Does the Way we interact with Technology Affect Cognitive Performance? An in-depth analysis of writing devices

Cerni, Tania (2014) Does the Way we interact with Technology Affect Cognitive Performance? An in-depth analysis of writing devices. PhD thesis, University of Trento.

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The great influence of mass technologies has changed our writing modality that is moving from the traditional use of pen and paper to the domain of keyboards and recently to touchscreen tools, both in everyday life and in educational contexts. The digitalization of writing and of the texts we write, but also the ubiquity of digital technologies, should encourage a deeper understanding of the implications of the physical and sensorimotor changes in writing. It is reasonable to think that the motor-perceptual differences between different writing modalities can lead to different cognitive performances in linguistic tasks, depending on the writing movement that has to be performed but also on the experience that we have with this movement. In this work, I take into account the role of tangible devices for writing and their different haptic affordance, rarely considered in the study of language, in general, and of writing, in particular. To do so I analyzed different behaviors while we use different writing technologies and discuss the findings from a cognitive science point of view. The general aims of this thesis consists in establishing possible cognitive entailment of different types of writing modalities, in explicating their role in other linguistic tasks and in evaluating the possible implication on daily life and education. The thesis is presented like a collection of papers, results of my research activity and experiences during my participation in the doctoral school. I divided my work in three separate chapters in which different research points of views are analyzed, different experimental procedures are used and different technological devices for writing are tested. Chapter 1 present a study aimed at investigating whether technologically mediated linguistic performance reflects cross-modal interaction and whether it is modulated by the writing technology used, specifically a touchscreen and a keyboard. Chapter 2 comprises a set of studies dedicated to investigate whether it is possible that a strong experience in typing influences our linguistic abilities. Furthermore, typing and mobile typing are compared testing if the two writing modalities share the same motor behaviors. Mobile technologies are also the argument of Chapter 3 in which I present two theoretical papers dedicated to the potential of these devices for learning, in general, and for second language learning, in particular.

Item Type:Doctoral Thesis (PhD)
Doctoral School:Psychological Sciences and Education
PhD Cycle:27
Subjects:Area 11 - Scienze storiche, filosofiche, pedagogiche e psicologiche > M-PSI/01 PSICOLOGIA GENERALE
Repository Staff approval on:15 Dec 2014 09:33

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