Activity Theory in HCI: Fundamentals and Reflections by Victor Kaptelinin, Bonnie A. Nardi

By Victor Kaptelinin, Bonnie A. Nardi

Job concept -- a conceptual framework initially built by means of Aleksei Leontiev -- has its roots within the socio-cultural culture in Russian psychology. The foundational idea of the idea is human task, that is understood as practical, mediated, and transformative interplay among people and the area. because the early Nineties, job concept has been a visual landmark within the theoretical panorama of Human-Computer interplay (HCI). besides another frameworks, corresponding to allotted cognition and phenomenology, it tested itself as a number one post-cognitivist strategy in HCI and interplay layout. during this publication we speak about the conceptual foundations of job idea and its contribution to HCI research.
After making the case for conception in HCI and in short discussing the contribution of task concept to the sector (Chapter One) we introduce the ancient roots, major rules, and rules of job concept (Chapter Two). After that we current in-depth analyses of 3 matters which we examine of distinct significance to present advancements in HCI and interplay layout, particularly: corporation (Chapter Three), event (Chapter Four), and activity-centric computing (Chapter Five). We finish the e-book with reflections on demanding situations and customers for extra improvement of job thought in HCI (Chapter Six).

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Revealing the ultimate motives of a person or the fine-grain structure of automatic operations may prove to be difficult, if not impossible. This limitation of Leontiev’s three-layer model as an analytical tool can be overcome by employing an expansive “actions first” strategy. This strategy involves starting analysis from the actions layer which relatively easily yields itself to qualitative research methods. In particular, people are usually aware of their goals and can report or express them in a certain way.

The reason the subject is attempting to attain this object is the object itself. The object is perceived as something that can meet a need of the subject. In other words, the object motivates the subject, it is a motive. Activity in a narrow sense is a unit of subject-object interaction defined by the motive. It is a system of processes oriented towards the motive where the meaning of any individual component of the system is determined by its role in attaining the motive. Therefore, according to activity theory, the ultimate cause behind human activities is needs.

It is the object that the subject ultimately needs to attain. However, human activities are typically not directed straight towards their motives. As in the hunters example above, socially distributed activities are characterized by dissociation between motivating and directing objects. Complex relations between these two types of objects are present in society and are a fact of life for people who live in the society. Participation in social activities makes it necessary for individual subjects to differentiate between (a) objects that attract them and (b) objects at which their activities are directed.

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