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psychnology Tables of Contents: 010203040506070809101112

PsychNology Journal 4

Editors:Luciano Gamberini; Giuseppe Riva; Anna Spagnolli
Standard No:ISSN 1720-7525
Links:www.psychnology.org | Table of Contents
  1. psychnology 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1
  2. psychnology 2006 Volume 4 Issue 2
  3. psychnology 2006 Volume 4 Issue 3

psychnology 2006 Volume 4 Issue 1

Editorial Preface BIBPDF 5-6
  Luciano Gamberini; Anna Spagnolli; Giuseppe Riva
Navigating Information Space: Web site design and lessons from the built environment BIBAKPDF 7-24
  David Benyon
The Web is the archetypal information space but even on a well designed site it can be difficult to find all the information you need. It is impossible to design a site so that all the information needs of all the users of the site are satisfied on a single screen. Accordingly people have to pick up information from a variety of sources; they move through the information space to gather all the information that is required. This is generally called 'navigation'. Navigation is concerned with finding out about, and moving through, an environment. Of course there is a long history of designing for navigation in physical spaces. Architects, urban planners, geographers and others have studied navigation and learnt how to design physical spaces to help people find the place they are looking for, to enjoy exploration for its own sake, or to help find their way through a space to get somewhere else. The question arises as to whether we can leverage any of this knowledge for the design of information spaces such as Web sites. In this paper we review a variety of views on navigation of physical space to see how this knowledge might transfer to the design of information spaces. The example of using Gordon Cullen's serial vision theory to design a Web site map is used to show the transfer of knowledge from the design of urban space to the design of digital space. Guidelines for good Web site design and examples of how social navigation can be used within Web sites are provided.
Keywords: Navigation, information space, urban planning, built environments, environmental psychology, Web site design
Stereotypes and Gender Identity in Italian and Chilean Chat Line Rooms BIBAKPDF 25-52
  Francesca Cilento Ibarra; Carlo Galimberti
This work is an attempt to analyzed how men and women communicate gender identity using stereotypical traits in a chat line environment, through quantitative and qualitative data. In the Study 1 (Coding & Counting Approach, Herring, 2004), the 80 same-sex conversation (40 men and 40 women; 40 Italian and 40 Chilean), reached in public chatrooms, were analyzed utilizing some categories of Project H-Codebook and the X2. Categories considered were: Firstper, Opinion, Apology, Question, Emoticon, Emodevice, Coalition_1, Coalition_2, Fact, Action, Challenge, Flame, Status, Style. Results show no significant differences between women and men in the use of these categories, except for Flame (p<0.001). In Study 2 we adopt the method of Conversational Analysis to the study of conversational dynamics through which chatters co-construct their identity. Qualitative results have underlined the presence of specific gender related mechanism, and so the possibility to understand the construction of online subjectivity through relationships. Our results or suggest the opportunity to investigate communicative style both through quantitative and qualitative differences.
Keywords: Identity, CMC, Gender, Conversational Analysis, Language Style
Social Network Analysis: A brief theoretical review and further perspectives in the study of Information Technology BIBAKPDF 53-86
  Francesco Martino; Andrea Spoto
Social Network Analysis is a widely used approach in psychology, as in social science, economics and other fields. The peculiarity of this perspective is that it focuses not on individuals or other social units, but on the relationship between them. In this paper, our aim is to give a general review of this perspective giving a description of resources and principal topics covered by Social Network Analysis. In the first section, we will concentrate on methodological and formal perspectives of analysis. In the last section, we will introduce some recent studies about Social Network and its relationship with Information Technologies, in particular on the Internet. Lastly, we will show how this approach can be useful to study some aspects of the web.
Keywords: blogosphere, social network indexes, social quantitative indexes, hyperlinking networks, roles algebra, Computer Mediated Communication
Radiology Informatics and Work Flow Redesign BIBAKPDF 87-101
  Guido Vaccari; Carlo Saccavini
The transformation from film-based to filmless operations has become more and more challenging as medical imaging studies expand in size and complexity. To adapt to these changes radiologists must actively develop new workflow strategies to deal with increasing work demand. This article addresses the evolutionary changes underway in the radiology interpretation process, reviews shifts that have occurred in the past years and presents our departments experience with an open source radiological information system based on IHE (Integrating Healthcare Enterprise) directives. These undergoing changes include a number of development in soft-copy interpretation, electronic decision support and learning tools such as MIRC (Medical Imaging Resource Center).
Keywords: radiology informatics, radiological workflow, human computer interaction, PACS, RIS, MIRC
The PASION Project: Psychologically Augmented Social Interaction Over Networks BIBAKPDF 103-116
  Maria Cristina Brugnoli; Federico Morabito; Richard Walker; Fabrizio Davide
Ever more frequently, social and particularly group interactions, involve mediated communication. Yet we know very little about the factors determining the effectiveness of the interaction. How do participants in mediated communication substitute the implicit, and non verbal signals which play such an important role in traditional, face to face communication? What are the equivalent signals in a mediated environment? The mechanisms involved in traditional communication are well-known. By contrast, very little is known about the forms of mediated communication. For instance, we do not know the role of implicit and non-verbal communication when the communication takes place in a mediated environment. PASION's working hypothesis is that in mediated environments these messages will take completely new forms and that these forms are due to group interactions in technology-mediated environments. As current communication technologies are ineffective in conveying the social, non-verbal and contextual information required for effective communication, PASION will deliver an innovative shared virtual environment where a pioneering mediated social communication will take place.
Keywords: social presence, mediated social interaction, shared virtual environments, non-verbal and contextual information.

