Call for papers
MISUSE AND ABUSE OF INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
Special Issue of Interaction Studies:
Social Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial Systems
Current HCI research is witnessing a shift from a materialistic perspective
of viewing the computer as a tool for cognition to an experiential vision
where the computer becomes a medium for emotion. So far, investigations into
the user emotional engagement in computing have mainly addressed the
elicitation of positive feelings, including enjoyment, happiness, and fun.
Research in Funology (Blythe, Monk, Overbeeke, & Wright, 2003) echoes
Norman's conclusions about aesthetics: fun matters¬fun interfaces work
better. Unfortunately, enjoyment is not something added to an emotionally
neutral computing experience. The user's experiences are colored by a host
of emotions, many of them negative.
Workshops held at Interact2005 and CHI2006 (De Angeli, Brahnam, & Wallis,
2005; De Angeli, Brahnam, Wallis, & Dix, 2006) suggested that interface
design and metaphors can inadvertently rouse more than user dissatisfaction
and angry reactions: they can promote a wide range of negative behaviors
that are directed not only towards the machine but also towards other
people. The idea of a medium for emotion implies the possibility of harming
the user, designing computer programs which generate anger, sadness, fear,
The goal of this special issue is to address the darker side of HCI by
examining how computers sometimes bring about the expression of negative
emotions and disinhibited behaviour. We are interested, for example, in the
phenomena of human beings abusing their computers. Is it truly a form of
abuse? What consequences does it have on user¹s performance and interaction
design? Disinhibited behaviours directed against computers can take many
forms, ranging from verbally abusing a machine to physically attacking it.
In some cases, particularly in the case of embodied conversational agents,
there are questions about how the machine should respond to user abuses. We
are also interested in understanding the psychological underpinnings of
computer-mediated abuse and in exploring how HCI factors influence
human-to-human abuse in computer mediated communication. Key issues include,
but are not limited to:
* How does the misuse and abuse of the interface affect the user's
* How do different interface metaphors (embodied conversational characters,
windows, desktops, robots) shape a propensity to misuse or abuse the
* What design factors trigger or restrain disinhibited behaviors?
* How does technology-mediated abuse differ from other forms of abuse, e.g.,
the abuse of people, symbols, flags sacred objects, and personal property?
* How can we develop embodied conversational characters or robots that learn
to constrain users who engage in verbal abuse? Should ethical values for
human societies and HCI be identical? Do we even need to diffuse it?
* What social norms and values play a role on technology misuse and what
influence does the power distance between the agent/robot and the user have?
Blythe, M., Monk, A., Overbeeke, K., & Wright, P. (Eds.). (2003). Funology:
From Usability to Enjoyment. Boston: Kluwer, Academic Publisher.
De Angeli, A., Brahnam, S., & Wallis, P. (Eds.). (2005). Proceedings of the
Interact 2005 Workshop on Abuse: The dark side of Human-Computer
Interaction. Rome September 12.
De Angeli, A., Brahnam, S., Wallis, P., & Dix, A. (Eds.). (2006).
Proceedings of the CHI2006 workshop on Misuse and Abuse of Interactive
Technologies. Montreal, April 22.
Antonella De Angeli (University of Manchester), UK
Sheryl Brahnam (Missouri State University), US
Christoph Bartneck (Eindhoven University of Technology), NL
Catherine Pelachaud (Université de Paris 8), FR
Research articles should not exceed 8000 words. Contributions should be in
British or American English and should follow the American Psychological
Association (APA) style. Please submit an electronic file of your paper
(preferably in PDF), double spaced, with margins of 3 cm all round to:
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The first page of a manuscript should contain the title of the article, the
name, affiliation, email and postal address of each author. Followed by a
self-contained abstract in English (max. 150 words) that includes the
keywords pertaining to your article, and a biographical note about the
author(s) of not more than 100 words.
Authors intending to submit are encouraged to contact Antonella De Angeli as
soon as possible to discuss paper ideas and suitability for this issue.
* January 19th, 2007: Submission
* March 9th, 2007: Notification of acceptance
* April 6th, 2007: Submission of camera¬ ready version
Interaction Studies aims to advance knowledge in the growing and strongly
interdisciplinary area of interaction studies in biological and artificial
systems. It intends to act as a medium for dialogues across the boundaries
of academic disciplines for research into social behaviour and communication
that has traditionally been presented in separate specialist journals.
Editor-in-Chief: Kerstin Dautenhahn and James Hurford
Department of Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire, UK
University of Edinburgh, UK
Antonella De Angeli
Centre for Human-Computer Interaction Design
School of Informatics, the University of Manchester
Manchester M60 1QD, United Kingdom
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