Pamela Wisniewski

Some International Press

Some International Press

An article written by Matt Swayne at Penn State Research Communications on our recent CSCW paper was picked up by the AP:

Thanks, Matt!

CHI Best Paper Honorable Mention

CHI Best Paper Honorable Mention

I just got word that our paper received a best of CHI 2014 award:


“We are pleased to inform you that your paper, Understanding User Adaptation Strategies for the Launching of Facebook Timeline, has been selected to receive a SIGCHI Best of CHI Honorable Mention Award. The SIGCHI Best of CHI Awards honor exceptional submissions to SIGCHI sponsored conferences. Receiving an Honorable Mention Award indicates that your paper was identified by the CHI Associate Chairs as being among the top 5% of all submission to CHI 2014.”

While I won’t be in Toronto for CHI this year, my co-author Yunan Chen from UC Irvine will be presenting our paper.  Don’t miss it!

Also, here is a news feature written by Matt Swayne in Penn State Research Communications on our paper: Social media users need help to adjust to interface changes

CSCW 2014

CSCW 2014 Presentations

I hope to see you at CSCW 2014 next week!  I will be presenting a paper as a first author and a poster as second author:

Adolescent Online Safety: The “Moral” of the Story

Pamela Wisniewski. Heng Xu, Mary Beth Rosson, and John Carroll – The Pennsylvania State University

Adolescence is characterized by heightened risk-taking and independence from parents; these tendencies seem to be magnified by the opportunities afforded through online interactions. Drawing on Kohlberg’s Cognitive Moral Development (CMD) theory, we conduct a qualitative study of 12 parent-adolescent dyads that examines the interplay between parenting behaviors and adolescent moral development. We show an association between adolescent moral judgment and online behavior, and we illustrate how parenting style and mediation strategies influence teens’ moral growth and decision making about online behaviors. We also note that parental mediation strategies are moderated by parents’ digital literacy: reduced digital literacy is associated with more restrictive or indulgent strategies; while more digitally competent parents are more likely to monitor and mediate their teen’s behaviors as they engage online. We also found that experience, not restriction, facilitates the teen’s moral growth.

Designing the Default Privacy Settings for Facebook Applications

Na Wang, Pamela Wisniewski, Heng Xu, and Jens Grossklags – The Pennsylvania State University

By framing privacy as contextual integrity [5], we performed an online experiment to explore how the default settings of a Facebook app’s privacy notice would impact a user’s information disclosure behavior and privacy perception. In our between-subject experimental design, we provided four variations of default settings for a Birthday App on Facebook. Our preliminary findings suggest that default privacy settings that are context-relevant may help users make better informed privacy decisions, increase their likelihood of engaging with an app, and improve their privacy perceptions of the app.

Safe travels to Baltimore.  I hope this snow lets up by then!

Platform for Good Blog Post

Platform for Good

Check out my blog post on the Family Online Safety Institute’s Platform for Good.  It’s about our current study regarding adolescent online safety.

If you are part of an organization that has access to parents and teens and would like to help me recruit for our study, please email me at

CHI 2014 Paper Accepted!

CHI 2014 Paper Acceptance

Our CHI 2014 paper submission “Understanding User Adaptation Strategies for the Launching of Facebook Timeline” was accepted! Here is the paper abstract:

This paper applies coping theory to understand user adaptation strategies to major interface changes on Social Networking Sites (SNSs). Specifically, we qualitatively examine 1,149 user comments posted to the Facebook’s official Timeline blog in order to get a large and unobtrusive sample of real Facebook users’ perceptions about the launch of Timeline. Our data suggests a high level of stress associated with the transition to the new interface introduced by Timeline. We also found evidence which suggests that increasing users’ perceptions of control over major interface changes may help facilitate user adaptation to these changes.


Recent Conference Attendance

Adolescent Online Safety

I have to say that examining adolescent online safety has really brought me back to my true passion, which is making a difference in the world. I like doing research from the academic perspective, but sometimes I feel disillusioned when our research doesn’t actually touch the real world. When I talk about my research, I can engage every day people, not just PhDs.  I think that it very cool. And, I am very thankful I have had the opportunity to take this path and the chance to network with other researchers who share the same passion.  I recently broadened my horizons by attending two new conferences:

21st Annual Symposium on Family Issues: This conference is held at Penn State, and it is comprised mostly of researchers from Human Development and Family Studies (HDFS) and other social science disciplines.  So, at first, many of the participants were confused why someone from Information Sciences and Technology was there. 🙂 This year’s symposium focused on the impact of inequality on family outcomes. It raised some provocative questions as the gap between the have and the have nots seems to be widening every day.

Family Online Safety Institute 2013 Annual Conference: This conference was recently held in Washington, D.C. and brought together industry vendors, non-profit organizations, and researchers to discuss the challenges faced by families in an always connected world. It struck me to see the dichotomy between the different online safety interventions provided by the various vendors (FCC, mobile providers, cable providers, etc.) and the research on family safety (Pew Research, EU Kids Online, etc.).  Many of the interventions seemed to lack an evidence-based approach to assess the effectiveness of the interventions.  And, much of the research presented at the conference tended to focus on understanding the prevalence of the problem, instead of focusing on solutions.  I think it is great that the community has already done so much to address this problem;  however, I see great opportunities facilitated by FOSI to bring these two sides together to collaboratively address the problem.

Soon, we will be launching an online dairy study that captures the online risks teens are exposed to over the course of two months.  This is going to be quite the adventure since I haven’t seen any longitudinal research studies like ours . . .

Measuring Networked Privacy

Measuring Networked Privacy Workshop

In February, I will be attending CSCW and presenting my work at the Measuring Networked Privacy workshop, hosted by Xinru Page, Karen Tang, Fred Stutzman, and Airi Lampinen. Looking forward to catching up with everyone!

Extended Abstract: Between Nuance and Rigor: Contextualizing and Measuring SNS Desired Privacy Level (PDF)

Post Doc at Penn State

Post Doc at Penn State

I recently started as a Post Doctoral Scholar at Penn State University in their College of Information Sciences and Technology. I will be working on an NSF funded project that examines the dyadic relationship between parents and adolescents when it comes to protecting the online privacy of children between the ages of 13 and 17. This research is very closely related to my dissertation research on boundary regulation within online social networks, and I am very excited to be able to work on a project that has the potential to positively impact our society. I will be working with Heng Xu, Jack Carroll, and Mary Beth Rosson.


Attending CSST 2012

CSST 2012

I will be attending the 2012 Summer Research Institute for the Consortium for the Science of Socio-Technical Systems (CSST) that will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico at the end of July. I am looking forward to discussing the interesting results from my dissertation research and networking with peers and giants in my field! If you are attending too, please drop me a line. I’d love to hear from you.

CHI 2012 Full Paper Accepted!

CHI 2012 Paper Accepted

My CHI 2012 paper submission Fighting for My Space: Coping Mechanisms for SNS Boundary Regularization was officially accepted. Therefore, I will be attending CHI 2012 in Austin, Texas in May.  Hope to see you there!