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Psychological reactance in HCI: a method towards improving acceptance of devices and services

The article presents the notion of psychological reactance and assesses its benefit as a measure in the context of HCI. and in the context of usability and user experience evaluation specifically. An established questionnaire from personality research was used to test if the concept can be applied to HCI. A between-subjects study was performed that compared effects of self-adaptive vs. user-adaptable systems on users’ psychological reactance while interacting with a spoken dialogue system. Results show that interaction with self-adaptive systems can increase psychological reactance, compared to interaction with user-adaptable systems. The article presents evidence for the usefulness of psychological reactance as a metric in HCI research and also as evidence that self-adaptive system behaviour can have negative consequences (in the form of psychological reactance) for acceptance by the user (since acceptance is likely to decrease if a system induces negative cognitions in its users).

Scientific Paper


Target Group:


Cite as:
Patrick Ehrenbrink, Stefan Hillmann, Benjamin Weiss, and Sebastian Möller. 2016. Psychological reactance in HCI: a method towards improving acceptance of devices and services. In Proceedings of the 28th Australian Conference on Computer-Human Interaction (OzCHI '16). Association for Computing Machinery, New York, NY, USA, 478–482.

Author of the review:
Andrej Košir
University of Ljubljana


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