About Positive Computing 

Positive Computing refers to the design and development of technology to support wellbeing and human potential.  As a field it encompasses an emergent intersection of disciplines including: Human computer interaction, Psychology, Neuroscience, Affective computing, Behavioral economics and the Social sciences.

Beyond the technologies with the sole purpose to support wellbeing, lies the broader notion that all technology, from email to social media, will be better designed when we account for psychological wellbeing.  In other words, design for wellbeing should be part of the design process.

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).


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.
  • Positive Computing - Technology for wellbeing and human potential.  R.A. Calvo and D. Peters. MIT Press. 
  • 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.  
  • RA Calvo, D. Vella-Brodrick, P. Desmet & RM Ryan. “Positive Computing: A new partnership between psychology, social sciences and technologistsPsychology of Well-being, 2016, 6 (5) 
  •  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. 
  • R.A. Calvo and S. D'Mello (2012) "Frontiers of Affect-Aware Learning Technologies" IEEE Intelligent Systems. 27(6), 86-89 - Invited Article. 
  • R.A. Calvo and M. Kim (2013) "Emotions in text: dimensional and categorical models". Volume 29, Issue 3, pages 527–543, August. Computational Intelligence
  • R.A. Calvo and S. D'Mello (2010). "Affect Detection: An Interdisciplinary Review of Models, Methods, and their Applications" IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing. 1(1), 18-37.

Colleagues working in this space

Check out the amazing work by the following researchers:
  • 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.
  • 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 Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan.
  • - 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.

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