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 CFP: Social Intelligence in a Digital World
Posted by: Steve Stemler
Title/Position: Professor of Psychology and Education Studies
School/Organization: Wesleyan University
Sent to listserv of: SESP, SPSSI
Date posted: May 9th, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

I'm writing to inform you that I am editing a Special Issue on “Social Intelligence in a Digital World” for the Journal of Intelligence. I invite you to submit any work you have that may be relevant to the topic. Further details about the call for proposals and the special issue can be found here:

Note that manuscripts can be submitted any time between now and October 15th. Manuscripts that pass an initial pre-screen will be sent out for peer review. Accepted manuscripts will be published in the journal continuously and will be listed together on the special issue website.

Best wishes,

Steven E. Stemler, Ph.D. (he/him/his)
Professor of Psychology and Education Studies
Co-Chair, College of Education Studies
Wesleyan University
207 High Street
Middletown, CT 06459

CV | Web | LinkedIn | ResearchGate | SPN


Call for papers on "Social Intelligence in a Digital World"

What does social intelligence look like in a world where so many of our social interactions are mediated by technology? Although face-to-face interaction skills remain important, the past two decades have seen a massive increase in social interactions mediated by technologies such as email, text messaging, social media, remote video meetings/classes, and social interactions in the context of immersive virtual environments. Further, these interactions are now occurring with culturally diverse global audiences on a routine basis.

Social intelligence has much to do with reading social cues, correctly inferring the states and traits of others, and responding appropriately. The application of such abilities may look quite different in a technologically mediated digital context than it does in a face-to-face context. For example, many students and teachers who were socially adept in the classroom struggled with the move to emergency remote teaching required by the Covid-19 pandemic, not simply because of the differences in comfort level with technology use, but because the fundamental nature of their social interactions changed in such ways that some people were able to adapt, but others were not.

Furthermore, digital technologies not only change the nature of social interaction, but also present new opportunities for experimentation and measurement that have the potential to enhance our understanding of social intelligence. For example, it is now possible to conduct experiments in virtual environments in which variables that are not easily manipulated in a non-digital world (e.g., characteristics such as height, weight, gender, eye color, skin color) can be experimentally manipulated to determine whether and how those changes impact the nature of the social interactions, social cognition, and decision making in a virtual context.

Finally, technology not only allows for different kinds of experiments; it also introduces novel approaches to measurement that open up new possibilities for furthering our understanding of social intelligence. For example, it is possible to collect precise eye-tracking data inside a socially rich VR context while simultaneously gathering measures related to the precise social distance one is keeping from other characters in the virtual environment while at the same time collecting real-time physiological measures (e.g., skin conductance, heart rate measures) of the actor who is immersed in the virtual environment.

Even beyond virtual and immersive environments, however, social interactions that take place using digital technologies leave relatively permanent trails of social interaction data in the form of written text or video that can be analyzed using text mining techniques and content analysis. These new sources of data also have the potential to lead to insights regarding the fundamental nature of social intelligence across different contexts.

This Special Issue related to Social Intelligence in a Digital World is therefore calling for submissions that:

• Investigate what social intelligence looks like in a digital context (remote learning environments, virtual meetings, navigating social media, etc.).

• Explore advances in the measurement of social intelligence that are facilitated by technology—particularly if those new measures are validated against traditional measures of cognitive ability, personality, and existing measures of social intelligence. Measures that demonstrate predictive validity with outcomes of interest are especially welcome.

• Examine social intelligence across different modalities. For example, email, text messages, internet chats, virtual meetings, face-to-face individual meetings, and face-to-face group meetings all present different contexts that demand different sets of skills and abilities for reading the cultural cues associated with those contexts. Are people who seen as especially socially intelligent in one modality more likely to be rated as socially intelligent across different modalities, or is social intelligence specific to the modality?

• Explore the relationship between social intelligence and social media use. Do people high on social intelligence tend to use social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn in ways that are systematically different than others who are lower in social intelligence? Do they differ in the nature and frequency of their posts, for example?

• Empirically probe the relationships between constructs such as social intelligence, cultural intelligence, emotional intelligence, personality, and general cognitive ability, and other related constructs (e.g., creativity, self-regulation).

Prof. Dr. Steven E. Stemler
Guest Editor

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