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Studying context : a comparison of activity theory, situated action models, and distributed cognition

Abstract : It has been recognized that system design will benefit from explicit study of the context in which users work. The unaided individual divorced from a social group and from supporting artifacts is no longer the model user. But with this realization about the importance of context come many difficult questions. What exactly is context? If the individual is no longer central, what is the correct unit of analysis? What are the relations between artifacts, individuals, and the social groups to which they belong? This chapter compares three approaches to the study of context: activity theory, situated action models, and distributed cognition. I consider the basic concepts each approach promulgates and evaluate the usefulness of each for the design of technology. (http://www.ics.uci.edu/~corps/phaseii/nardi-ch4.pdf)
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00696251
Contributor : Jerome Zeiliger <>
Submitted on : Friday, May 11, 2012 - 12:31:08 PM
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Bonnie A. Nardi. Studying context : a comparison of activity theory, situated action models, and distributed cognition. Bonnie A. Nardi. Context and Consciousness: activity theory and human-computer interaction, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp.69-102, 1996. ⟨hal-00696251⟩

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