Digital Single Market
Digital Economy & Society

Andrea Gaggioli

Last name: 
First name: 
Department of Psychology
Year of birth: 
Catholic University of Sacred Heart

I hold a M.S. degree in Psychology from University of Bologna and a Ph.D. in Psychobiology from the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Milan.

I am currently researcher at the Psychology Department of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, in Milan, and consultant at the Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab (ATN-P LAB) of Istituto Auxologico Italiano, a biomedical research institute based in Milan.

Prior to working with these organizations, I collaborated with the Competence Center for Virtual Reality at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering, Stuttgart, Germany.

My main research focus is on Positive Technology, a field at the intersection of interaction design, neuroscience, and positive psychology, which studies how emerging technologies can be used to augment cognition and support mental wellbeing.

During the last ten years, my research has focused on the effects of virtual technologies on perception and cognition, as well as on their potential role in promoting mental and physical wellbeing. My main interests are two-folds: the identification of novel theoretical and methodological approaches for the study of virtual experience; and the design and evaluation of technology-based interventions in rehabilitation and organizational settings.

More recently, my research has been focused on the applications of mobile technologies in the assessment and management of emotions and their correlates (psychological stress), within the framework of the European-funded project INTERSTRESS "Inter-Reality in the Management and Treatment of Stress-Related Disorders" (FP7-ICT-2009-247685), which I coordinated.

Here is my full publication list.

You can also follow me on ResearchGate and Linkedin.

And Twitter, of course.

Personal vision: 

As Arthur C. Clarke once said, "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic".

My vision of the digital future is of a new generation of technologies, which not only help people in being more productive or more connected, but can also empower individuals in realizing their true potential and living a more engaged life. Today, many of us look at advances in digital technologies as of something useful, but also potentially risky and somehow sinister.

Some even think that one day artificial intelligence can take control and transform us into slaves. As a psychologist, I think that these irrational worries are a symptom of a conflictual, ambivalent relationship with current technologies. On the one hand, we see digital media and tools as a great opportunity and we are fascinated by the breathtaking speed of their development.

On the other hand, we are concerned about the pervasiveness of computers in our daily lives, and about our increasing dependence on them. For that, I think that future technologies should not only be more reassuring than today's, but also able to inspire us, bring about positive transformation in the society, and hand us new opportunities to realize ourselves, by respecting the environment and life in all its forms.

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How can mobile tools change mental health research and practice? Blog post by psychology expert and researcher Andrea Gaggioli.