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The effects of touchscreen usage on stimuli evaluation

WorkgroupKnowledge Exchange
FundingLeibniz-WissenschaftCampus Tübingen
Project description

This dissertation project tried to answer the question of whether touch technologies influence the evaluation of different sorts of content. To achieve this, a series of experiments has been carried out to take a closer look at the impact of touchscreen usage on the evaluation of texts and pictures as well as examining the underlying mechanisms behind occurring effects.

Regardless of whether it’s via smartphone or tablet computer – the usage of haptic stimuli to regulate social interactions, knowledge exchange, or entertainment options is now a part of our society. However, the question of how this trend affects our perception of information that we interact with via touchscreens, has not fully been answered yet. The present project tried to shine a light on the underlying information processing which occurs while interacting with touch technology. Research on the ownership effect states that if people are allowed to touch an object they will evaluate the object more positively, because the touch evokes a feeling of personal ownership. The effect can be seen in people’s willingness to pay higher prices to acquire the touched object or demand higher prices to give it up. This so called endowment effect has been researched quite thoroughly within consumer- and marketing science. However, the question of its applicability outside of a marketing sector is still open.

The project conducted a number of studies to research the question of whether the usage of touch technologies affects how we perceive different text and picture materials. A specific focus was on the evaluation of the presented stimuli and the perceived sense of personal ownership of them. Research on how touch technologies affect the way we evaluate different stimuli plays an important role in creating awareness for the effects that this widely used technology has on us.