Media Technology MSc

Growing Emotions: Using Affect to Help Children Understand a Plant’s Needs


This study proposes a homeostasis-based affective system with emotion and mood as a way to communicate a plant's health state and environmental needs to preschool and primary school children. A system is proposed that expresses mood and emotion to express the plant's health state and its affective reaction to user-induced environmental changes respectively. A long-term goal is to enhance empathic reasoning in children and respect for plants and life in general, using affect as a communicative interface (even though the underlying system is not emotive per se). A fundamental issue addressed in this work is to what extend it is useful to add affective communication to a system that is otherwise non-affective (plants in our case) in order to better understand that system's state. A computer simulation of the affective plant was tested (n=7). Our results suggest that children can identify the simulated plant's needs and state based on graphically expressed affect, and can act to enhance the homeostasis of the plant.




Jules W. Verdijk, Daan Oldenhof, Daan E. Krijnen and Joost Broekens, Growing Emotions: Using Affect to Help Children Understand a Plant's Needs . In: Proceedings of 6th Int Conf on Affective Computing and Intelligent Interaction (ACII), pp 160-165. IEEE, 2015.