Can Information Technology Positively Influence Social Encounters?

Alkaa kello
Päättyy kello

Pinni B building, lecture hall B1097, address: Kanslerinrinne 1

Associate Professor Thomas Olsson, NSR

Modern information technology allows various forms of mediated interaction and broader social networks than ever before. At the sametime, the very same technologies often disrupt face-to-faceinteraction, and many people yearn for more meaningful social encounters. Consequently, there is a growing number of researchinitiatives for building and testing technological systems that aim to enhance, increase or otherwise positively influence interpersonal interaction in face-to-face situations.

In this lecture, I outline the landscape of this emergent but still nebulous research topic based on a systematic literature review about relevant studies and systems. Our review of 125 publications resulted in an in-depth analysis of the focus areas, social design objectives, and design and evaluation approaches identified in the reported systems. We identify four roles of technology relevant for enhancement: enabling, facilitating, inviting and encouraging. The review helps understand and analyze relevant prior research as well as direct the digitalization of social interaction towards a more socially sustainable future.


The Speakers Series of the University of Tampere is a series of Studia Generalia Lectures in the Study of Society organized weekly by the University of Tampere Institute for Advanced Social Research (IASR) in cooperation with the New Social Research Programme (NSR). The lectures are given by the Research Fellows as well as the distinguished guests of the IASR and the NSR. For the programme, please check the IASR website Most doctoral students can also get 2 ECTS for attending a minimum of six IASR Lectures, altogether 6 ECTS at the maximum. These 2 ECTS for attending 6 lectures can be earned during two successive terms.


Research Secretary Marjukka Virkajärvi,, 050 318 6697