Digital behavior research leverages the increasingly widespread adoption of new technologies, such as social media, wearable sensors, mobile applications, and “big data” from these technologies, to study human behavior. Of course, the significance of human behavior—what, when, why, or how people do, say, or think—extends far beyond psychology to many academic disciplines and to both the public and private sector.
Because this work has wide-ranging applications in medicine, business, policy, entrepreneurship and more, Dr. Sean Young founded the UCLA Center for Digital Behavior to bring together researchers and experts from a diverse range of fields across UCLA and beyond. The Center now aims to engage government agencies, businesses, not-for-profits, and stakeholder groups in projects of mutual interest, to scale innovations for addressing matters of local to global importance. Just some examples of potential high-impact applications include tools to understand, predict, or change:
- Risk behaviors that lead to disease, crime, poverty, or other negative outcomes
- Influences on social and moral values, academic success, or community involvement
- Uptake of certain technologies, products, or trends