ACII 2021 Special Session

Title: Affective Computing and Neuroergonomics in the Workplace

Organizers: Hatice Gunes, Nale Lehmann-Willenbrock, Gianluca Borghini, and Verena Nitsch 

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Interest in and research about affect and emotions in organizations have expanded dramatically in recent years. Research shows that employees’ moods, emotions, and dispositional affect influence critical organizational outcomes such as job performance, decision making, creativity, turnover, prosocial behaviour, teamwork, negotiation, and leadership. Furthermore, cognitive strain related to computer work and digitalized work processes has increased considerably in recent years and has been linked to a number of adverse mental health effects such as depression and burn-out. Therefore, analysing and understanding employee affect is crucial in shaping organizational behaviours and decisions. To enable such insights, non-invasively gathering neurophysiological and behavioural data and assessing people’s mental and emotional states can support the investigation of individuals as well as team and group behaviours in the workplace.

Research on workplace affect should also consider the rapid change in working conditions due to the COVID 19 pandemic, as most work has moved to tele-working settings. The resulting blur of work-life boundaries implies that work events explicitly or implicitly impact our emotions, mental and physical activities and therefore the ways our daily lives evolve. Hence, insights into affective processes of individuals and groups at work are key to shaping employee behaviour and working environments with cognitive and neuroergonomic measures that enable positive affective experiences even in remote work settings.

In light of these, the main objective of this special session is to bring together a multidisciplinary group of researchers to identify and address key challenges for studying affective behaviours and cognitive/neuroergonomics in the workplace and how these can be addressed with studies taking place both in the lab and in the field. More specifically, the special session aims (i) to bring forth existing efforts and major accomplishments in analysing and understanding affective, mental and physical functions and the relationship of these to work related factors including job performance, decision making, creativity, turnover, prosocial behaviour, teamwork, negotiation, and leadership as well as operational safety, and workplace-related risks (e.g., repetitive stress injuries, burn-out) etc., (ii) while encouraging the design of novel models, datasets, tools, interfaces and applications to support long-term analysis and behaviour change for individuals and teams, and (iii) to focus on future directions across multiple disciplines.

The authors of the accepted special session submissions will be invited to submit an extended version of their paper to Frontiers Research Topic on Non-invasive neuroergonomic approaches for understanding user and teams in everyday contexts (