Research scheme: Positive emodiversity facilitated by technology and its influence on well-being. Credit: UNIST

A recent study, led by Professor Chajoong Kim in the Department of Design at UNIST has investigated, for the first time, how the diversity of positive emotions mediated by everyday technologies (both tangible and digital) affects users’ well-being.

In this study, Professor Kim examined the effects of emotional complexity, focusing on diverse positive emotions stimulated by everyday technologies.

To do so, the research team took a fine-grained perspective on the roles that technologies play in stimulating a higher level of positive emodiversity by considering the three different sources of positive emotions: (1) Object, (2) Instrument, and (3) Enabler. They, then, evaluated how technology-supported hedonic and eudaimonic pursuits are associated with well-being. In total, 580 cases were collected (116 participants x 5 technologies).

Their findings unveiled that when users engage in positive activities supported by a technology (i.e., an enabler), they tend to experience more diverse positive emotions, and increased positive emodiversity leads to increased well-being. According to the research team, the main contribution is the establishment of initial evidence that greater diversity in positive emotions in technology use can enhance the well-being of users.

“[W]e conclude that users’ well-being can be better supported by designing for a wide diversity of positive emotions that transcend the traditional unitary concept of pleasure-displeasure distinction,” noted the research team. “We hope that this paper will serve as a good starting point for further investigation into the impact of technology on emotional complexity and well-being, and the development of methods and tools that assist designers to make a positive impact through their designs.”

The findings of this study have first been published online in the journal International Journal of Human-Computer interaction.

More information:
JungKyoon Yoon et al, Positive Emodiversity in Everyday Human-Technology Interactions and Users’ Subjective Well-Being, International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction (2022). DOI: 10.1080/10447318.2022.2121564

Provided by
Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology