Creating and Exploring Digital Empathy (CEDE)


Research Team

Andrew-Hudson Smith, Martin de Jode, Panagiotis Mavros, Kaisa Puustinen-Hopper (UCL)
Paul Coulton, Dave Gullick, Jonny Huck (Lancaster)
Jennifer Roberts, Philip Powell (Sheffield)


CEDE was a multidisciplinary research project bringing together experts in data analysis, design, human computer interaction, behavioural economics, psychology, and mobile psychophysiology to explore and create a new dimension to digital personhood – digital empathy. CEDE had an international cross-sector focus, with case studies and research related to behavioural economics, health, design, psychophysiology, and ICT to enhance our understanding of empathy in digital personhood and its potential for the digital economy. The project focused on five core objectives: i) explore and develop the concept of ‘digital empathy’ and how it can be facilitated via innovative methods; ii) improve individuals’ quality of life by enabling a fuller expression of digital personhood and identifying its social and economic implications; iii) reduce isolation across communities/groups and individuals; iv) develop new design principles that can be incorporated into systems design to enable empathy to be effectively communicated across the network; and v) open up a new domain in digital personhood, applicable across a variety of sectors. CEDE is funded by EPSRC grant EP/L003635/1.


Coulton, P., Huck, J., Hudson-Smith, A., Barthel, R., Mavros, P., Roberts, J., & Powell, P. (2014). Designing interactive systems to encourage empathy between users. DIS Companion ’14 Proceedings of the 2014 companion publication on designing interaction systems. New York: ACM, p. 13-16. doi:10.1145/2598784.2602770

Huck, J., Coulton, P., Gullick, D., Powell, P., Roberts, J., Hudson-Smith, A., De-Jode, M., & Mavros, P. (2015). Supporting empathy through embodiment in the design of interactive systems. TEI ’14 Proceedings of the Ninth International Conference on Tangible, Embedded, and Embodied Interaction. New York: ACM, p. 523-528. doi:10.1145/2677199.2687892

Huck, j., Powell, P., Coulton, P., Roberts, J., Hudson-Smith, A., De-Jode, M., Mavros, P., & Gradinar, A. (2014). Designing for empathy in a church community. Proceedings of the 18thInternational Academic MindTrek Conference 2014.

Wills, O., Roberts, J., & Powell, P. (2014) The role of empathy ineconomic decisions. Unpublished SURE project report.


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