TU Berlin

Division of ErgonomicsTechnological innovations

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Technological innovations

Technologies have always influenced how we think and work, be it the abacus, which facilitated mentalarithmetic, books that extended our (social) memory, or the computer, which works through if-then conditions for us more quickly and reliably than we could do it ourselves. As a result, our behavior is distributed across a network of individual, social and technical actors. In this network, technologies change how and which knowledge or competencies we as human beings need, learn and communicate. The introduction of digital technologies is no exception. However, the speed at which we are faced with technological innovations has greatly increased in the digital age. It is becoming increasingly difficult to keep up with the emerging requirements and integrate them into our life day. From this point of view we ask the following questions:

  • How does our reading, writing, remembering, thinking, learning and (coordination of) work changedue to different technologies? How can we and should we support this process?
  • What are the prerequisites for participating in the use and ultimately development of technological innovations and how can we create these prerequisites?
  • Can we evaluate the quality of (technological) innovations prospectively, with the aim of increasing its value for specific fields of application and minimizing potential side effects?

To answer these questions, we use ethnographic and experimental approaches tocompare howdifferent technologies impact our thinking and work processes, and how different levels of technological competence impact its use. We use field experiments to test the effectiveness of interventions derived from these findings.


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