'...And suddenly the memory revealed itself'. The role of IT in supporting social reminiscence

Parra, Cristhian (2014) '...And suddenly the memory revealed itself'. The role of IT in supporting social reminiscence. PhD thesis, University of Trento, Universided Católica "Ntra. Señora de la Asunción" Paraguay.

PDF (ICT Doctoral Dissertation of Cristhian Parra ) - Doctoral Thesis


Every human being is familiar to the experience of reminiscence: recalling and revisiting our past memories. We reminisce to create our identities. We reminisce to maintain our relationships. We reminisce to review our lives. And we also reminisce together. This dissertation develops around the topic of how IT stimulates reminiscence, motivated by its proven benefits in people’s well-being and its prevalence across all stages of life. The focus is set on older adults, with the overall goal of fostering intergenerational social interactions (that is, interactions between older adults and younger generations). This thesis is motivated by the current interest on active ageing as an emergent way of life, with better and more opportunities for health, participation and security. As the world ageing population continues to increase and the average life expectancy of people increasing every year, there is a growing need for understanding the ageing phenomena, and particularly, for designing human centered information technologies (IT) that enhance opportunities of social participation as people age. Within this scenario, this dissertation addresses the following research questions using a participatory approach to research and design: (i) what is the role of IT in enabling a more happy and active ageing?; (ii) in doing so, how can IT stimulate intergenerational social interactions?, and (iii) can IT-supported social reminiscence facilitate these interactions and make of them an enjoyable experience?. To answer these questions, we leverage upon a participatory action research approach to gain an understanding of the topic, moving later to the participatory design of IT for social reminiscence and finally, evaluating how IT supports the practice of social reminiscence in a face-to-face intergenerational context. The contributions of this dissertation can be summarized as follows: - Knowledge: an understanding of what role IT can play in supporting, stimulating and accompanying active ageing and social interactions through the practice of reminiscence. - Model: a conceptual model of the different stages of IT-supported social reminiscence sessions, and an extended model of the design spaces for intergenerational engagement. - System: an exemplary socio-technical system that fits the aforementioned roles, including a knowledge base and algorithms to support contextual stimulation of reminiscence, using multimedia resources that are publicly available on the web. - Evaluation: quantitative and qualitative results obtained from observing the use of our system in a real intergenerational context.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Information and Communication Technology
PhD Cycle:25
Subjects:Area 09 - Ingegneria industriale e dell'informazione > ING-INF/05 SISTEMI DI ELABORAZIONE DELLE INFORMAZIONI
Area 14 - Scienze politiche e sociali > SPS/07 SOCIOLOGIA GENERALE
Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-PSI/01 PSICOLOGIA GENERALE
Uncontrolled Keywords:Active Ageing, Reminiscence, Social Interaction, Interactive systems, Participatory Design, Participatory Action Research
Repository Staff approval on:29 Apr 2014 16:44

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