psychnology 2006 Volume 4 Issue 2

Emerging Trends in CyberTherapy. Introduction to the Special Issue BIBAKPDF 121-128
  Giuseppe Riva; Brenda K. Wiederhold
According to the recent reports presented by IST Advisory Group (ISTAG) the evolutionary technology scenarios in support of the Knowledge Society of the 2010s will be rooted within three dominant trends: (a) Ambient Intelligence, the pervasive diffusion of intelligence in the space around us; (b) B3G, "Beyond 3rd Generation" mobile communication system; (c) Shared Virtual Reality, with the increase of the range, accessibility and comprehensiveness of communications.
   The convergence of these trends manifests itself as the next frontier of Information Communication Technologies. This convergence stimulates a change in the way health care is carried out making it an embodied experiential process in which communication and collaboration of geographically dispersed users may also play a key role.
   In this special issue we will try to outline this process and its potential for the future of cybertherapy. We suggest that a key role will be played by the attainment of "Immersive Virtual Telepresence" (IVT). In IVT tools, distributed virtual reality systems are combined with wireless multimedia facilities -- real-time video -- and innovative input devices -- tracking sensors, biosensors, brain-computer interfaces.
Keywords: Cybertherapy, Ambient Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Mobile Communication, Biosensors
Using a Flexible Virtual Environment for Treating a Storm Phobia BIBAKPDF 129-144
  Cristina Botella; Rosa M. Baños; Belén Guerrero; Azucena García-Palacios; Soledad Quero; Mariano Alcañíz
Most of the Virtual Environments (VE) currently available in the field of psychological treatments are designed to solve a specific problem (acrophobia, flying phobia, claustrophobia, etc.). Our research group has developed a versatile Virtual Reality (VR) system (an adaptive display) that could be useful for different problems. In previous studies, a VR application called "EMMA's world" was developed for the treatment of PTSD and pathological grief. The aim of the present work is to show the utility of this system for the treatment of a storm phobia. The patient was a 70 year-old woman, who was not familiar at all with computer technologies. As the patient was not able to confront even a virtual storm, the treatment was applied in two phases: In vivo exposure (exploding balloons), and exposure to VE simulating storms, rain, thunders and lightings. Results showed changes in the expected direction and were maintained at 6-month follow-up.
Keywords: virtual reality exposure, adaptive display, psychological treatment, specific phobia
The Application of a Sensory Integration Treatment Based on Virtual Reality-Tangible Interaction for Children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder BIBAKPDF 145-159
  Ko-Eun Jung; Hyun-Jhin Lee; Young-Sik Lee; Seong-Shim Cheong; Min-Young Choi; Dong-Soo Suh; Dongsoo Suh; Shezeen Oah; Sookhee Lee; Jang-Han Lee
Children with autistic spectrum disorders have difficulties integrating motor and sensory experiences. It is important to address therapeutic interventions for these children. However, there are some limitations of the sensory integration therapy and the application of virtual reality for autistic children. SIT based on VR-TIS (VR-SIT) has three components: measurement of coordination ability, social skills training, sensory integration therapy. These components all originated from sensory integration therapy. A total of 12 autistic children and 20 healthy controls, all aged between five and six years, participated in this study. There are significant differences in autistic children and healthy controls for coordination ability measurement and social skill training. We found that it is possible to apply our system to the assessment of, and the therapy for, autistic children.
