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Empatchi: a phatic technology to support emotion regulation

Pradana, Gilang Andi (2018). Empatchi: a phatic technology to support emotion regulation. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City, University of London)


Experiencing emotions is a fundamental aspect of human life. It triggers an emotion regulation process which helps us to manage our emotion and move back into our emotional equilibrium. The process starts as an internal process in our own self (intrapersonal emotion regulation) which can lead us to share our emotion with others (interpersonal emotion regulation). We seek interpersonal interaction so that others can provide support, which in turn enables us to regulate our emotions. In contrast, research suggests that our behaviour in using technology that promised to improve our relationships is undermining empathy, and making us more socially isolated, which may be caused by the poor support that technology provides for emotion regulation. However, the solution is not to avoid technology. One suitable approach is to provide support for phatic interaction, which focuses on signalling awareness and readiness to communicate, and has the benefit of establishing the possibility of communication and improving social bonds. Lightweight signal exchanges using phatic interaction are important to create the opportunity for social sharing, which is essential for interpersonal emotion regulation. However, many studies exploring phatic technologies have not shown how supporting phatic interaction can provide benefit beyond connectedness: How can this facilitate the need of to regulate emotions and to move back into the emotional equilibrium? This is what this thesis trying to investigate. This research aims to establish, evaluate, and validate design implications using the phatic interaction approach as a guideline to develop interactive technology to support emotion regulation. To achieve this, three studies were conducted. These studies contributed in establishing design implications, proposing a mobile app and validating it to ultimately answer our research questions and understand what are the aspects that matter when supporting emotion regulation with technology, and how providing support for phatic interaction can help to achieve that.

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: T Technology
Departments: Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > School of Science & Technology Doctoral Theses
School of Science & Technology > Computer Science
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