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I did that! Measuring Users' Experience of Agency in their own Actions

David Coyle, James Moore, Per Ola Kristensson, Paul C Fletcher, Alan F Blackwell, I did that! Measuring Users' Experience of Agency in their own Actions. ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computer Systems (ACM CHI 2012), pp. 2025–2034. May 2012. PDF, 1418 Kbytes. External information


Cognitive neuroscience defines the sense of agency as the experience of controlling onea??s own actions and, through this control, affecting the external world. We believe that the sense of personal agency is a key factor in how people experience interactions with technology. This paper draws on theoretical perspectives in cognitive neuroscience and describes two implicit methods through which personal agency can be empirically investigated. We report two experiments applying these methods to HCI problems. One shows that a new input modality - skin-based interaction - can substantially increase users' sense of agency. The second demonstrates that variations in the parameters of assistance techniques such as predictive mouse acceleration can have a significant impact on users' sense of agency. The methods presented provide designers with new ways of evaluating and refining empowering interaction techniques and interfaces, in which users experience an instinctive sense of control and ownership over their actions.

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