Using Smartphones-Sensors to Promote Psychological Resilience
Doug Daugherty LifeData
Mobile technology is shaping us for better and worse. Given this, how might smartphones be used well, to promote flourishing? One way forward involves the use of experience sampling, which records individuals’ experiences in the context of daily life. The integration of smartphones, sensors and experience sampling platforms offer ways of collecting psychological and physiological data on human growth and well-being. Smartphone-sensor platforms will enable researchers, practitioners and consumers to create and test app-facilitated assessments and interventions, leading to research- supported advances in health and flourishing.
Smartphones can help people make positive changes in the way they live. Smartphone-based interventions can be easily scaled, and can extend our reach to the marginalized and underserved. For example, significant barriers prevent most people with mental health issues from receiving services of any kind. Smartphone interventions can be a first-line approach in a stepped care model, allowing us to provide population interventions to large numbers of people. Economies of scale allow for wide distribution at minimal cost.
One way to promote widespread psychological health and well-being is by promoting resilience. Various positive psychology interventions have been researched and recommended in recent years to foster resilience and character strengths. Smartphone apps may prove to be a highly accessible and cost- effective means of expanding the reach, dose, and impact of these interventions. Smartphone assessments can help us understand the nature and magnitude of life stresses as experienced in daily life. Smartphone interventions, informed by assessments, can engage character strengths; encourage adaptive mindsets and active coping; foster social support; and invite meaning.
We are hopeful about the many possibilities for harnessing the power of smartphones to extend the reach of psychology, fostering personal and social resilience. I’ll briefly share a couple examples.