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Measurement of implicit associations between emotional states and computer errors using the implicit association test

Author(s): Maricutoiu, Laurentiu P.

Journal: Romanian Journal of Applied Psychology
ISSN 1454-8062

Volume: 13;
Issue: 2;
Start page: 56;
Date: 2011;
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Keywords: error messages | anxiety | frustration | implicit association test

Previous research identified two main emotional outcomes of computer error: anxiety and frustration. These emotions have been associated with low levels of performance in using a computer. The present research used innovative methodology for studying the relations between computer error messages, user anxiety and user frustration. We used the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure automated associations between error messages and these two emotional outcomes. A sample of 80 participants completed two questionnaires and two IAT designs. Results indicated that user error messages are more strongly associated with anxiety, than with frustration. Personal characteristics such as emotional stability and English proficiency were significantly associated with the implicit anxiety measure, but not with the frustration measure. No significant relations were found between two measures of computer experience and the emotional measures. These results indicated that error related anxiety is associated with personal characteristics.
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