Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This is a nice outline of Donald Norman's theory of Emotional Design. As Clark notes, Norman breaks emotional design down into three components: visceral (appearance), behavioural (performance), and reflective (memories and experience). This sort of classification exercise is a favourite among education researchers, and of course the work never ends (Clark notes that "beyond Norman, there are also other cognitive feelings around aesthetics, beauty, layout, space, colour and simplicity in design, that also count"). The structure is a nice framework for discussion, but we shouldn't confuse it with an actual theory of, or explanation of, the nature and role of emotion in learning. The discussion reduces in one place to Gestalt theory and in another to brain-as-computer analogies, as evidenced by concepts like 'cognitive effort' and Kahneman's account of the machinery of thought. Image: Norman, 2006.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Oct 25, 2020 01:39 a.m.