SCS Undergraduate Thesis Topics

Jing Jin Laura Dabbish Are You Your Own Worst Enemy? Self-Interruption on the Computer

Although much research has been conducted on the disruptive effects of external interruptions during task execution, few have studied why we interrupt ourselves - i.e. interruptions occurring without any active outside influence, or self-interruption. This work is aimed at understanding the causes and effects of self-interruption to inform the design of productivity enhancing end-user feedback. The causes and effects of self-interruption were assessed through a set of user studies and, based on the results, a feedback mechanism is proposed that should reduce the harmful effects of self-interruption.

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