Person & Society-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Person and Society Thrust (PST)

Lead:  Richard Schulz, University of Pittsburgh

PST research brings socioeconomic considerations to the forefront of advanced technology research by forcing consideration of non-technical issues in QoLT system design.  PST is working to understand and overcome the personal and societal barriers to acceptance and adoption, and is developing techniques to measure effectiveness of QoLT.  PST’s agenda and own research programs are shaped by the needs of the ERC as a whole and the current unavailability and/or in accessibility of relevant data essential to the development of QoLT’s.  PST has been designed to address three major existing barriers to advancing this field:
  • Lack of information about attitudes toward and preferences for technology at the population level.
  • Lack of information on individual’s attitudes about privacy and its roles in technology development.
  • Difficulty of accessing information about QoLT products, industries, advocacy organizations, scholarly and professional literature.

PST has three primary goals:

  1. Provide core services critical to the success of the technical thrusts and engineering applications of the Center.
  2. Promote a complimentary scientific agenda aimed at developing and implementing evaluation methodologies for assessing the needs, acceptability and impact of QoLT.
  3. Implement models of participatory action design and infusion in the education of engineers and other individuals from other disciplines.

Achieving these goals requires that we develop, populate and disseminate multiple databases to support and shape Quality of Life Technology development, and that we work closely with the engineering thrusts to ensure their timely and appropriate application. The team for this thrust is highly interdisciplinary, involving faculty and students with expertise in psychology, sociology, psychiatry, nursing, family medicine, social and decision science, public health, rehabilitation science, public policy, and library science.