Article Information

USER REACTION TO BREAKDOWNS IN HUMAN-COMPUTER INTERACTION: A SOCIOLOGICAL ANALYSIS

Andrei Korbut (akorbut@hse.ru)

National Research University “Higher School of Economics”, Moscow, Russia.

Citation: Korbut A. (2019) Reaktsiya pol'zovateley na sboi vo vzaimodeystvii s komp'yuterami: sotsiologicheskiy analiz [User Reaction to Breakdowns in Human-Computer Interaction: A Sociological Analysis]. Zhurnal sotsiologii i sotsialnoy antropologii [The Journal of Sociology and Social Anthropology], 22(6): 27–43. https://doi.org/10.31119/jssa.2019.22.6.3 (in Russian).

Abstract: The article deals with the problem of discontent with machine, known as a problem of “computer rage.” Traditionally the problem is interpreted by reference to the psychology of the user who responds to machine malfunctions that interrupt his or her goal achievement. It is assumed that reaction to these failures is expressed in the form of utterances and physical actions addressed to the machine as a living being. This article argues that it is exactly the opposite: the computer rage indicates that people interact with computers as mechanisms that are different from human beings. In confirmation of this point, the data on the interaction of callers with a telephone robot are analyzed. They demonstrate that, if we consider discontent with machine as an interactional phenomenon, then it becomes clear that users do not perceive the machine as an interactional partner similar to humans. The main difference of human-machine interaction is that users in this case express annoyance in the way that they do not use in the interactions with humans: they refuse to be polite, directly formulate the necessary actions, and turn their utterances into commands. The tendency to a “command” way of interacting with a machine shows that users are frustrated not by the impossibility of achieving a goal, but by a failure in the organization of interaction with a machine as a machine.

Keywords: human-computer interaction, robots, interactional sociology, ethnomethodology, computer rage, user frustration

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