Cognitive Bias in Online Communication Activities (C-BOCA)

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W911NF-18-C-0011
Agency Tracking Number: D2-1983
Amount: $1,497,817.69
Phase: Phase II
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: N13A-T024
Solicitation Number: 2013.0
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2013
Award Year: 2018
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2017-12-19
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2019-12-18
Small Business Information
3600 Green Court, Ann Arbor, MI, 48105
DUNS: 009485124
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Robert Bechtel
 (734) 887-7605
 bob.bechtel@soartech.com
Business Contact
 Laura Schwennesen
Phone: (734) 877-7683
Email: contracts@soartech.com
Research Institution
 University of Southern California
 Colleen James
 4676 Admiralty Way, Suite 1001
Marina Del Rey, CA, 90292-7008
 (310) 448-8723
 Domestic nonprofit research organization
Abstract
This effort will analyze publicly available online communication data, uniquely applying empirical results from the cognitive bias literature, to quantify the impact of cognitive biases on exposure to, use of, and propagation of online information. SoarTech, with its partners, will develop and evaluate methods to identify and measure cognitive biases in online information environments. The team will quantify the extent to which information is attended to by different populations, and subsequently incorporated in reasoning, as demonstrated by the further dissemination of that information by those populations. We will dynamically model responses resulting from online communication text, forecast responses of receptive groups based on observed streaming messages, and simulate potential further dissemination. We will rigorously evaluate our methods and models based on accuracy and precision, but will also consider computational requirements. We will incorporate our toolset into a larger system created to support planning of health communications (e.g., such as those conducted by the U.S. military in humanitarian assistance missions, worldwide; as well as efforts to support the health of our military and their families before, during, and after deployment)

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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