Tactile reasoning: hands-on vs. hands-off - what's the difference?

Takken, Stephen and Wong, B. L. William ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-3363-0741 (2015) Tactile reasoning: hands-on vs. hands-off - what's the difference? Cognition, Technology and Work, 17 (3) . pp. 381-390. ISSN 1435-5558 [Article] (doi:10.1007/s10111-015-0331-5)


This study investigates tactile reasoning in relation to sense-making in the context of designing a new non-traditional information environment. We define tactile reasoning as an interaction technique that supports analytical reasoning by the direct manipulation of information objects in the graphical user interface. When people directly manipulate data, for example, by moving individual pieces of information to create temporary groups or sequences or by eliminating pieces of information from a group, we hypothesize that this can enhance their sensemaking and analytical reasoning ability by helping them discover new explanatory relationships created by the rearranged pieces of information. Our study used a cardsorting task where participants were either allowed or not allowed to touch and manipulate the cards to look for information or to construct groups of information that could provide meaningful explanations. Participants were asked to think aloud as they constructed an understanding of the information contained in the cards. Results showed that being able to manipulate the cards has a positive effect on analytical reasoning performance. In the more difficult task conditions, participants who were allowed to use their hands were observed to make 99 sets of sense-making strategies, in comparison with the 50 by participants who were not allowed to use their hands.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Computer Science
Item ID: 31401
Useful Links:
Depositing User: William Wong
Date Deposited: 16 Nov 2020 09:06
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2023 13:04
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/31401

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