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Positive expressive technologies for social wellness

Drawing on research from the fields of HCI, social and positive psychology, this thesis investigates the design of technologies that encourage the expression of positive emotions. In parallel, it details the deployment of effective design steps to guide, frame and eventually support understandings of positive mental and social usage effects of technology. Different artefacts termed PosiPost have been iteratively developed as exemplars for the discussion and exploration of the ways in which technologies can support positive communication and social sharing. Studies with these technologies have been conducted to explore how these can encourage positive communication and understand how they contribute to social wellness. Specifically, the studies undertaken validate the hypothesis that the sharing of positive emotions as mediated by technology has beneficial social and mental effects. The first stage of the research examined whether and how social technology can be designed for positive affect. A theoretical framework, named THE Medium model was developed to support the design process. Furthermore, design considerations were produced for technologies that encourage the sharing of positive emotions. This latter involved two studies, paper-based and online, which showed the potential for a prefixbased elicitation of positive emotions and drove the design and development of a mobile tool called PosiPost Me (Mobile edition). The second stage of the design process focused on how positive emotions can be mediated by technology in a mobile context and how such tools were used and understood. The iterative design study process continued, resulting in PosiPost Be, a Bluetooth edition, which allows sharing of positive messages with people in close proximity to explore the social and potential positive effects of contextualizing posiposting by adding location as a factor. Results suggest that by using a prefix-strategy, messages of a positive and mundane nature can be shared and mediated by mobile technology. Analysis of the shared messages provides insights into people’s pleasant moments in daily life. A questionnaire instrument named SPOT was developed and used for the measurement of the effects of sharing pleasant moments with the developed mobile expressive technologies in further detail. The results suggest that lightweight positive expressive technologies can have beneficial social wellness effects. In particular, the study showed significant beneficial effects in reducing depressed feelings and increasing social interest in others. Participants also believed that the mobile PosiPost applications supported social connectedness, socio-pleasure, social and positive awareness, and positive thinking.
Date January 2009
CreatorsKanis, Marije
ContributorsBrinkman, W. P. ; Macredie, R.
PublisherBrunel University
Source SetsEthos UK
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeElectronic Thesis or Dissertation

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