Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Openness to Experience: An HCI Experiment

Academic journal article Issues in Informing Science & Information Technology

Openness to Experience: An HCI Experiment

Article excerpt


End-users in today's digital world have to utilize a variety of information and communications technologies (ICT) to perform basic daily tasks. In fact, during the same day a typical North American end-user would utilize office applications for word processing, spreadsheet, and presentations, as well as mobile applications and internet applications (email, forums and chat), many of which have been designed with significantly different interfaces. Information systems managers, designers and software developers need to understand how end-users adapt to the ever changing environment of the ICTs and how they interact with them. End-users' performance and acceptance of new ICTs usage depends strongly on various constructs mainly computer skill, beliefs and self efficacy.

The issue of computer-user interface has been a major topic among computer related industries during the last two decades. There have been a significant amount of human-computer interfaces (HCI) related works as it applies to the management of information system's (MIS) field, however most of them were within the context of end-user training and in a corporate setting (Davis, Bagozzi, & Warshaw, 1992; Marcus, 2000; Shneiderman, 1998; Shneiderman & Plaisant, 2004). Due to today's daily technology related demands there is a need to better understand the role that different user interfaces play in end-user performance and acceptance. It is recognized that acceptance of a new ICT is dependent on behavioral and personality traits such as perceptions, attitudes, openness to experiment or ones willingness to simply try new things.

In this study, we consider the factors that tend to affect the user's performance with regards to human-computer interface. That is, factors contributing to the user's behaviors in terms of clicking on buttons, icons or menus are addressed. The paper reports the results of an exploratory study of end-user on openness to experience as it relates to the end-user's overall computer competencies in general and graphic competencies in specific, while using an icon based software. In personality trait study, the psychologists have posited prominent model called the five-factor model of personality. This theory consists of five personality trait constructs in describing personality. These five different factors are referred to as the "Big 5" (Digman, 1990). The five factors were derived from factor analyses of a large number of self- and peer reports on personality-relevant adjectives and questionnaire items. One of these five dimensions is named 'Openness to Experience' by the researchers (Costa & McCrae, 1992, Digman, 1990). Openness encompasses a general disposition that is receptive to entertaining new and challenging facets of cultural life, as well as personal thoughts and emotions (Costa & McCrae, 1992). We believe that such a personality trait affects the end-user preference of software interface type. The main contribution of this research to HCI studies is to further investigate the relationship between interface design and openness to experience.

Openness to Experience

In many ways, we are all similar but when faced with the same situation different people might act very differently. Personality psychologists have been trying to classify these tendencies to feel or behave a certain way into organized models of personality (trait theories). The goal of the theory has been to find a small number of independent dimensions called factors (traits) that would account for as much of the variation in personality as possible. Cattell (1990) generally is credited with an original short list consisting 16 traits (Sixteen Personality Traits). The list consists of Reserved/ Outgoing; Less intelligent/More intelligent; Stable, ego strength; Emotionality/ neuroticism; Humble/Assertive; Sober/Happy-go-lucky; Expedient/Conscientious; Shy/Venturesome; Tough-minded/Tender-minded; Trusting/Suspicious; Practical/Imaginative; Forthright/Shrewd; Placid/Apprehensive; Conservative/Experimenting; Group-dependant/Self-sufficient; Undisciplined/Controlled; Relaxed. …

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