Influencing appraisals of emotional valence with spatial touchscreen interactions: An embodied approach to Positive Technology

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Dokumentart: Dissertation
Date: 2017-12-19
Language: English
Faculty: 7 Mathematisch-Naturwissenschaftliche Fakultät
Department: Psychologie
Advisor: Gerjets, Peter (Prof. Dr.)
Day of Oral Examination: 2017-12-15
DDC Classifikation: 150 - Psychology
Keywords: Gefühl , Touchscreen , Affektivität
Other Keywords:
Emotional valence
embodied cognition;
touchscreen interaction
License: Publishing license including print on demand
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Could bodily interactions with touchscreen interfaces influence users´s affective experiences? The present dissertation investigates, from an embodied perspective, the potential of touchscreen interfaces as "positive technologies". Positive Technology is an emergent research area within the fields of Cyberpsychology and Human-Computer Interaction interested in examining and promote the quality of user´s affective experiences. However, despite touchscreens enable the manipulation of digital contents directly with the hands, very little is known about how such physical interaction may influence user´s affectivity. This question was approached from theory and research on embodied cognition, which postulate that perception and action influence cognitive and emotional functioning. Specifically, it was considered the integration of (a) research on embodied interaction with touchscreen interfaces suggesting that manipulating visual contents (e.g., images) with directional interaction gestures (e.g., swiping) may stimulate their meaningful cognitive representation; and (b) experimental findings in psychology indicating that the processing of emotional valence is strongly associated with bodily dimensions of space and related directional arm movements (i.e., horizontal, vertical, and sagittal). Against this background, right-handed subjects swiped positive and negative emotional pictures on a horizontal (Study 1), vertical (Study 2), and sagittal (Study 3) space of a touchscreen monitor. Concretely, it was examined if and how such interactions would influence subjects´affectivity as reflected in their valence appraisals towards the pictures. The crucial finding was that all studies revealed affective matchings between the pictures´ valence category and the spatial touchscreen interactions, whereby these matchings mostly led to positive appraisals. Conversely, mismatchings generally led to negative appraisals. Positive Technology fields might benefit from these findings, which boundaries will be discussed in light of embodiment theory and action planning paradigms.

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