User to the underlying systems of subconscious associations

User psychology is a research approach in human-technology interaction. It utilizes psychological concepts, theories, and findings to structure problems of human-technology interaction. In the field of human-technology interaction research and product development, user experience has become significant. It has been essential to investigate the psychology of user experience. With this, the theory of basic emotions in psychology has become a basis on analyzing emotional human-technology interaction. To investigate the basic emotions, and the emotional mind incorporated in user experience, three studies, two laboratory experiments and a field study were conducted by the study. Measuring subjective emotional experiences during novel human-technology interaction scenarios were studied in the first and second experiments. Exploring these aspects were done in the third study. The first and second experiment were done in a laboratory setting. The third study was done in a real-world environment. A bipolar competence-frustration model was then proposed. This model can be utilized to understand the emotional aspects of user experience (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).

Adopted Approach or Perspective on Theoretical Lens

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Mental representation as a theoretical concept is necessary in conceptualizing emotions in human-technology interaction to harmonize user experience research with modern psychology (Moran, 1981; Saariluoma & Oulasvirta, 2010). Mental representation and its content is a central theoretical concept of modern psychology (Newell & Simon, 1972; Fodor, 1990; Saariluoma, 2003). Experience is together with content, without this, it could hardly be experienced. With this, utilizing psychological concepts of mental content is logical to investigate emotional user experience. To open the structure of contents and to give clarity to the contents of experience and to the underlying systems of subconscious associations is the goal. Explanation and explanatory thinking are important features in modern user psychology (Saariluoma, 2004). Basic knowledge in psychology is a basis on conceptualization, operational definitions, result interpretation and outcome explanation (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014). This thus provides a solid framework on the user’s thinking (Achinstein 1983; Hempel ; Oppenheim, 1948; Scriven, 1962; Sellars, 1963).
Researchers suggest mental representations underlying emotional user experience and concentrate on analyzing the role of basic emotions in user experience (Power ; Dalgleish, 1997). People having a set of basic emotions that were used to construct human emotional experience is the core idea of basic emotions theories (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).
In any empirical research task, operationalization is a central step (Blalock, 1971; Bridgeman, 1927; Raykov ; Marcoulides, 2011). Operationalization is a process that transforms theoretical concepts into empirical ones. This can be utilized to construct empirical procedures. To construct an empirical research approach in user psychology, psychological theory and empirical findings on emotion are applied. In the experiments, the researchers focus on the dimension of emotion in user experience (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).

Key Arguments and Evidence Used

From the results of the conducted first experiment, the authors proposed a bipolar competence-frustration hypothesis. The positive emotions or user experiences generated from the ability to use technology clustered around the Competence factor. Meanwhile, negative emotions or user experiences generated from the inability to successfully interact with technology clustered around the Frustration factor. The authors also proposed that the emotional experience related to the success of using new technology varies between these two poles, which is evident in the negative correlation between Competence and Frustration. Below are the constructed hypothesis the authors used in order to prove that their Competence-Frustration model is valid regardless whether the interaction with the technology is novel or complex interaction and whether the user were in an unfamiliar or familiar environment (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).

Experiment 2
H1: Two emotional dimensions of user experience, separated by their valence, emerge in interaction novel user interface. These are Competence and Frustration.
H2: There is a negative correlation between Competence and Frustration.

Experiment 3
H1: Two emotional dimensions of user experience, separated by their valence, emerge in interaction novel user interface. These are Competence and Frustration.
H2: There is a negative correlation between Competence and Frustration.
H3: Feeling frustrated during the use of novel interaction technologies decreases technology acceptance.
H4: Feeling competent during the use of novel interaction technologies increases technology acceptance.

Findings and Main Conclusion

In the first experiment, the participants were tasked to control an unfamiliar automated features of a crane through a touch-screen based interface. The authors found out through a questionnaire containing a collection of emotion-based items, that competence and frustration exist as emotional valence (or how pleasant or unpleasant the emotions were) when users interact with a given technology. They figured that when people successfully use given technologies, they feel efficient, skilled, and more focus on tasks at hand which results into competency. On the other hand, not being able to achieve the goals in using the given technology results to confusion and annoyance, that when put together brings frustration to the users. With this information, the authors were able to hypothesize that using a new technology produces an emotional experience that varies between the two poles, i.e competence and frustration, which will be the basis of their Competence-Frustration model (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).
With the proposed hypothesis in the first experiment, they then tested the hypothesis through the second experiment for the reliability of the emotional scales of emotional user experience. Through the second experiment, the authors found the same group of emotion-based items found in the first experiment. Those items were identified and included in the emotional valence dimensions – competence and frustration, therefore confirming the first hypothesis of the second experiment. The authors further found that the end results can still be aligned and analyzed according to the factors competence and frustration regardless of the different interactions, the different emotions elicited through those interactions, or even the different methods used to analyze the same interactions using different sets of emotion-based items. But then, the authors pointed out that these results were from a controlled laboratory environment, that’s why in their third experiment they let the participants perform an interaction with new technology that can be used in their existing work routines thus making it an environment more familiar to them (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).
The third experiment showed the same results as the first and second experiments, still confirming the existence of the emotional valences, competence, and frustration even in an environment familiar to the respondents. The authors also found out through the third experiment that the frustration factor was heavily connected to the rejection of the proposed technology while competence factor was not. This shows that users frustration are more directed to the faults of a technology while the competence is more directed to the skills of the respondent. Through factor analysis, they discovered that excitement load positively on both competence and frustration. But it depends on the other emotions experienced by the user on whether the feeling of excitement is pleasant or unpleasant (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).
All in all, the authors stated that it is important to recognize that negative emotions exist in human-technology interaction and that one should take into account both the pleasant and unpleasant emotions in designing a technology. The competence-frustration model the authors proposed showed the emotional consequences that are associated with the difficulties in using a technology. Through the experiments conducted, it can be concluded that good usability generates positive feelings while poor usability generates negative feelings from the difficulty of learning, which leads to emotional costs that poorly motivate users when using the technology (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014).

Points of Agreement and Disagreement

An agreeable point in this research is that the value of researching emotions such as emotional concepts, theories and measurement practices has been used as well as its importance in human-technology interaction research. Considering emotions is possible when designing products and justifying design solutions. With this, research on user experience should be constructed based on psychological concepts, principles, and theories (Saariluoma and Jokinen, 2014). Developing a close connection in the research of psychology and solutions for design is the key reason for doing this endeavor, in a way that is similar to how researchers in natural sciences is related to engineering design solutions (Pahl, Beitz, Feldhusen, & Groete, 2007; Ulrich & Eppinger, 2007)
In entertainment and art commodities, such as games, fashion, and films, their designs are made to stimulate emotion, such as pleasure, to people. To please users has been the objective of many products, such as perfume, pottery, and furniture (Jordan, 2000). With this, the value of emotion is important in technology.
One method in the research that can be disagreeable is the use of basic human emotions in the authors’ research in which the researchers were basing from the study of Ekman, 1999 and Power ; Dalgleish, 1997. They were using the basic emotions by analyzing what is their role in user experience. It can be argued that the idea that humans have a set of basic emotions which are used in constructing emotional experience is very difficult to empirically validate (Ortony ; Turner, 1990; Scherer, 2005). That is why it is questionable to use the idea of basic human emotion in researches when the existence of the idea is difficult to confirm.


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