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Conference Papers Year : 2022

Exploring Technical Reasoning in Digital Tool Use


The Technical Reasoning hypothesis in cognitive neuroscience posits that humans engage in physical tool use by reasoning about mechanical interactions among objects. By modeling the use of objects as tools based on their abstract properties, this theory explains how tools can be re-purposed beyond their assigned function. This paper assesses the relevance of Technical Reasoning to digital tool use. We conducted an experiment with 16 participants that forced them to re-purpose commands to complete a text layout task. We analyzed self-reported scores of creative personality and experience with text editing, and found a significant association between re-purposing performance and creativity, but not with experience. Our results suggest that while most participants engaged in Technical Reasoning to re-purpose digital tools, some experienced "functional fixedness. " This work contributes Technical Reasoning as a theoretical model for the design of digital tools.
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hal-03664169 , version 1 (10-05-2022)



Miguel Renom, Baptiste Caramiaux, Michel Beaudouin-Lafon. Exploring Technical Reasoning in Digital Tool Use. CHI 2022 - ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Apr 2022, New Orleans, LA, United States. pp.1-17, ⟨10.1145/3491102.3501877⟩. ⟨hal-03664169⟩
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