Sensory Perception & Interaction Research Group

University of British Columbia

Full citation: 
Hwang, I., MacLean, K. E., Brehmer, M., Hendy, J., Sotirakopoulos, A., and Choi, S., “The Haptic Crayola Effect: Exploring the Role of Naming in Learning Haptic Stimuli.” in Proceedings of IEEE WorldHaptics '11, Istanbul, Turkey, pp, 385-390, June 2011.
A haptic icon is a short physical stimulus attached to a simple mean- ing, which provides information and feedback to a user. To scale the utility demonstrated for small icon sets to larger ones, we need effi- cient strategies to help users learn subtle distinctions among stimuli, in a modality for which they may not hold detailed descriptive per- cepts. This paper investigates the effect of naming haptic stimuli – i.e. explicitly creating a linguistic marker – on the accuracy with which users are able to identify, distinguish, and recall stimuli. We conducted a between-subjects experiment using 60 partici- pants equally divided among three naming conditions: no names, pre-selected non-descriptive names, and self-selected names. The experiment examined the impact of naming strategy on the ability of participants to identify stimuli in a nonverbal matching test, and on remembering stimulus names. For this challenging task and the degree of learning afforded, naming did not significantly impact ac- curacy of matching stimuli to meanings for all participants. How- ever, more than twice of many of those allowed to choose names reported the ability to remember and distinguish stimuli than those required to use non-descriptive names, and many participants felt that the names were useful. Of middle-performing participants, the self-selected names group performed significantly better than the non-descriptive names group, and appeared to progress more quickly in learning. We summarize evidence for a trend that might widen with refined naming strategies and more extensive learning.
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