‘Know thyself’ was the ancient Greek expression that was said to be inscribed in the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. Highly personalised quantified self technologies claim that they can help us to understand ourselves. If so, in what way and how would this affect us? This is one of the lectures in "The Quantified Self" series.
The Quantified Self
Did you track yourself today? The emergence of new technologies makes it possible for us to become our own study object and to monitor and analyse all kinds of personal indicators: how much we move, what we eat, how we perform, etcetera. This self-tracking is referred to as the ‘quantified self’. What are the potential opportunities and risks of this emerging development? How might self-quantification affect the way we live our lives? How might it alter research practices? And how does its contribution to personal and societal objectives weigh against possible adverse consequences?
The Quantified Self as the Road Towards Self-Improvement?
‘Know thyself’ was the ancient Greek expression that was said to be inscribed in the Temple of Apollo in Delphi. Highly personalised quantified self technologies claim that they can help us to understand ourselves. If so, in what way and how would this affect us? From a psychological perspective, professor Wijnand IJsselsteijn will introduce us into the research on quantified self technologies and their impacts. Is self-tracking the way forward towards self-improvement, as argued by quantified self proponents? Are quantified self applications doing what they promise? What do we know about possible unintended behavioural consequences? And what does this teach us about human-technology interaction and about the design of self-tracking technologies and services?
About Wijnand IJsselsteijn
Wijnand IJsselsteijn is Professor Cognition and Affect in Human-Technology Interaction at the department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences at Eindhoven University of Technology. He has a background in artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive neuropsychology, and is involved in a research programme on the impact of media technology on human psychology and the use of psychology to improve technology design. One of his areas of research encompasses the psychological dimensions of the quantified self. This includes the way in which quantified self technologies influence human behaviour, and the way in which psychological insights can inform the design of such technologies. Wijnand IJsselsteijn is a member of the Jheronimus Academy of Data Science in Den Bosch. In addition, he is scientific director of the interdisciplinary Center for Humans and Technology at TU/e, which explicitly focuses on people- and value-centred perspectives of technology understanding and design.