By what I think is coincidence, I came across many examples of design that have as part of their missions to help users either develop a stronger self-identity or display and reinforce the identity they have. I am a huge proponent of using identity resonance as a design tool, so I really enjoyed selecting a few good examples for this article.
That’s why the Lottie Doll looks, well, just like a typical nine-year-old girl. She doesn’t wear makeup, high heels or jewellery, she’s ethnically diverse with tactile hair and clothes, and she can stand on her own two feet. Lottie is feisty. She occasionally makes mistakes. She loves adventure and the outdoors. She has a wild imagination – just like a real child. Even her clothes are made to get dirty.
For this week’s episode of Human Factors in History, we went back into the archives to find this great study by Richard LaPiere from the 1930s. It is particularly useful to revisit studies like this one because it is unlikely that we could do anything similar today. Read on to find out why.
I am involved in several consulting projects that involve whether users notice very subtle cues in the environment and if so, how quickly they incorporate it into their situation awareness and/or react to it. I have intentionally used the phrase “and/or” because the detection is often unconscious, which means the reaction can occur without the awareness. And of course the awareness can occur without any need for a response.
While I can’t talk about these projects specifically, they reminded me of the discussion we had in June on brand logos and identity resonance. In that discussion, we wear apparel with logos to demonstrate our identity in a social group. This helps us bond with other members of that group and to differentiate ourselves from non-members.
This is a really fascinating example of a design process that leverages our ability to create frames that skew our information processing.
The scientific research on the benefits of so-called expressive writing is surprisingly vast. Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.
Now researchers are studying whether the power of writing — and then rewriting — your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.
As the weather starts (finally) to turn into real summer sun, we hope to shift into vacation mode here at EID as well. No, don’t worry that we will not be taking extended absences. But we will be digging up some more light reading for your beach reading pleasure.
With that in mind, I dug up a review article from last October on group identity. To establish a group identity, there are two components. First, you need to convince yourself that you belong to the group. That is a great source of self-delusion, but a topic for another day. The second is that you need to demonstrate some of the attributes of the group to others to convince them that you belong. This includes showing members of the group so that you are accepted and showing non-members of the group to show them that you are different. The review article covers this second component, specifically with regard to the logos that we wear on our shirts.