Discomfort: an assessment and a model

Guy Cohen-Lazry, Asaf Degani, Tal Oron-Gilad, P. A. Hancock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Interaction with and dependency on intelligent autonomous systems, may bring about feelings such as discomfort or fear. Users’ willingness to accept new technologies can be hampered by unwanted emotions like discomfort, making the study of the onset of discomfort essential for future technology design and implementation. Interest in discomfort has been growing but agreed-upon definitions or models are still wanted. Here, we present a theoretical model of discomfort predicated upon existing models and definitions. Our model emphasizes internal mental processes that guide the formation of discomfort. Specifically, we specify how environmental stimuli are linked to personal needs and expectations, and how that gap between internal and external factors contributes to discomfort. We conclude with a practical example of how our model can apply to the design of autonomous vehicles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)480-503
Number of pages24
JournalTheoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Comfort
  • autonomous vehicles
  • discomfort
  • theoretical model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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