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How Values Can Reduce Conflicts in the Design Process: Results from a Multi-Site Mixed-Method Field Study

Kenneth R. Fleischmann, William A. Wallace and Justin M. Grimes

ASIST 2011 Annual Meeting
New Orleans, LA, October 9-12, 2011


This study investigates value conflicts that arise during the process of designing computational models, including conflicts among modelers, clients, users, and those affected by computational models. Survey results identify statistically significant differences in the values of those who have experienced various kinds of value conflicts and those who have not, in terms of values such as equality, a spiritual life, forgiving, humble, a world at peace, politeness, responsible, self-discipline, honoring of parents and elders, true friendship, and devout. Interview results shed further light on the types of value conflicts, their causes, and their implications for design. Overall, this study illustrates the importance for computational modelers to consider and design for the values of all stakeholders in the computational modeling process, which can ensure that the models that they build will be sensitive to and appropriate for the values of all of the individuals and communities that will be affected by computational models.

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