How are you feeling? Using Tangibles to Log the Emotions of Older Adults

Gooch, Daniel; Mehta, Vikram; Price, Blaine; McCormick, Ciaran; Bandara, Arosha; Bennaceur, Amel; Bennasar, Mohamed; Stuart, Avelie; Clare, Linda; Levine, Mark; Cohen, Jessica and Nuseibeh, Bashar (2020). How are you feeling? Using Tangibles to Log the Emotions of Older Adults. In: Fourteenth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction (TEI ’20), ACM pp. 31–43.



The global population is ageing, leading to shifts in healthcare needs. Home healthcare monitoring systems currently focus on physical health, but there is an increasing recognition that psychological wellbeing also needs support. This raises the question of how to design devices that older adults can interact with to log their feelings. We designed three tangible prototypes, based on existing paper-based scales of affect. We report findings from a lab study in which participants used the prototypes to log the emotion from standardised emotional vignettes. We found that the prototypes allowed participants to accurately record identified emotions in a reasonable time. Our participants expressed a perceived need to record emotions, either to share with family/carers or for self-reflection. We conclude that our work demonstrates the potential for in-home tangible devices for recording the emotions of older adults to support wellbeing.

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