Computing and Mental Health: Intentionality and Reflection at the Click of a Button

Maria Angela Ferrario1, Will Simm1, Adrian Gradinar2, Stephen Forshaw1[a] Marcia Tavares Smith1[b], Thomas Lee1, Ian Smith3, Jon Whittle4[c]
School of Computing and Communications1, Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts2, Faculty of Health and Medicine3, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK;
Faculty of Information Technology, Monash University4[c], Melbourne, Australia. {m.ferrario, w.simm, a.gradinar, i.smith}@lancaster.ac.uk,

This paper (link below) responds to a lot of the questions we’ve been discussing over the last few weeks. You might recall that in the last meeting we discussed the fact that there is an apparent trade-off between the richness of information that you can capture about mood and the regularity of capture. This paper from Lancaster explores this concept by making mood capture simpler. They use a single button for self-monitoring mood – one press for good event, 2 presses for bad event. The button is attached to a phone headphone jack. The phone registers the location and provides visualisations for mood afterwards.

The paper also talks about intentionality, which is very relevant for the sprite catcher project. They say that the actual act of capturing an event yourself is just as important if not more important than the feedback that you get afterwards. This is exactly what I would like to look at with my own research. I think there may be richer and more embodied ways of doing peripheral, intentional mood capture than with the single button attached to the phone though.

This is maybe a longer- term question though. The sprite catcher doesn’t really respond to this question. Instead of asking for peripheral capture it demands ritualised behaviour. ie. You need to halt what you are doing and focus on finding an object with the necessary colour. Engaging with your environment and your body very overtly.

Mental health -click of a button

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