The perversion of certainty: Choice architecture, digital paternalism and virtual validation in the attention economy

Peter J. Brown, Mario G. Beruvides

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

The Attention Economy applies the principle of scarcity to attention as a commodity, which represents the limits inherent in the “neurophysiology of perception” and the social asset of available time. Within this new economy, human decision-making is being engineered through choice architecture algorithms and digital paternalism, which provide abridged subsets of information narrowing focus and reducing objectivity. Personal risk assessment is based largely on attitude certainty – the strength with which someone holds a belief. Technologically driven generations are immersed within the attention economy, which artificially enhances the sense of certainty through user-legitimized, virtual validation. Attitude certainty is now being developed through online manifestations of traditional mechanisms. This paper explores these online manifestations focusing on how and why they have become so influential. Beyond the awareness of the validation paradigm shift and the obvious technological deterministic implications, management impacts will be significant as online development of attitude certainty becomes pervasive and as a result, risk perception and subsequent risk behavior is less predictable. A brief analysis of the impact of these risks is presented to assist engineering managers and researchers in the on-going development of these issues.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management, ASEM 2018
Subtitle of host publicationBridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Management
Pages60-66
Number of pages7
ISBN (Electronic)9781510874640
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018
Event39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management: Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business, ASEM 2018 - Coeur d�Alene, United States
Duration: Oct 17 2018Oct 20 2018

Publication series

Name39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management, ASEM 2018: Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business

Conference

Conference39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management: Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business, ASEM 2018
CountryUnited States
CityCoeur d�Alene
Period10/17/1810/20/18

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Keywords

  • Attention Economy
  • Attitude certainty
  • Digital choice architecture

Cite this

Brown, P. J., & Beruvides, M. G. (2018). The perversion of certainty: Choice architecture, digital paternalism and virtual validation in the attention economy. In 39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management, ASEM 2018: Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business (pp. 60-66). (39th International Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Management, ASEM 2018: Bridging the Gap Between Engineering and Business). American Society for Engineering Management.