Keywords: Autism, Virtual reality, Sensory integration, Virtual reality tangible interaction
The development of an integrated psychosocial approach to effective usability of 3D Virtual Environments for Cybertherapy BIBAKPDF 161-180
  Carlo Galimberti; Gloria Belloni; Matteo Cantamesse; Alberto Cattaneo; Fabiana Gatti; Maddalena Grassi; Luca Menti
The aim of the paper is to describe a possible direction of development and theoretical model for ergonomic research in the Virtual Reality (VR) field dedicated to psychotherapy applications. Through considerations on the strong points and limitations encountered during two different projects dedicated to the creation of virtual reality environments (VRE) for use in psychotherapy, it comments on the concepts of ecology and context of use. The theoretical perspective proposed intends to highlight the evolution from an ecology of state to an ecology of process. Given the considerable obstacles connected primarily to the lack of accepted standards for the ergonomic evaluation of 3D environments and the specific nature of the applications and user type in question, ergonomic research will represent an increasingly highly strategic aspect of clinical protocol design and upgrades: a number of closing considerations are dedicated to the operative aspects of ergonomic research and the role of the researcher.
Keywords: VR Ergonomics, VR usability, Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy
Grasping Virtual Objects: a Feasibility Study for an Enactive Interface Application in Stroke BIBAKPDF 181-197
  Francesca Morganti; Karine Goulene; Andrea Gaggioli; Marco Stramba-Badiale; Giuseppe Riva
Recent studies show that 30% to 66% of patients who suffered a stroke are unable to recover the upper limb functionality and that most patients present motor disability five years after the acute event. Despite a general motor recovery the incapability to reach and grasp objects in the usual environment remains one of the most common disabilities after stroke. At the present time treatments for such impairments have been based on movement repetition of targeted tasks as part of training activities. Clinicians, however, are still looking for the possibility to provide a rehabilitation procedure that could match the natural and intuitive mode of interaction with objects that humans generally have in reaching and grasping in the daily contexts. In the last years the evolution of technologies appears to meet this request, notably with the growing of enactive interfaces. Such interfaces support the perception-action interactions with an environment allowing users to learn how to perform a useful action in a particular context. The expertise gained through the interaction with this multimodal interfaces results, in fact, in the acquisition of intuitive movements that is essentially based on subjective experience and on the perceptual consequences of their motor acts. The main aim of this work is to investigate the technical and clinical feasibility of using an enactive interface in the rehabilitation of reaching and grasping movements of upper-limb hemiparesis that occurred after stroke. In this study ischemic stroke patients will be requested to perform technology-enhanced grasping task at our rehabilitation center, in addition to usual physical therapy.
Keywords: Motor skill, Rehabilitation, Enactive interfaces, Stroke, Reaching and grasping functions

