empathic interaction lynne hall. overview empathy in other media the market for empathic interaction...
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Empathy in other media The market for empathic interaction When is empathic interaction appropriate Domains where empathic interaction likely to
have impact How can we achieve empathic interaction
“An observer reacting emotionally because he perceives that another
is experiencing or about to experience an emotion”
Stotland et al., 1978
Our experience of empathy
The written word Harry Potter
Audio-visual Soaps Shrek
Music Anthems Theme Tunes
Lessons from other media
Empathising with individuals in understandable contexts
“Feeling” for the individuals Not necessarily liking nor wanting to emulate For specific human activities
Learning & exploring Recreation, enjoyment & fun Relaxing
Stronger empathy may be possible through using multiple communication channels
Interaction to evoke an empathic reaction in users Sorrow, Pity Anger, Irritation, Frustration Happiness, Pleasure, Joy, Delight Fear, Loss Association, Understanding
The Market for Empathic Interaction
Dramatic changes in user population Demographics & competences Goals & expectations
Technological potential Powerful multimedia machines as standard Infrastructure increasingly solid
The role of the PC No longer number cruncher but entertainer, educator, time-
filler, fun-maker Alternative to passive media
When should empathic interaction be used?
To enhance the task To increase usability To improve utility To add-value to the user experience
WHEN interaction improves for the user if he reacts emotionally in response to the perception that a computational entity is experiencing or about to experience an emotion
Domains for empathic interaction
Recreation Casinos, football, decorating
Relaxation, enjoyment & fun Performance, art, games, conversation
Learning & exploration Social education, personal issues
How to provide the user with the perception that a computational entity is experiencing or about to experience an emotion
Get acquainted with your group Sticky note time!
The User’s Perception: Interaction to evoke empathy
Need for human type ascriptions Does the user care?
Suspension of disbelief Gaining user compliance / buy-in
Visualisation Appropriate rather than perfect
Behaviour Matches user expectations
Considerable experience of empathic reactions to fictional characters
Only some situations relevant for empathic interaction
Empathic interaction only of value if it enhances and improves the user’s experience
Leeds, 6-10 September 2004
Workshop 4: Empathy in Human Computer Interaction
CASE STUDY: Bullying among school children
Sarah Woods, University of Hertfordshire
CASE STUDY: Bullying among school
True or False? Bullying only happens among boys. Bullying others toughens you up. Fighting back with the bully is the best thing to do. Ignoring the bullying will make it go away. Bullying is part of growing up & you just have to
accept it. Bullying only happens in disadvantaged schools. There is more bullying in large classes compared to
What is bullying? What is teasing?
Why is bullying different to teasing?
Bullying behaviour is different to teasing & aggression
Bullying behaviour is repeated over time and does not just happen once
Bullying involves power relationships. The victim feels over powered and intimidated by the bully.
Bullying is planned and deliberate and is not just a joke.
Direct/Physical bullying: “ A Student is being bullied or victimised when he or she is exposed repeatedly and over time to negative action on the part of one or more other students and there is an imbalance of power.” (Olweus, 1991)
Relational Bullying: “The purposeful damage and manipulation of peer relationships and feelings of social exclusion.” (Crick & Grotpeter, 1995)
This includes behaviours such as:
- being hit
- being kicked
- being punched
- being blackmailed or threatened
- people being spiteful to you
This includes behaviours such as:
- Being called nasty names
- Having lies spread about you
- Receiving nasty or threatening text
This type of bullying usually involves the people who you hang around with:
- Friends deliberately leaving you out
- Friends deliberately falling out with you
- Friends spreading nasty rumours about
you or stories that are not true
Prevalence of bullying
Studies worldwide Victimisation Bullying others
Primary school (aged 8-12) 8% to 46% 3% to 23%
(aged 11-16) 4% to 30% 4% to 19%
Characteristics of Victims INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: withdrawn, anxious, low self-
esteem, unassertive, upset easily, boys physically weak.
SOCIAL COGNITION: negative attitude to violence, poor social understanding, poor in conflict resolution strategies.
SOCIOMETRIC STATUS: low social impact, few or no friends (lonely), rejected or neglected.
FAMILY FUNCTIONING: over protective mothers, enmeshed family (abused by siblings?) or father often distant, cold, no role model.
Characteristics of Bully/Victims INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: irritable, angry and hot
tempered, impulsive, hyperactive, short attention. SOCIAL COGNITION: +ive attitude to aggression,
misinterpret hostile intentions (ambiguous provocation), low-mod social understanding.
SOCIOMETRIC STATUS: moderate to high social impact, few friends, highly rejected by peers, reinforcer or assistant.
FAMILY FUNCTIONING: experiences of violence in family, inconsistent discipline & parenting, often marital conflict, father often absent, dysfunctional.
