Conceptualising and measuring digital emotion regulation

Project overview

Cartoon by Ellen Wadley of people waiting on a platform, reading their phones while waiting for a train

This project aims to develop a theoretical framework and novel technologies to investigate how, where, when and why people engage in digital emotion regulation. Existing research shows that individuals often use digital technologies to shape their emotions in response to situations; yet social norms often cast such technology use as disrespectful or distracting. The discrepancy between the practice and perception of digital emotion regulation is due to the lack of a systematic understanding of these practices. This project aims to develop a novel framework for better understanding digital emotion regulation, ways to study it in everyday settings, and evidence-based recommendations for managing it in ways that benefit individuals and society.

The evidence provided by this project will inform the societal debate about technology overuse and its impact on work, education and interpersonal relationships. The created knowledge will inform policy-makers, designers, and end-users about appropriate use of technology in everyday settings.

Project team

Research fellows

PhD students

Research opportunities

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PhD position: Conceptualising and measuring digital emotion regulation

The University of Melbourne invites applications for a fully-funded, full-time PhD position starting in 2020. The research will be conducted by the Human-Computer Interaction Group in the School of Computing and Information System. This is a multidisciplinary project, funded by the Australian Research Council, that seeks to investigate whether and how people use technology to change their emotional states. The project involves experts from Computer Science and Psychology.

Download:Download the call for applications [PDF]

Project information

Funding source: ARC DP190102627

Project time frame: 2019–2021

CHI Workshop


Tag, B., Goncalves, J., Webber, S., Koval, P., & V. Kostakos, (2021). A Retrospective and a Look Forward: Lessons Learned From Researching Emotions In-the-Wild IEEE Pervasive Computing, 1–9.

Tag, B., Webber, S., Wadley, G., Bartlett, V., Goncalves, J., Koval, P., & V. Kostakos, (2021). Making Sense of Emotion-Sensing: Workshop on Quantifying Human Emotions. UbiComp: Ubiquitous Computing Conference '21

Yang, K., Wang, C., Gu, Y., Sarsenbayeva, Z., Tag, B., Dingler, T., & Goncalves, J. (2021). Behavioral and Physiological Signals-Based Deep Multimodal Approach for Mobile Emotion Recognition. IEEE Transactions on Affective Computing, 1–1.

Yang, K., Wang, C., Sarsenbayeva, Z., Tag, B., Dingler, T., Wadley, G., & Goncalves, J. (2020). Benchmarking commercial emotion detection systems using realistic distortions of facial image datasets. The Visual Computer, 1–20.

Sarsenbayeva, Z., Tag, B., Yan, S., Kostakos, V., & Goncalves, J. (2020, December). Using Video Games to Regulate Emotions. In 32nd Australian Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 755–759).

Article in Pursuit: Do Devices Help Us Regulate Our Emotions?

Wadley, G., Smith, W., Koval, P., Gross, J. (2020) Digital Emotion Regulation. Current Directions in Psychological Science

Sarsenbayeva, Z., Marini, G., van Berkel, N., Luo, C., Jiang, W., Yang, K., Wadley, G., Dingler, T., Kostakos, V., Goncalves, J. (2020) Does Smartphone Use Drive our Emotions or vice versa? A Causal Analysis. CHI 2020.

Wadley, G., Krause, A., Liang, J., Wang, Z. and Leong, T. (2019) Use of music streaming platforms for emotion regulation by international students. Proceedings of OzCHI 2019.


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Contact details