5. Positive Technology for Healthy Living and Active Ageing

Giuseppe RIVA a,b, Andrea GAGGIOLI a,b, Daniela VILLANI a, Pietro CIPRESSO b Claudia REPETTO a, Silvia SERINO b, Stefano TRIBERTI a, Eleonora BRIVIO a, Carlo GALIMBERTI a, Guendalina GRAFFIGNA a

a  Department of Psychology, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Milan, Italy

b Applied Technology for Neuro-Psychology Lab. Istituto Auxologico Italiano, Milan, Italy

Abstract. Information and communication technologies are widely and rapidly spreading in people’s daily lives. But what is the possible role of the mass proliferation of digital devices in supporting healthy living and active ageing? Are they useful in fostering personal growth and individual integration of the elderly, by promoting satisfaction, opportunities for action, and self-expression? Rather, do they enhance automation, impose constraints on personal initiative, and result in compulsive consumption of information? In this chapter, we suggest that possible answers to these questions will be offered by the "Positive Technology" approach, i.e., the scientific and applied approach to using technology so that it improves the quality of our personal experiences through its structuring, augmentation, and/or replacement. First, we suggest that it is possible to use technology to manipulate the quality of experience with the goal of increasing wellness and generating strengths and resilience in individuals, organizations, and society. Then, we classify positive technologies according to their effects on these three features of personal experience - Hedonic: technologies used to induce positive and pleasant experiences; Eudaimonic: technologies used to support individuals in reaching engaging and self-actualizing experiences; Social/Interpersonal: technologies used to support and improve the connectedness between individuals, groups, and organizations. Finally, we discuss the possible role of positive technologies for healthy living and active ageing by presenting different practical applications of this approach.

Keywords: Positive Technology, Active Ageing, Healthy Living, Engagement, Resilience, Positive Psychology, Intergenerational Reminiscence, Well-Being