We have developed a personal microblogging Android and iPhone app called Echo that allows you to record and reflect on past experiences.  We call this practice, Technology Mediated Reflection (TMR).  We are interested in how TMR changes people’s lives and influences well-being.  Our research explores the intersection of human memory and emotion.  If you are interested in learning more and possibly participating, please click here for our Echo website.  Also, here is a recent sidebar about our work in a special issue of the International Journal of Design (featured on page 12).

Here is an abstract of an Echo study (from CHI’13).

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Automated coaching systems offer a convenient, cost-effective way to reduce stress, which can be a serious health issue. However, one concern with such systems is compliance; users fail to achieve daily stress reduction goals because goals are too easy or too difficult. To address this, we built DStress (Design for Stress), a theoretically grounded system that sets adaptive goals in three coaching dimensions: Exercise, Meditation, and Accessibility. DStress modifies goal-difficulty based on the individual’s immediately previous performance. The system reduces stress by balancing individual compliance with degree of challenge.

Here is an abstract of a DStress study (from CHI’15).


Change of heartCHANGE OF HEART
Preventable behaviors contribute to many life threatening health problems. Behavior change systems have been deployed to modify these, but such systems typically draw on traditional behavioral theories that overlook affect. This project examines the importance of emotional  reflection for behavior change, and useful strategies to harness its benefits.

Here is an abstract of a Change of Heart study (from CHI’15).
Principle Investigator: Victoria Hollis.


Investigating emotional expression and reminiscence on Facebook.

1. Understanding stickers and emoji:  Psychology, individual differences, and communicative intent.

2. A meaningful Lookback: Harnessing Facebook for self-reflection.


Facebook Mediated Reminiscence: Sensible Stewardship of Personal Memories.
On This Day is a service that brings Facebook posts full circle:  Instead of people capturing and sharing aspects of their lives in the present, and then potentially forgetting, On This Day provides new opportunities to relive these memories. My work with On This Day explores new ways to improve upon the reminiscence experience, while clarifying where the boundaries are, and Facebook’s role in mediating memories. This research includes semi-structured interviews, usability testing, card sorting, large scale surveys, and a linguistic analysis using LIWC.


MoodAdaptor is a theoretically grounded app that helps answer questions about relationships between mood, reflection, and well-being when using technology.  MoodAdaptor prompts reflection on positive or negative memories depending on current mood, testing nuances of mood/memory interactions.