Ratings and Recommender Systems Lecture

Solomn Asch’s legacy for group research is all about the perception of individuals and groups and I was recently listening to a podcast which shows different aspects of this article by showing how the lives of three individuals from Food Network Star lives have changed since being on the series. Alton Brown on the Alton Browncast interviews Damaris Phillips, Russell Jackson, and Rodney Henry. It aired August 9, 2013, they were part of Season 9 reality television.

He starts out with how their lives change as they go around town and people’s reactions of recognizing them and how they handled it. Suddenly they have fans. All these people who watch the Food Network Star recognize them and have taken an interest in them. They can all relate to each other.

The choices that people make I find are quite interesting. The only reason I bring this particular episode is that Brown makes some statements which I am going to paraphrase:
The judges are: Bobby Flay who desires great cooks, Giada De Laurentiis who looks for smiles and sparkle, and Brown who looks for “raw charisma”. All of this has to work around the world of culinary arts. Together they make the decision for who the winner will be.

But on the first day of every season of the Food Network Star Brown puts a name on a piece of paper based on what he sees and puts that piece of paper in a safe and it is not taken out until the end of the season. Brown says most of the time the name he places on the piece of paper ends up being the winner. He uses Asch’s pattern as Brown forms an impression from all the people who are in the competition and made his choice. Brown quantifies in the broadcast that he has no vested interest in the person he chooses on the paper and that he becomes more vested in competitors the more he gets to know them as the competition continues.

They also talk about Danushka Lysek who was universally hated by the audience, but who the other contestants liked. Almost all the contestants were chefs, but they all had an interest in food. The people watching Food Network Star may have had an interest food but in may have been in passing or they could have just loved watching reality television so they did not have the same vested interest as the people on the program.

Casting: Danushka Lysek from Food Network Star

This video was posted on May 20, 2013 by the Food Network on Youtube and has 4,400+ views with 15 thumbs up and 33 thumbs down. If you head over to Youtube you will see 41 comments all in which the audience is putting her down. Lysek in this tale becomes the villain in the minds of the viewers and how the show is edited for the television.


The Alton Browncast #7: And Then There Were Three By Katie Levine On August 9, 2013

Levine, J. (1999). Solomon Asch’s legacy for group research. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 3(4), 358.

Cosley, D., Lam, S., Albert, I., Konstan, J., & Riedl, J. (2003). Is seeing believing? How recommender system interfaces affect users’ opinions. Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems, 585–592.

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