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My Projects

 Matching for Support: A Scenario Based Evaluation on Creating a Platform for the Rare Disease Population

Researchers Involved: Grace Bastin, Fernando Maestre and Patrick Shih

In this study we conducted a scenario based survey in order to really get the understanding of what this population would like to see in an online support community. Using the rare disease population`s insights, a future platform can be developed to eliminate the challenges they face in their everyday lives. The survey has presented the HCI community with insights of what features and elements should be considered when trying to create an online community for the rare disease population. These insights will later be used to effectively develop a web-based application through Facebook. This will help eliminate some of the challenges this community faces when seeking information and support. We propose that the addition of a social-matching algorithm would be beneficial for this application, along with specific features identified as useful by the participants.

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“Yours is Better” –
An Investigation of Participant Response Bias in the United States

Researchers Involved: Ivorie Stallings, Wei Zhang and Katie A. Siek

The purpose of this study is to identify if response bias exists in the United States, also know as Demand Characteristics. Demand Characteristics is a term used in Cognitive Psychology to denote situations where the participant feels pressured to react in a way they think the experimenter expects them too. In this research project, there will be three studies conducted and at the end of each interview with the participant, we will ask which video player they prefer and record the results. We explored response bias by showing participants two videos, however in the first phase of this study we showed them two 21 second videos where the researcher identified themselves with one by saying “this is MY video player,” to look for this bias. Our preliminary results are so far supporting that this bias does exist which means that some of the previously done research in HCI (Human Computer Interaction) is inconclusive. The overarching purpose of the data collected during this study, is to find a way to avoid this bias so that we do not further contaminate new research that is yet to be done. By bringing more awareness to this bias it can be easier to identify, which can help ensure that the data collected is accurate and not a product of demand characteristics which can contribute to furthering the studies and success in HCI.

Mother’s Information Technology Empowerment (MITE): Designing Socio-Technical Support for new Mothers

Researchers Involved: Katie A. Siek, Lucia Guerra-Reyes, Annu Prabhakar, Vanessa Christie, Margaret Driscoll and Charles Peters

In this study our aim is to investigate how mothers communicate information with various social connections using technology. The technology we use specifically to evaluate their social connections is throughout Facebook groups. We created three groups which consist of New Pregnancy, First Time Moms and Experienced Mothers. We evaluate each group individually with activities posted three times a week. What we hope to gain is knowledge on why most women experience postpartum depression specifically about 10-20% of new mothers suffer from postpartum depression. With this information we would like to hopefully propose some solutions to those who participate in the study and others in the same situations.


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