The Story Lab is an interdisciplinary center of expertise for narrative studies. We design and evaluate technological interventions to support people in expressing and creating stories that promote their health and well-being. We advance narrative methodology by developing technologies for the analysis of stories that are told in natural settings. Last, we study how people imagine meaningful lives in a changing and complex world of technology and care.
Narrative interventions to promote health and well-being
The Story Lab has extensive expertise in the design and evaluation of narrative interventions that promote health and well-being. These interventions are based on personal stories to construct meaning in life. They support personalized care that contributes to positive health as more than the absence of disease.
We design web-based narrative technologies that are safe, persuasive and easy to use. These interventions are tailored to the needs of specific groups, like frail older persons, persons with chronic psychiatric disorders, people with personality disorders, or people with both intellectual disability and psychiatric complaints. We use both quantitative and qualitative methods for formative and summative evaluations. To facilitate implementation, we develop courses and trainings, also supported by e-learning.
Mining for meaning: Technology for narrative analysis
The Story Lab developed new methods for the analysis of stories, in particular the story line analysis. The meaning of stories depends on the verbal and non-verbal expression of story plots in specific interactional settings in a broader cultural context. New technologies, like natural language processing, text mining, and affect mining, can assist the analysis of stories.
We advance these technologies to allow for the analysis of stories in natural settings, for example in the expression of traumatic stories, imaginative stories about future lives, or the interaction between counselors and clients in e-mental health interventions. An important challenge is how these technologies facilitate researchers in the interpretation of the meaning of stories and how they may be implemented in everyday practice, for example in virtual agents.
Imagining resilience in complex worlds of care and technology
The Story Lab studies how people attribute meaning to the rapidly changing, complex world of care and technology. People are no longer merely users of technology. They are immersed in ever more complex, autonomous, and invasive systems. We need more insight in how people narratively construct meaningful and resilient lives in interaction with emerging technologies.
We study how people construct identities in relation to technologically-induced worlds and lives, like complex hospital care systems, Deep Brain Stimulation for Parkinson patients, biotechnologically engineered extension of the lifespan. These studies provide insights that are important to the design and implementation of such innovative technologies in a way that supports meaningful lives from a user perspective.