Aesthetics perception of assistive technology products and user stigma

Published: 7 June 2021| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/c3fry8x92k.1
Julia Marina Cunha


The main objective of this study was to determine the specifics of the aesthetic perception of assistive technology products and its relationship with user stigma. Questionnaires on aesthetics and the perceptions associated with the selected stimuli (3 hearing aid models, 3 upper limb orthosis models, and 3 wheelchair models) were developed based on previous methodologies. The analysis of the data was carried out through statistical tests that allowed to verify the behavior of the aesthetic principles in Assistive Technologies, as well as the relations with the Aesthetic Pleasure. To analyze the data, multiple-item variables were calculated based on their means. After the data were tabulated, the scales were tested for reliability and normality with Cronbach's alpha and the Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, respectively. Friedman's ANOVA was used to verify Hypothesis 1: the aesthetic experience (aesthetic pleasure) differs depending on the stimulus (assistive technology product). Multiple linear regression was applied to verify Hypothesis 2: the principles of aesthetics (the Unified Model of Aesthetics) perceived in assistive technologies mediate aesthetic pleasure. Likewise, Friedman's ANOVA was used to verify Hypotheses 3 and 4, which are related to the measurement of stigma: (3) the stereotypes attributed to the user (stigma) differ depending on the stimulus (assistive technology product); (4) the emotions felt about the user differ depending on the stimulus (assistive technology product). Regarding the relationship between aesthetics and stigma, multiple linear regression was used to identify the instruments’ predictive capacity for stigma, which was determined through stereotypes of competence and warmth, and for emotions, which was determined through the aesthetics variables (model predictors). The positive relation between the principles of Unity and Autonomy with aesthetic pleasure stands out, on the other hand, the Variety principle has a negative relationship with it, and Typicality adds a low value to aesthetic pleasure. Likewise, the stereotypes and emotions derived from Assistive Technologies assessed by Non-users were identified. Significant differences can be highlighted between the Competence stereotypes about the individual according to the product being used, for each category. For the Wheelchair, there is also significance for the judgment of Cordiality and the emotions of Compassion and Admiration. Still, through correlational analysis, it was possible to identify the associations between the measurement of aesthetics and stigma related to Assistive Technologies. It was identified that the increase in aesthetic pleasure is related to the reduction of stigma on the part of Non-users.



Assistive Technology, Aesthetics in Design, Stigma