Human-Computer Interaction

INTERACT 2015: Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015 pp 237-254

Mind the Gap! Comparing Retrospective and Concurrent Ratings of Emotion in User Experience Evaluation

Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-22701-6_17

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9296)
Cite this paper as:
Bruun A., Ahm S. (2015) Mind the Gap! Comparing Retrospective and Concurrent Ratings of Emotion in User Experience Evaluation. In: Abascal J., Barbosa S., Fetter M., Gross T., Palanque P., Winckler M. (eds) Human-Computer Interaction – INTERACT 2015. INTERACT 2015. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 9296. Springer, Cham


User experience (UX) is typically measured retrospectively through subjective questionnaire ratings, yet we know little of how well these retrospective ratings reflect concurrent experiences of an entire event. UX entails a broad range of dimensions of which human emotion is considered to be crucial. This paper presents an empirical study of the discrepancy between concurrent and retrospective ratings of emotions. We induced two experimental conditions of varying pleasantness. Findings show the existence of a significant discrepancy between retrospective and concurrent ratings of emotions. In the most unpleasant condition we found retrospective ratings to be significantly overestimated compared to concurrent ratings. In the most pleasant condition we found retrospective ratings to correlate with the highest and final peaks of emotional arousal. This indicates that we cannot always rely on typical retrospective UX assessments to reflect concurrent experiences. Consequently, we discuss alternative methods of assessing UX, which have considerable implications for practice.


User experience Emotion Memory-experience gap Peak-end rule 

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Computer ScienceAalborg UniversityAalborgDenmark

Personalised recommendations