psychnology 2006 Volume 4 Issue 3

Editorial Preface: Special Issue: Designing Technology to Meet the Needs of the Older User BIBPDF 203-204
A Review of Memory Aid Devices for an Ageing Population BIBAKPDF 205-243
  Niamh Caprani; John Greaney; Nicola Porter
The trend for designing memory aids for cognitively impaired elderly individuals is fast growing. In an effort to assist elderly people to carry out tasks of everyday living and to relieve caregivers, several memory aid technologies have recently been introduced. These devices range from everyday technologies such as handheld PDA's to integrated sensory cueing devices. Based on the published literature describing these devices, this review will look at how these memory aids are designed to assist the user and whether they meet the needs and requirements of the older user. From the evaluations of these devices, it was shown that participant performances with the support of the memory systems were significantly improved compared to performances where the participants used internal strategies for remembering. These results show that electronic memory aids do have the potential to support memory in older individuals. This review will provide an insight into prospective memory and ageing, and the compensation devices which are designed to support memory decline due to ageing. There are three goals for the present review: (1) to outline the needs of older adults, (2) to review current memory aid devices, and (3) to consider how these devices meet the users needs.
Keywords: compensatory memory device, older adult, cognitively impaired, dementia
An investigation into Older People's Browsing Activities BIBAKPDF 245-265
  Prush Sa-nga-ngam; Sri Kurniawan
This paper presents quantitative data on browsing activities with 63 respondents aged 55 years old and over from three countries. The questionnaire explored frequently browsed topics, browser's functions used, browsing tasks performed, problems with standard browsers and features to add to a standard browser to make it more ageing-friendly. The study revealed various aspects of Internet uses, including the topics accessed and places of access, browsing tasks, problems and assistive features required. This study makes several contributions to the field. First, it provides comprehensive account of older persons' browsing activities. Second, it uses Exploratory Factor Analysis to unravel the underlying factors beneath older persons' browsing tasks. Finally, this is a cross-country study, which arguably makes the findings less susceptible to cultural bias.
Keywords: Ageing, web browsers, elderly, older adults, human computer interaction
Inclusive Design and Human Factors: Designing Mobile Phones for Older Users BIBAKPDF 267-284
  Matthew Pattison; Alex Stedmon
This paper reviews the human factors requirements of mobile phones in order to facilitate inclusive design and provide older users with technological support that enhances their day-to-day lives. Particular emphasis is placed on whether human factors requirements are fully considered and meet the needs of older users. The scope of this review is necessarily wide including: human factors, gerontology, inclusive design, technology and design research methodologies. Initial consideration is given to understanding what it means to be an older user and the changes that occur with the aging process. Older user requirements are examined in relation to achieving inclusive design solutions and the way in which human factors methodology can be used to support inclusive design goals. From this standpoint, attention is given to the design of mobile phones, considering how human factors issues are reflected in product design and context of use beyond the phone handset to the wider interaction environment. This paper does not propose specific direction from primary research findings but argues for a 'state of the union' with regard to the current approaches designers and manufacturers adopt and the effects that design decisions have on potential end users. This paper argues that when effective and flexible human factors methodology and inclusive design ethos is integrated into the product development process global benefits to a wide user population can maximise inclusion as opposed to exclusion via technological advances.
Keywords: Human factors, inclusive design, older users, mobile phones, cell of exclusion
Cognition, technology and games for the elderly: An introduction to ELDERGAMES Project BIBAKPDF 285-308
  Luciano Gamberini; Mariano Alcaniz; Giacinto Barresi; Malena Fabregat; Francisco Ibanez; Lisa Prontu
Eldergames is a EU funded project to develop games using advanced visualisation and interaction interfaces to improve the cognitive, functional and social skills of older users. The project merges two major areas to which technology for the elderly people is applied, health and social engagement. Its platform will allow to improve the users' cognitive skill and individual well-being by playing on a mixed reality platform; on the other hand, it will offer the unusual experience of communicating with people located on other countries without the need to share the same language. After introducing the field of gerontology and the project, the paper describes the main cognitive abilities that change with aging (perception, attention, memory, and other more specific processes such as decision making), and that have to be taken into account while designing a technology for the elderly people. Some guidelines that are specifically meant to ensure usability of these products are listed in the conclusions.
Keywords: successful aging; cognitive aging; gerontechnology; playing
The "Augmented itineraries": Mobile services differentiating what museum has to offer BIBAKPDF 311-335
  Maria Cristina Brugnoli; Federico Morabito; Giancarlo Bo; Elena Murelli; Richard Walker; Fabrizio Davide
Museums are the mechanism through which we research, interpret and present our insights into the natural and cultural worlds. They represent our belief systems concerning cultural inter-relationships, our relationship with the environment and of our place in the Universe. They are windows on the "dream-time" of humanity. Wireless technology is becoming a part of the museum experience. In an effort to bring art and science to life for a new generation of technically sophisticated patrons, an increasing number of museums are experimenting with advanced mobile technologies to make museum going more interactive, more educational -- and more fun. An ideal electronic guide to a museum is one that you take at the entrance, put in your pocket and forget you have. It should fully support a free, natural visit providing the most appropriate information at the right time and place. The only activity required of visitors is to enjoy the exhibition: the interaction is with the (augmented) museum, no longer with the guide; the guide analyses the context and composes presentations adapted to the current situation. In this paper we present the results of an experimentation conducted in the Florence's Uffizi Gallery with groups of user using the MOBILearn systems a novel application based on innovative mobile-learning services specifically designed to improve the Museum "experience". The main objective of this paper is to describe the results of qualitative research into the behavior of users during the trial. In particular the paper will present the participants' overall experience, responses and needs; the participants' responses to, and perceptions of, specific system capabilities (including responses relevant to the particular device they used in the trial), pointing to comments and suggestions that may serve to improve the system; and will finally identify "key findings" and provide general observations on how the MOBILearn system can change users' experience of a museum.
Keywords: mobile learning, interactive services for museums, user experience, augmented itineraries