Since we spend most of our time online anyway, it’s inevitable that we get angry. Or frustrated. Or any type of negative emotion. Well, computer scientists want to help you with that, and if they’ll do it right, websites will soon be able to tell how you’re feeling.
- Gmail has introduced an ‘unsend’ option to help out potential drunk emailers
- The scientists behind this study used 3 different samples, amounting to a total of 271 subjects
- They are trying to get websites to adapt to the user’s mood
Jeff Jenkins, lead study author and an information systems professor at Brigham Young University coordinated the study, and along with his colleagues picked three different samples of participants, without their knowing.
The goal was to devise a way to pick out the browsing behaviors of more annoyed and frustrated users, so they can then use those patterns to improve internet browsing.
The first sample consisted of 65 random users from Amazon’s crowdsourcing marketplace Mechanical Turk. As the users carried out various operations, the researchers found a way to frustrate them via the website.
This allowed them to determine that, somewhat counter intuitively, when frustrated, cursor movements become more erratic, slower, and less precise.
The second sample consisted of 126 users on a fake e-commerce site. They were also randomly selected and annoyed via the website. Using their previous findings, the researchers were able to determine with an 82% success rate which of the users were annoyed.
Finally, the third sample consisted of 80 participants, who this time around knew they were participating in an experiment. The subjects had to rate their emotional levels, and then use an online tool that allowed them to customize an object. The tool had the potential to be intentionally frustrating or not.
This showed the researchers that they weren’t able to only predict when a user was angry, but also how angry he was. They did this for several negative emotions, including anger, frustration, and impatience.
The researchers now hope to use the findings to create a system that allows websites to change their content in regards to the user’s mood, so as to calm him down, or even to make him happier, so as not to lose potential customers.
But this is only the beginning.
If the scientists actually manage to develop the system, it could mean the beginning of a whole new era of internet browsing.
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