Assignment 4


  1. Watch for this opportunity as soon as possible: Find two different examples in real life where a person you're with is getting frustrated. In one case, try to help solve the problem causing their frustration (give advice, or help fix it) but without showing any empathy. In the other case, you may or may not try to help solve it, but first express empathy and understanding, especially before any effort to advise or fix, e.g. "Oh, that's so frustrating when that happens..." Wait and hear what they say in response to you, before doing anything else. Report both conversations—your dialogue and theirs (no identifying information otherwise needed) and reflect on whether or not the frustration seemed to subside more quickly in one case or the other. Why do you think it subsided more quickly in the case in which it did?
  2. In what ways is the intelligence of the new Mattel Barbie similar to that of the old Microsoft Clippy (and likely to run into similar problems)? Support your answer with a specific example from the article.
  3. How might your smartphone show that it "cares" more about its user? Obviously, you know it is not going to "care" like a person does, but list two specific ways it could be modified to make you feel a bit more cared for. If it helps, you can pick a specific app or style of interaction and describe how to modify it.
  4. List two concrete things you did this week to help your project move forward. Note: Soon you'll be asked to provide a presentation on background materials, so you may want to start collecting and reading those.