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Release: June 13, 2001

UI invites participants for emotions of driving study

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Interested persons are invited to participate in a research study involving the recall of emotional experiences, with particular emphasis on the fun aspects of driving. The research will be conducted at the Operator Performance Laboratory (OPL) in the UI College of Engineering’s Center for Computer Aided Design.

Researchers have long been interested in learning what makes driving fun, particularly because the concept of fun is important to an automotive industry continually striving to improve vehicle quality and performance. Tom Schnell, assistant professor of industrial engineering and OPL director, John Lee, associate professor of industrial engineering, and their graduate students will investigate ways to quantify and predict the degree of fun motorists experience in various environments and situations.

The goal of the study is to stimulate emotional experiences involving fun, fear, happiness and frustration and to measure accompanying physiological variables while the subjects are in an artificial driving environment, according to Katrina See and Tuhin Diptiman, graduate students at the OPL.

Study participants must have a valid U.S. driver's license and be between the ages of 30 and 60. The study will last approximately three hours, and participants will be compensated for their time.

For more information, call Katrina or Tuhin at the OPL at 384-0952 or email at or