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Appraisal Patterns of Emotions in User-Product Interaction

Erdem Demir , Pieter Desmet , Paul Hekkert

Appraisal theorists assert that emotional experiences always involve quick evaluation processes, i.e. appraisals. They believe that those evaluation processes play a causal role in the elicitation of emotions. That is to say, activating an appraisal will result in the corresponding emotion. From this perspective, designing for emotional experiences can benefit from understanding appraisal models. However, the appraisal components, as discussed in appraisal literature, are too general and vague to be directly used by designers.
This study aimed at specifying these general components, as well as providing an initial discussion about the appraisal patterns of some emotions elicited in user-product interaction. To this end, a study composed of an experience sampling phase and an in-depth interview phase was designed (N=29). The results implied that motive consistency is the main appraisal component underlying various emotional experiences in interaction with products. This component is specified in terms of different levels of user motives. In addition, the appraisal patterns of happiness/joy, contentment/satisfaction, and anger/irritation were discussed.


Appraisal components, User-Product Interaction, happiness/joy, contentment/satisfaction, anger/irritation