Incorporating simulated animal attacks in human technology interaction interfaces: The predictive power of biosemiotics and evolutionary psychology

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International Journal of Technology and Human Interaction


Enhanced cognition within the temporal vicinity of animal attacks arguably allowed our hominid ancestors to better build and associate memories related to the animals and their typical habitat markers, which in turn increased their survival chances. This may be at the source of an unusual phenomenon with limited but interesting practical uses in the design of human-technology interaction interfaces for learning tasks; the phenomenon involves modern humans' short-term memories being instantaneously turned into long-term memories through surprise in the form of simulated animal attacks. This study explores this phenomenon in the context of a computer-supported learning task, by testing the prediction that a simulated snake attack will lead to cognition enhancement within its temporal vicinity. In an experiment, those participants who were surprised by a Web-based snake screen did significantly better in the test questions for Web-based learning modules that were temporally adjacent to the snake screen. Copyright © 2008, IGI Global.

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