Susan Möller Ferreira is now a Doctor!

FerreiraSM PhD Defense

The GTI member Susan Möller Ferreira defended successfully her PhD Thesis on September 4th, 2015. The dissertation, entitled “An alternative view of ICTs use by older people in Human-Computer Interaction. Similarities, digital content creation and perceived well-being”, obtained the grade of “Excellent Cum Laude“.

Congratulations to Susan, and her supervisors, Dr. Sergio Sayago from Universitat de Lleida and Dr. Josep Blat from Universitat Pompeu Fabra. And thanks to the three members of the examination board, Dra. Mireia Fernández-Ardévol from Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, Dr. Chee Siang Ang from University of Kent (UK) and Dra. Paula Forbes from University of Abertay (Dundee) who sparked an interesting discussion.

Thesis Abstract:

Within Human-Computer Interaction, older people (60+) are often characterized as a heterogeneous group of consumers of digital content that use ICTs in a limited way due to age-related changes in functional abilities. By drawing on an ethnographical study of ICTs use by approximately 220 older people over a 5-year period in Spain and on two rapid ethnographical studies, in Denmark and Brazil, with around 180, this dissertation presents an alternative view of ICTs use by older people. The results portray older people as creative digital content creators, provide qualitative evidence of how the process of using ICTs have a positive impact on their perceived well-being and argue that their ICTs use is not so heterogeneous as one might think. This dissertation also suggests that fostering the digital inclusion of older people in developing countries such as Brazil rests upon going beyond providing them with physical / technological infrastructures.