ESR2 - Sophia Hick

ESR photo
ESR2 - Sophia Hick
Research project
"(Dis)Trust in medical technologies and medical support considering (severe) health decisions"
About the project

Trust as a major component of the acceptance of medical technologies is essential. Especially in severe health- and life-end-decisions, socio-ethical perspectives on lifelogging and medical technology are of paramount impact. Thereby, trust in technologies and decisions of medical personnel are of utmost importance for people who need assistance and care. Yet, trust concepts prevailing are concentrating on different usage contexts and lack of understanding which factors need to be considered in severe illness and under vital conditions. This thesis examines the extent to which trust in technology and medical support impacts technology acceptance and decisions in (severe) health situations. The dissertation will explore insights into trust building and the trust requirements in sensible user groups and usage contexts.

Start date: October 2021

Expected end date: October 2024

Progress of the project

After an initial review of relevant literature, a first qualitative study was carried out. This study was exploratory in nature and served the purpose of defining relevant trust factors for AAL technology to be validated and expanded in future studies. Consequently, a follow-up quantitative study was conducted after having developed an instrument that measures trust in AAL systems. Another qualitative study has been conducted which defines severe health decisions in the health care system and how that shapes trust perceptions of participants. This study employed a group interview, more precisely a focus group, and was carried out twice. The results will be compared and combined with those of the quantitative study. ESR2 is currently in the process of data collection regarding a comparison of trust in two different context, namely medical AAL technology and autonomous shuttle services. This will further define trust parameters in the AAL context by outlining which factors are context-dependent and context-independent and how these change in importance when applied to different technologies. Next, the project will concentrate on exploring influencing variables, such as technical affinity, previous experience, acceptance, and demographic factors in order to construct a cartography of trust in the medical context.

Scientific publications
About the ESR

Sophia received a MScRes in Differential Psychology from the University of Edinburgh in 2021. She completed her BSc in Cognitive Neuropsychology, minoring in medical psychology, from Tilburg University 2020. In her Master’s thesis, she investigated stress on decision making with the mediating role of emotional intelligence in athletes.

Contact information

Sophia Hick

Chair of Communication Science

Institute of Language and communication studies
Human-Computer Interaction Center
RWTH Aachen University
Campus Boulevard 57
52074 Aachen, Germany

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