and how we can gain more control and power over the data that define us.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
  • Publish Date: Jan 7th, 2025
  • Pages: 224
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00in - 0.00lb
  • EAN: 9781647826314
  • Categories: Social PsychologyData Science - GeneralConsumer Behavior - General

About the Author

Dr. Sandra Matz is the David W. Zalaznick Associate Professor of Business at Columbia Business School, in New York.

As a computational social scientist with a background in psychology and computer science, she studies human behavior and preferences using a combination of big data analytics and traditional experimental methods. Her research uncovers the hidden relationships between our digital lives and our psychology with the goal of helping businesses and individuals make better decisions.

Sandra's work is frequently covered in major news outlets, including the Economist, the New York Times, BBC, CNBC, the Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, Inc., WIRED, the Washington Post, the Independent, the Guardian, the Chicago Tribune, Psychology Today, Scientific American, Fortune, Forbes, and more.

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