How to study public imagination of autonomous systems: the case of the Helsinki automated metro
- 310 Downloads
Means of transportation are changing through advances in automation. One issue to be considered in this development is public opinion regarding these systems, yet existing studies of automated transportation do not provide theoretical or methodological means for exploring public imagination, even though this would be relevant in exploring public acceptance of future technologies. Applied for studying public views on a future automated metro system, a method was devised that includes quantitative and qualitative analysis of media and questionnaire data (n = 913). Although supportive arguments dominated media discussion, people’s attitudes were negative. The two most prominent models of media influence, repetition and cultural resonance, could not fully explain the results; therefore, public imagination, which reflected daily experiences and science fiction, was explored with reference to social representations literature. It is suggested in general that public imagination, along with media discourses and societal settings that contribute to explanations, should be considered in the design and study of automated systems. It is also discussed that the social representations approach could be beneficial for media frame studies by providing explications as to why certain frames might have or lack cultural resonance.
KeywordsMedia influence Social representations Framing Mixed methods Automation Public transport
This work was supported by AMOVEO, a project funded by the Academy of Finland, and by Sovako, the Finnish Doctoral Program of Social Sciences. The author would like to thank all who have commented this work, Professor Anna-Maija Pirttilä-Backman in particular.
- Bauer M (1997) Resistance to new technology—nuclear power, information technology and biotechnology. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
- Bryant J, Zillmann D (1991) Responding to the screen: reception and reaction processes. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Clark B, Parkhurst G, Ricci M (2016) Understanding the socioeconomic adoption scenarios for autonomous vehicles: a literature review. Project report. University of the West of England, Bristol. http://eprints.uwe.ac.uk/29134. Accessed 18 Oct 2016.
- Collavin E (2007) Food biotechnologies in italy: a social psychological study. Department of Social Psychology, University of Helsinki, Helsinki.Google Scholar
- Continental (2013) Continental Mobility Study 2013. Continental Corporation. http://www.continental-corporation.com/www/download/pressportal_com_en/themes/initiatives/channel_mobility_study_en/ov_mobility_study2013_en/download_channel/pres_mobility_study_en.pdf. Accessed 18 Oct 2016.
- Dinello D (2005) Technophobia! science fiction visions of posthuman technology. University of Texas Press, AustinGoogle Scholar
- Edy J, Meirick P (2007) Wanted, dead or alive: media frames, frame adoption, and support for the war in Afghanistan. J Commun 57(1):19–41Google Scholar
- Etzioni A (2013) The great drone debate. Military review, March-April 2–13. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2274211. Accessed 18 Oct 2016.
- European Commission (2005) Europeans and science and technology. Special Eurobarometer report 224. http://ec.europa.eu/public_opinion/archives/ebs/ebs_224_report_en.pdf. Accessed 12 Mar 2014.
- Finnish Audit Bureau of Circulations (2013) NRS Readers Autumn 2012/Spring 2013: number of readers in primary target groups. http://www.levikintarkastus.fi/mediatutkimus/NRS_Readers_a12-s13.pdf. Accessed 12 Dec 2014.
- Flick U (1995) Social representations. In: Smith J, Harré R, Langenhove L (eds) Rethinking psychology. Sage Publications, London, pp 70–96Google Scholar
- Flick U (2009) An introduction to qualitative research, 4th edn. Sage Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Haataja S (2006) Matkustajakysely ihmisten kokemasta turvattomuudesta Helsingin metrossa. Liikennelaitos, Suunnitteluyksikkӧ, Helsinki Helsingin kaupunki.Google Scholar
- Jodelet D (1991) Madness and social representations (T. Pownall, Trans.). University of California Press, BerkeleyGoogle Scholar
- Kilpiö A (2008) The nature and formation of teachers’ technology relationship. Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo.Google Scholar
- McQuail D (2005) McQuail’s mass communication theory, 5th edn. Sage Publications, LondonGoogle Scholar
- Moscovici S (1981) On social representations. In: Forgas J (ed) Social cognition: perspectives in everyday understanding. Academic Press, London, pp 181–210Google Scholar
- Moscovici S (1984) The phenomenon of social representations. In: Farr R, Moscovici S (eds) Social representations. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 3–70Google Scholar
- Moscovici S (2008) Psychoanalysis: its image and its public (D. Macey, Trans.). Polity Press, Cambridge (Original work published 1961)Google Scholar
- Helsinki Region Municipalities (2010) Helsinki region statistics. http://www.aluesarjat.fi. Accessed 12 Mar 2014
- Scheufele D (2000) Agenda-Setting, priming, and framing revisited: another look at cognitive effects of political communication. Mass Commun Soc 3(2&3):216–297Google Scholar
- Scheufele D, Iyengar S (2014) The state of framing research: a call for new directions. In: Kenski K, Jamieson K (eds) The oxford handbook of political communication theories. Oxford University Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Tashakkori A, Teddlie C (2009) Foundations of mixed methods research: integrating quantitative and qualitative approaches in social and behavioral sciences. Sage Publications, Thousand OaksGoogle Scholar
- TNS Gallup (2017) Weekly numbers of finnish web sites. http://tnsmetrix.tnsgallup.fi/public/?lang=en. Accessed 24 Jan 2017
- Wagner W, Kronberger N (2001) Killer tomatoes! collective symbolic coping with biotechnology. In: Deaux K, Philogene G (eds) Representations of the social—bridging theoretical traditions. Blackwell, Oxford, pp 147–164Google Scholar
- Yeager D, Krosnick J, Chang L, Javitz H, Levindusky M, Simpser A, Wang R (2009) Comparing the accuracy of RDD telephone surveys and internet surveys conducted with probability and non–probability samples. http://www.knowledgenetworks.com/insights/docs/mode-04_2.pdf. Accessed 12 Mar 2014.