Research

Digital wellbeing shouldn't be about willpower.
If we have to fight against technologies, then we're designing them wrong.  

The growing urgency to improve the psychological impact of everyday tech, along with a growing imperative to consider more ethical approaches to design, drive our work in design for wellbeing.
Only by designing technology that respects our psychological needs, can we make a happier and healthier (not just more productive) world.
Wellbeing-supportive Design (also called positive computing) refers to the design and development of technology that supports psychological wellbeing.  As a field it encompasses an emergent intersection of disciplines including: Human computer interaction, Psychology, Neuroscience, Affective computing, Behavioral economics and the Social sciences.

Our vision is of a future in which all digital experience contributes to the flourishing of individuals, communities and our world.  Learn more about Positive Computing research and practice in the publications below (or join us at the next CHI conference).

Philosophy, ethics and design for wellbeing

Designing for wellbeing is inescapably linked to questions of ethics and philosophy. We blog on philosophy-related technology issues at:

Research Publications 

Below is a selection of our Publications related to Positive Computing.
You can see a complete list of Calvo's publications and the collection of papers we cite at the Positive Computing group on Mendeley.
  •  D. Peters, RA Calvo (2014) “Compassion v. empathy: Designing for resilience.” ACM Interactions. September – October pp 48-53. [PDF]
  • RA Calvo, D. Peters, D. Johnson, Y. Rogers "Autonomy in Technology Design" CHI'14 Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems. ACM, 2014 [Prepub PDF]
  • RA Calvo, D. Peters (2013) "Promoting psychological wellbeing: loftier goals for new technologiesIEEE Technology and Society, December vol 32, 4. 
  • RA Calvo, D. Vella-Brodrick, P. Desmet & RM Ryan. “Positive Computing: A new partnership between psychology, social sciences and technologists” Psychology of Well-being, 2016, 6 (5) 
  • Oxford Handbook on Affective Computing: R.A. Calvo, S.K. D'Mello, J. Gratch and A. Kappas (Eds). Handbook of Affective Computing. Oxford University Press. 2014.  

More research in this space

Please also check out the work by our colleagues:
  • Positive Technology Journal - Andrea Gaggioli is an HCI researcher "looking for the positive in technology".  He began the Positive Technology Journal blog in 2004 and does research in positive technologies with Guiseppi Riva and others at Universit√† Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan.
  • Delft Institute of Positive Design - Pieter Desmet, Anna Pohlmeyer and their colleagues at the Institute engage in research and practice around industrial design for human flourishing.
  • Experience and Interaction Design Group - Marc Hassenzahl and colleagues explore hedonic experience and design for wellbeing.
  • ResilienceTech.org - The team at the HopeLab "combine rigorous research with innovative solutions to improve human health and well-being" with a focus on resilience. They have created ResilienceTech, an online network of people "helping humanity thrive through tech".  Join here.
  • Columns on Social Technology in Forbes by Giovanni Rodriguez and Wired Wellbeing in the Conversation by Sue Thomas both provide regular commentary on trends and issues at the intersection of technology and wellbeing.

Get updated

We'd be happy to notify you when new positive computing related resources or events are available. Just join our list if you're interested.