Friday, May 30, 2014

This week in EID – Episode 6

This week really spanned a wide variety of topics.  I was going to say that it spans a wide variety of interesting topics, but I suppose that is up to you to decide.

Monday looked at one of my favorite topics, so I hope you found this post interesting.  Affective cognition is the term for what I consider a counterintuitive but critical aspect of the way we (humans) think.  It seems to us most of the time that we are using either logic OR emotion. But we (in cognitive neuroscience) have learned that to the two areas of the brain are so inextricably wired together that every decision we make is actually made up of both processes – working together or at odds.  This post looks at a particular application of this idea – having a system monitor the user’s emotional state to customize the way it works accordingly.  The trick is knowing what “accordingly” means.      

It is not often that I get to talk about mating rituals in a human factors post.  That alone made it a fun one. But when it also gives us some good insights on improving safety, that is an added bonus.


This post has already received some input (thanks Jaime!).  It is a design for a calendar widget that I am conflicted about.  There are some interesting ideas encapsulated there, but I am not sure the implementation works.  I am really interested in what others think.


This post covers another of my favorite topics, in this case priming.  This post focuses on the mental models we get about products and brands. But priming happens all the time in just about everything we do.  A totally unrelated thought can prime the next one if they are contiguous. I just read a great summary of several studies on this, which I will be posting about next week.