Characteristics of Bullies INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES: little anxiety, good self-
esteem, well regulated, physically strong boy
SOCIAL COGNITION: uses aggression to dominate, ‘cool cognition’, good understanding of social situations; little empathy.
SOCIOMETRIC STATUS: high social impact, no. of friends, ring leader, popular & rejected (controversial).
FAMILY FUNCTIONING: harsh discipline, but no violence, disengaged family structure, -ive sibling relations, father to have been bully himself.
Bullying & Consequences
Conduct problems & Hyperactivity
Victims YES YES YES NO
Bullies NO YES YES YES
Previous studies have found:
Media coverage of bullyingGirl found dead after taunting A 12 year old girl who was allegedly bullied at
school was found hanged in her bedroom. According to family, Emma Morrison had
been off school for 2 weeks to escape the constant teasing by other girls who made fun of her appearance and called her “ugly”.
Telegraph, 12 March 2003
Media Coverage of Bullying Pupils who were bullied sue school for
‘Teeside county court heard that Miss Newby was reduced from a model pupil with an excellent attendance record to a psychological wreck by a gang of 8 girls.
She became so afraid that in 1 year she missed as quarter of her time at Shotton Hall Comprehensive school.’
Telegraph, 12 March 2003
Social Information Processing (SIP) The SIP model is used to explain how
children process information and how they may display aggressive behaviour. E.g misinterpretation of goals and others intentions.
Considered 2 sub-types of aggression:- Reactive aggression (bully/victim)- Proactive aggression (pure bully)
Suggested that biased/deficient processing results in deviant social behaviour.
Research shows that aggressive children perceive, interpret & make decisions about social stimuli in ways that increase the likelihood of engaging in aggressive acts.
Proactive aggressors: - evaluate verbal & physical aggression in
significantly more positive ways than others- Use instrumental aggressive behaviour- Controlled and motivated by expectation of
external rewards- More use of relational aggression
Reactive aggressors:- aggressive acts are motivated by attributions
of hostility to peers who are perceived as mean or threatening to the self.
- Use retaliatory aggression- Self-fulfilling prophecy (peers begin to dislike
child more and child uses increased aggression)
Theories & Models: Social Competence & ToM
Sutton, Smith & Swettenham (1999) criticised the SIP model as it failed to consider the social competence of some aggressive children (e.g pure bullies, relational bullying). Too much reliance on ‘social deficits’.
Argue that effective bullying may involve a sophisticated ability to manipulate psychologically both victims and the rest of the peer group.
Social competence & emotions
Could be that proactively aggressive children understand emotions but differ in the way that they share emotions.
reactive aggression linked with high negative emotional intensity and under-control.
Proactive aggression associated with under-control but also low emotional intensity.
Intervention StrategiesThe No Blame Approach (Maines &
The Method of Shared Concern (Pikas, 1989).
Whole School Approach (Rigby, 1996). Individual strategies for bullies, victims
The No-Blame Approach
Step 1: Listen to the victim Step 2: Meeting with all involved Step 3: Explanation of problem Step 4: Share responsibility Step 5: Ask group for their ideas Step 6: Leave it up to them Step 7: Meet group again
Based on view that bullying is an interaction which establishes group identity, dominance and status at expense of another. Need to develop ‘higher values’ such as empathy. Punishment is not used.
The Method of Shared Concern
Suitable for children >9 years old. Individual ‘chats’ with each pupil involved,
ringleader is seen first and the victim last. Follow-up interviews with each pupil. Group meeting of all children. Time span between each stage is typically 1
Process rests on premise that as a group the bullies are caught up in a collective phenomenon - aggression towards a victim. Aim is to bring into conscious awareness feelings of unease/shame which individual group members have about the groups bullying behaviour.
The Whole School Approach General prerequisites ++ awareness & involvement on the part of adults Measures at the school level ++ q’aire survey ++ school conference day ++ better supervision during break/lunch times + formation of co-ordinating group Measures at class level ++ class rules against bullying ++ regular class meeting with
students + class PTA meetings Measures at individual level ++ serious talks with bullies and victims ++ serious talks with parents of involved students + teacher and parent use of imagination
Individual Strategies Problem-Solving for victims - This aims to
provide social skills training and self-esteem building.
Counselling for the families of bullies and victims.
Empathic training for bullies. Use of Drama and Role Play. Improving individual care.
Do intervention programmes for bullying work?
Overall, research studies have reported that intervention programmes have positive short-term results in reducing bullying problems in schools, but less success in the long-term.
What should be done next?
Bullying & intervention strategiesYOUR CASE STUDY
‘Imagine you are a professional team who have been consulted to work with a school who has been experiencing sharp increases in bullying behaviour over the past 2 years.’
How do you think technology could be used as an innovative means of developing an intervention strategy for the school and how would you implement it?