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Technological Constructions of Reality: An Ontological Perspective
Unformatted Document Text:  Running Head: TECHNOLOGICAL CONSTRUCTION OF REALITY Gardener (2007) recently conducted a study that examined the role of mindlessness in attributing gender-stereotypes in computer tutorials. According to Johnson and Gardener (2007), “‘media equals real life’; that is, people’s interactions with televisions, computers and new media are fundamentally social and natural” (p. 151). Based on media-equation theory, this study found that based on gender and mood, participants gender-stereotyped computers through interaction with the tutorials. This study shows a new theoretical strand developing that has found empirical evidence for social dynamic characteristics between humans to be found in human-computer relationships (like gender-stereotyping). This theory helps to depict another way in which interacting with technology shapes the way people perceive themselves, technology and their realities. Another theory that developed from the medium theory body of research is technological determinism, which asserts, “all social, political, economic, and cultural change is inevitably based on the development of diffusion of technology” (Baran & Davis, 2006, p. 303). This theory holds that the development and advancement of technology dictates its own progression as well as the cultural and societal structures that change in response to it (Barnes, 2000). Criticisms against this theory focus on the technocentric view the theory posits that almost every phenomenon must be attributed to the development of technology. Other criticisms argue that the theory is too strong in its assertion that technology development is out of human control and thus humans fall prey to its repercussions (Alvarez, 1999). More accurately, a type of technological determinism is at play in society where some technology development does shape cultural forces while simultaneously some cultural forces shape the future of technological development. For example, the advent of the Internet led way to the current hypermedia 1 reality 1 Hypermedia is described to be a form of new media that intertwines visual, textual, video and audio media in a non-linear fashion that spans historical time and space restrictions (Barbatsis, 1999). 10

Authors: Vincent, Cindy.
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Gardener (2007) recently conducted a study that examined the role of mindlessness in attributing 
gender-stereotypes in computer tutorials.  According to Johnson and Gardener (2007), “‘media 
equals real life’; that is, people’s interactions with televisions, computers and new media are 
fundamentally social and natural” (p. 151).  Based on media-equation theory, this study found 
that based on gender and mood, participants gender-stereotyped computers through interaction 
with the tutorials.  This study shows a new theoretical strand developing that has found empirical 
evidence for social dynamic characteristics between humans to be found in human-computer 
relationships (like gender-stereotyping).  This theory helps to depict another way in which 
interacting with technology shapes the way people perceive themselves, technology and their 
Another theory that developed from the medium theory body of research is technological 
determinism, which asserts, “all social, political, economic, and cultural change is inevitably 
based on the development of diffusion of technology” (Baran & Davis, 2006, p. 303).  This 
theory holds that the development and advancement of technology dictates its own progression 
as well as the cultural and societal structures that change in response to it (Barnes, 2000). 
Criticisms against this theory focus on the technocentric view the theory posits that almost every 
phenomenon must be attributed to the development of technology.  Other criticisms argue that 
the theory is too strong in its assertion that technology development is out of human control and 
thus humans fall prey to its repercussions (Alvarez, 1999).  More accurately, a type of 
technological determinism is at play in society where some technology development does shape 
cultural forces while simultaneously some cultural forces shape the future of technological 
development.  For example, the advent of the Internet led way to the current hypermedia
 Hypermedia is described to be a form of new media that intertwines visual, textual, video and 
audio media in a non-linear fashion that spans historical time and space restrictions (Barbatsis, 

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