Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies
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 Journal profile

Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies is an interdisciplinary journal publishing high-impact research that advances the understanding of complex interactions between diverse human behavior and emerging digital technologies.

 Editor spotlight

Chief Editor, Zheng Yan, is an Associate Professor and Division Director of educational psychology and methodology at University at Albany. His research focuses on the dynamic and complex relations between emerging technologies and human development.

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This journal's articles appear in a wide range of abstracting and indexing databases, and are covered by numerous other services that aid discovery and access. Find out more about where and how the content of this journal is available.

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Research Article

An Initial Investigation into Parental Perceptions Surrounding the Impact of Mobile Media Use on Child Behavior and Executive Functioning

Children demonstrate increasing early engagement with mobile media facilitated by its portability and interactivity. Parents are known to employ a range of mediation strategies for mobile media use but continue to have limited awareness about the impact of mobile media on their child’s executive functioning. Mobile media use has previously been shown to be negatively correlated with the executive functioning development of a child; however, little is known of how parents approach their child’s mobile media use. This study employed a survey design () to examine how parents access information related to mobile media and document their perspectives about the impact of mobile media on their child’s behavior and executive functioning. Correlational analyses and cooccurrence graphs showed that parents implement several mediation strategies but rarely access guidelines on mobile media use. A confirmatory factor analysis examined the model fit for four latent constructs of the Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function (BRIEF®), which included the Inhibit, Emotional Control, Initiate, and Working Memory scales. Structural equation modelling substantiated the association between parental perception of negative impacts of mobile media related to their child’s behavior, academics, and/or attention and a lower observed executive functioning. Overall, these findings suggest that parents recognize the negative impacts of mobile media on their child’s behavior, and this is associated with how they see the development of their child’s executive functioning. The results emphasize the importance of educating parents as to the role of mobile media in shaping their child’s behavior and associated executive functions.

Research Article

Comparison of Written and Spoken Instruction to Foster Coordination between Diagram and Equation in Undergraduate Physics Education

Visual–graphical representations are used to visualise information and are therefore key components of learning materials. An important type of convention-based representation in everyday contexts as well as in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) disciplines are vector field plots. Based on the cognitive theory of multimedia learning, we aim to optimize an instruction with symbolical-mathematical and visual-graphical representations in undergraduate physics education through spoken instruction combined with dynamic visual cues. For this purpose, we conduct a pre-post study with 38 natural science students who are divided into two groups and instructed via different modalities and with visual cues on the graphical interpretation of vector field plots. Afterward, the students rate their cognitive load. During the computer-based experiment, we record the participants’ eye movements. Our results indicate that students with spoken instruction perform better than students with written instruction. This suggests that the modality effect is also applicable to mathematical-symbolical and convention-based visual-graphical representations. The differences in visual strategies imply that spoken instruction might lead to increased effort in organising and integrating information. The finding of the modality effect with higher performance during spoken instruction could be explained by deeper cognitive processing of the material.

Research Article

With or without Emoji? Perceptions about Emoji Use in Different Brand-Consumer Communication Contexts

Brands are increasingly using emoji in their computer-mediated communication (CMC). However, research on how consumers perceive such use, and the determinants of those perceptions, is scarce and results may be inconsistent. In a cross-sectional study () we examined how appropriate participants considered to be the use of emoji by brands, across five brand-consumer communication contexts. We additionally examined whether these perceptions were determined by demographic and individual variables (e.g., gender and frequency of emoji use), as well as individual views about emoji use in written CMC. Overall, perceptions toward the use of emoji by brands depended on the context, with participants considering more appropriate for brands to use emoji when publicizing on social media and less appropriate when making callbacks of defective products. Results further showed that such perceptions were more favorable among younger participants and those who used emoji more frequently, but also among those who considered emoji use more useful and formal. These findings contribute to the CMC field by highlighting how perceptions of emoji use by brands are shaped, while also informing how brands can enhance CMC with consumers.

Research Article

A mathematical model for suitability of smartphone apps for children

Children now get access to smartphones at an early age and gradually acquire skills to use different types of smartphone apps. We developed a mathematical model for the ability and interest of children to use smartphone apps. The model can be used to determine the level of difficulty of apps and identify niche app, i.e. apps that are designed specifically to be used by a narrow age range of children. We used the model to analyze nine apps that are used by children. We found three of the apps to be of suitable difficulty level, four of them to be too easy and two of them to be too difficult for children who are interested in using them. We were also able to identify three niche apps.

Research Article

Web Simplification Prototype for Cognitive Disabled Users

Information and communication technology (ICT) and World Wide Web (WWW) are increasingly being used in daily life and becoming important in community, business, personal performance, and improvement of livelihood. people with disabilities (PWDs) can easily perform many tasks using WWW which might be difficult or impossible for them. However, many websites applications such as e-learning, e-commerce, and e-government are not specifically designed keeping in view PWD users. Through the web accessibility guidelines, web developers can build a web program accessible to PWDs. In this paper, we have investigated the issues related to website design that make it unavailable for PWDs. Keeping in view these issues, we have built a framework to make the web easier for PWDs. In addition, these issues are assessed using the GTmetrix, Netcraft, and WAVE accessibility tools and the results are generated using Google Analytics. Based on these results, we have proposed a simplified web version to improve website access for people with disabilities. The proposed prototype is also implemented on a website called Easywebcare by incorporating our recommendations for resolving the investigated issues. Analytics shows that the proposed type surpasses all existing activities in improving website accessibility for people with disabilities.

Research Article

Partner Phubbing as a Social Allergen: Support for a Dual Process Model

In a couple context, a social allergen is a behavior that irritates one’s partner and tends to increase as a romantic relationship continues. Given that smartphones are a constant companion for many people, their use in the presence of one’s romantic partner is pervasive and can have important implications for relationships. The present research focuses on relationship length and partner phubbing and investigates the mediating role of passion and deromantization on the social allergen of partner phubbing. Study 1 surveyed 250 married adults and found that relationship length is negatively associated with romantic passion which, in turn, is positively associated with perceptions of partner phubbing. Although the literature on social allergens would suggest a positive effect of relationship length on partner phubbing, Study 1 showed no significant main effect of relationship length on phubbing. As an attempt to explain this seeming anomaly, we drew from the attachment theory to propose an additional mechanism underlying this relationship. Study 2 ( married adults) then tests an expanded model that includes attachment anxiety as an additional mediator. Results show that relationship length is associated with lower attachment anxiety which is in turn associated with less perceived partner phubbing. Overall, the results show support for a dual process model, such that romantic passion and attachment anxiety differentially underlie the path between relationship length and perceived partner phubbing. The findings provide important insights into better understanding partner phubbing as a social allergen over the course of marital relationships.

Human Behavior and Emerging Technologies
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Article of the Year Award: Outstanding research contributions of 2020, as selected by our Chief Editors. Read the winning articles.