UC Riverside professors to study social media, happiness

UC Riverside marketing professors Donna Hoffman and Tom Novak
have received a $414,000 National Science Foundation grant to study
people’s use of social media and how it affects their happiness.

“Social media” refers to myriad Internet services, including
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Yelp, in which users make connections to
friends and businesses. Many businesses use social media to market
products and services.

“With social media invading our lives, we want to know why
people are using it and implications of that, particularly with regard
to people’s well-being and psychological health,” Hoffman said in a
statement.

Hoffman and Novak are co-directors of the Sloan Center of
Internet Marketing. They plan to survey thousands of web users over two
years for the study.

Energy Department gives UC Riverside $1.2 million for emissions research

UC Riverside researchers will employ $1.2 million in Department of Energy money in a three-year project to research technology aimed at helping drivers reduce fuel consumption and emissions.

Researchers are seeking to develop technology that would provide feedback to drivers to aid in trip planning and more efficient driving habits.

“This grant allows us to go beyond small, anecdotal studies to show, on a large scale, the significant positive economic and environmental impacts of eco-driving principles and the value of feedback systems,” said researcher Matthew Barth said in statement.

Barth is the project’s principal investigator and director of UC Riverside’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology at the Bourns College of Engineering.