CFP: Special issue Misuse And Abuse Of Interactive Technologies (1/19/07; journal issue)

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CFP: Special issue Misuse And Abuse Of Interactive
Technologies for the journal Interaction Studies: Social
Behaviour and Communication in Biological and Artificial

Current HCI research is witnessing a shift from a
materialistic perspective of viewing the computer as a
tool for cognition to an experiential vision where the
computer becomes a medium for emotion. So far,
investigations into the user emotional engagement in
computing have mainly addressed the elicitation of
positive feelings, including enjoyment, happiness, and
fun. Research in Funology (Blythe, Monk, Overbeeke, &
Wright, 2003) echoes Norman's conclusions about
aesthetics: fun matters­–fun interfaces work better.
Unfortunately, enjoyment is not something added to an
emotionally neutral computing experience. The user's
experiences are colored by a host of emotions, many of
them negative.

Workshops held at Interact2005 and CHI2006 (De Angeli,
Brahnam, & Wallis, 2005; De Angeli, Brahnam, Wallis, &
Dix, 2006) suggested that interface design and metaphors
can inadvertently rouse more than user dissatisfaction and
angry reactions: they can promote a wide range of negative
behaviors that are directed not only towards the machine
but also towards other people. The idea of a medium for
emotion implies the possibility of harming the user,
designing computer programs which generate anger, sadness,
fear, and grieves.

The goal of this special issue is to address the darker
side of HCI by examining how computers sometimes bring
about the expression of negative emotions and disinhibited
behaviour. We are interested, for example, in the
phenomena of human beings abusing their computers. Is it
truly a form of abuse? What consequences does it have on
user's performance and interaction design? Disinhibited
behaviours directed against computers can take many forms,
ranging from verbally abusing a machine to physically
attacking it. In some cases, particularly in the case of
embodied conversational agents, there are questions about
how the machine should respond to user abuses. We are also
interested in understanding the psychological
underpinnings of computer-mediated abuse and in exploring
how HCI factors influence human-to-human abuse in computer
mediated communication. Key issues include, but are not
limited to:

*How does the misuse and abuse of the interface affect the user's experience?
*How do different interface metaphors (embodied conversational characters, windows, desktops, robots) shape a propensity to misuse or abuse the interface?
*What design factors trigger or restrain disinhibited behaviors?
*How does technology-mediated abuse differ from other forms of abuse, e.g., the abuse of people, symbols, flags sacred objects, and personal property?
*How can we develop embodied conversational characters or robots that learn to constrain users who engage in verbal abuse? Should ethical values for human societies and HCI be identical? Do we even need to diffuse it?
*What social norms and values play a role on technology misuse and what influence does the power distance between the agent/robot and the user have?

Guest Editors:
Antonella De Angeli (University of Manchester), UK
Sheryl Brahnam (Missouri State University), US
Christoph Bartneck (Eindhoven University of Technology), NL
Catherine Pelachaud (Université de Paris 8), FR

Research articles should not exceed 8000 words. Contributions should be in British or American English and should follow the American Psychological Association (APA) style. Please submit an electronic file of your paper (preferably in PDF), double spaced, with margins of 3 cm all round to

The first page of a manuscript should contain the title of
the article, the name, affiliation, email and postal
address of each author. Followed by a self-contained
abstract in English (max. 150 words) that includes the
keywords pertaining to your article, and a biographical
note about the author(s) of not more than 100 words.

Important Dates: Authors intending to submit are
encouraged to contact Antonella De Angeli as soon as
possible to discuss paper ideas and suitability for this

January 19th, 2007: Submission
March 9th, 2007: Notification of acceptance
April 6th, 2007: Submission of camera­-ready version
Journal Details:
Interaction Studies aims to advance knowledge in the growing and strongly interdisciplinary area of interaction studies in biological and artificial systems. It intends to act as a medium for dialogues across the boundaries of academic disciplines for research into social behaviour and communication that has traditionally been presented in separate specialist journals.

Journal Details:
Editor-in-Chief: Kerstin Dautenhahn and James Hurford
Department of Computer Science, University of Hertfordshire, UK
University of Edinburgh, UK
ISSN: 1572-0373
E-ISSN: 1572-0381


Blythe, M., Monk, A., Overbeeke, K., & Wright, P. (Eds.). (2003). Funology: From Usability to Enjoyment. Boston: Kluwer, Academic Publisher. | DOI 10.1007/1-4020-2967-5
De Angeli, A., Brahnam, S., & Wallis, P. (Eds.). (2005). Proceedings of the Interact 2005 Workshop on Abuse: The dark side of Human-Computer Interaction. Rome September 12. | Download PDF
De Angeli, A., Brahnam, S., Wallis, P., & Dix, A. (Eds.). (2006). Proceedings of the CHI2006 workshop on Misuse and Abuse of Interactive Technologies. Montreal, April 22. | DOI 10.1145/1125451.1125753
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Received on Fri Nov 10 2006 - 18:14:46 EST