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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Why Did Steve Job’s Death Affect People Who Never Knew Him?

July 13, 2012

The profound sense of loss and public mourning that followed the death of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was a reflection of how great an impact he had on society and on the lives of individuals through the technology he helped to create. The magnitude and reasons for the outpouring of emotion upon his death by people who did not know him personally are explored in an article in Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers (http://www.liebertpub.com). The article is available free online at the Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking (http://www.liebertpub.com/cyber) website.

“Steve Jobs touched so many people because he dared to be different, he was unconventional, he was brilliant, and that, combined with his uncompromising nature, resulted in a company whose products had no peer,” says Mary Ann Liebert, CEO and Publisher. “Very few of us know anyone like that personally, and when he died, a hero and a magician was gone.”

“We’ll Miss You Steve: How the Death of a Technology Innovator Emotionally Impacts Those Who Use and Love his Digital Devices (http://online.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/cyber.2011.0623),” reviews three studies that explore people’s emotional connections to technology and even to a particular device and how that relationship may extend beyond the technology to feelings of personal connectedness and loss when the relationship ends.

Andrew Przybylski, University of Essex, Colchester, U.K., compares and discusses the findings of studies conducted during the weeks following Steve Jobs’ death in October 2011. The studies evaluated the types of people most likely to be emotionally impacted and how their psychological link to Apple devices relates to their sadness and overall response to Jobs’ passing.

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