Log Book

Presentation & Workshop: Junior Research Conference 2016

17 November 2016
On 17 November 2016, I presented at the Junior Research Conference in Basel, Switzerland, hosted by the FHNW Academy of Art and Design. Masters students from design universities from all over Switzerland (FHNW, HKB, HEAD, ECAL, HSLU, and ZHdK) were invited to listen to presentations and take part in the workshops given by twelve selected students.

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I presented the current stand of my work, specifically addressing:
1. The system I use to record my emotions
2. Having multiple experiences, all of which differ, but recording the same emotion label
3. The need for contextual information (usually qualitative) when recording emotion
4. The possibility of emotional awareness (through data collection and analyzation) leading to avoidance, control and creation of desired emotion experiences

You can read a script of my presentation here.

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In the afternoon, I led a workshop with 24 students. In the workshop we discussed quite a breadth of topics, drew some data and addressed possibilities in visualizing emotion data.
Together we recorded three emotion experiences that we have all shared: our First Kiss, our Interview for Masters Program and our most recent Break Up.

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Intro data-drawing project: students filled out the same diagram based on where they were born, their gender, whether they believe in intelligent life and how many times they’ve moved in their life. Initially this exercised was designed to do two things:

  • Give everyone the experience of recording data, should they not already do it in some form
  • Show that data on these topics are simple, finite and rarely blurry As we promptly found out, there are still ways to find grey area in this exercise. What exactly constitutes a move - distance? How long do you have to stay someone else to consider it a move? What if the move was involuntary?

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(Some of the data recorded in the intro exercise.)

The second set of exercises served as a test for me to explain the emotion dimensions I used in my system: Intensity, Control, Conduciveness, Valence and Arousal. I expected there to be much more confusion about them, but I was pleasantly surprised that there wasn’t. As a group we talked about which dimensions tended to positive correlate (Intensity and Arousal and Valence and Conduciveness) and identified in which instances they varied, therefore giving the nuance between emotion experiences.

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(Some of the data recorded in the 3 emotion experiences exercise.)

For me, there were a few key-take aways from my conversation:

  • Many of the participants wished the system to account for multiple inputs in one day, as opposed to summing up the entire day in one emotion label. This would allow for less time to pass until a user would have to recall how they felt during an emotion experience.
  • The issue of data privacy also came up (so far it has only one time before during a presentation at ZHdK). Unfortunately we weren’t able to discuss it too much in length but a few people said that they would use the tracking feature, just not a feature that would connect their emotion data to other apps.
  • Who are the users/what is the context for this recording tool? This is something that I’ve been currently working through in my research, so the discussion within the workshop was an affirmation of my target audiences. Many people say the value of such a tool within psychology, however, it would need to have a bit more customization included to address cases in which users (or patients) were taking mood altering medications.
  • It is important to address that my intentions for a visual system is not for users to compare their emotion experiences to other users. It is a self-exploration tool, and only when the tool is shared with another party (i.e. therapist) will the user need to be clear on how they use the system. Ideally this system functions as a consistent act of self-disclosure and an emotion-focused method of recording one’s personal experiences (or: journaling).

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Next Post

Design: Explorations in Interactive Visualization

20 October 2016
Based on the feedback from my Emotion Tracking Experiment, I've continued iteration on visual outputs for recorded emotion data.