A retrospective and a look forward: lessons learned from researching emotions in-the-wild

Benjamin Tag, Jorge Goncalves, Sarah Webber, Peter Koval, Vassilis Kostakos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Emotions have a significant impact on our decision-making, learning, awareness, social interactions, and mental and physical health. Even though large efforts have been put into quantifying human emotions, their subjectivity, context-dependence, and complexity render them as being almost unpredictable. However, while different streams of research in pervasive computing and psychology have made significant progress in the quantification of emotions, the most successful research results come out of controlled laboratory studies. In this article, we present a retrospective of a series of in-the-wild studies through the lens of human emotions. We are looking at the weaknesses and strengths of traditional research methods and present lessons learned. We furthermore call for a readjustment of research rigor and describe potential new research designs specific to out-of-the-lab studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-36
Number of pages9
JournalIEEE Pervasive Computing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes
  • Your phone, your emotions and everyday life

    Benjamin Tag, Greg Wadley, Peter Koval, Vassilis Kostakos, James Gross, Anna L. Cox, Jorge Goncalves, Zhanna Sarsenbayeva, Wally Smith, Sarah Webber, Kangning Yang, Yaoxi Shi & Xanthe Lowe-Brown


    3 items of Media coverage, 1 Media contribution

    Press/Media: Article/Feature

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