The emotional wellbeing of researchers: considerations for practice

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

57 Citations (Scopus)


As technology progressively pervades all aspects of our lives, members of the HCI community are engaging with increasingly sensitive contexts in their research - for example, end of life, genocide, computer-mediated communication under oppressive regimes. The considerations generated by research in such contexts can go well beyond those addressed by generic ethical approval processes and institutional practice. Whilst it is standard to ensure that the wellbeing of participants is taken into account in research design and the ethical approval process, it is much less common for the researcher's own emotional wellbeing to be considered explicitly. This paper describes the role that a researcher's emotions may play in research, and the impact which research in sensitive contexts can have on researchers' emotional wellbeing and on research validity. A qualitative survey is described which investigated the support mechanisms which HCI researchers have in place in case they are distressed/troubled as a result of their research. The results of the survey are used, in combination with insights into how other disciplines address the topic, to synthesize suggestions for ways in which the HCI community can proactively incorporate consideration for the emotional wellbeing of the researcher into the research process.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013
EventCHI '13:Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Paris, France
Duration: 27 Apr 20132 May 2013


ConferenceCHI '13:Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems


  • emotional wellbeing
  • technology

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  • Introduction: Mortality in design

    Graham, C., Smith, W., Moncur, W. & Hoven, E. V. D., 3 Jan 2018, In: Design Issues. 34, 1, p. 3-14 12 p.

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