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Tentative Workshop Schedule

Title Presenter(s) June 17
Positive Technology: exploring positive ways of designing technologies Giuseppe Riva
Andrea Gaggioli
2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Positive Technology: The Use of Technologies From Improving Well-Being and
Social Interactions

Giuseppe Riva and Andrea Gaggioli
Istituto Auxologico Italiano

The increasing diffusion of smartphones, wearable sensors and augmented/virtual reality is enabling a new range of services and applications. However, the pervasive presence of computers in our lives leads to a fundamental question: Do technologies make us happier?
Recently, an international group of scholars has started to address this issue, by developing a new field called Positive Technology". This approach combines the objectives of Positive Psychology - the scientific study of wellbeing - with advances in interactive technologies.

The broad goal of PT can be broken down into two main research and development paths:

  • personal wellbeing: how ubicomp technologies can be used to support positive thoughts and emotions, foster the development/expression of personal resources (i.e. knowledge, proactive coping, positive engagement modes, ecc.) and promote optimal experiences?

  • healthy living and ageing: how to use pervasive technologies to develop new, personalized intervention strategies to help people improving their overall nutritional, physical and emotional health?

One intent of this workshop is to raise interest in this emerging topic and bring together researchers and practitioners who are interested in the exploration and development of new applications and services using a combination of mobile, sensor and virtual technologies. Specific goals will be to report on the latest developments, to identify best practices in design and validation of PT applications and to consider ways forward to make progress.

Several issues require in-depth discussion, including but not limited to the following:

  • conceptual models for using emerging technologies in the promotion of psychological wellbeing;

  • technology-augmented cognition;

  • use of technology for promoting positive thoughts, mood, and behaviors, assessment and modeling of positive emotions, character strengths, and relationships;

  • patient-centered technologies for healthy behavior change;

  • assistive technology to support optimal functioning;

  • videogames and wellbeing;

  • technology and spirituality;

  • social technologies for wellbeing;

  • novel interfaces to induce positive emotions in users;

  • technology applications in stress monitoring and management;

  • empathic intelligent virtual agents for the promotion of healthy lifestyles.

The main goal of this workshop is to create a collaboration platform for a community of researchers and practitioners interested in exploring novel, positive ways of designing technologies.

Our workshop offers a forum for exchanging experiences, bringing forward novel ideas, and forming new and long-lasting collaborations.

Suggested readings:

  • Côté, S., & Bouchard, S. (2008). Virtual reality exposure's efficacy in the treatment of specific phobias: A critical review. Journal of CyberTherapy and Rehabilitation, 1, 75-91

  • Côté, S., & Bouchard, S. (2005) .Documenting the Efficacy of Virtual Reality Exposure with Psychophysiological and Information Processing Measures. Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback, 30, 217-232.

  • O'Donohue, W.T., & Fisher, J.E. (2009). Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Applying Empirically Supported Techniques in Your Practice. 2nd Chapters: Flooding, Functional Analysis of Problem Behavior, Interoceptive Exposure, Live (In Vivo) Exposure, Punishment, Relaxation, Shaping, Systematic Desensitization, Working with Implosive (Flooding) Therapy

  • Pintea, D.O.S., García-Palacios, A., Botella, C., Szamosközi, S. & David, D. (2012). Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy in Anxiety Disorders: A Quantitative Meta- Analysis. Depression and Anxiety, 29 85-91.

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