The Human Interaction with Nature and Technological Systems (HINTS) lab seeks to address – from a psychological stance – two world trends that are powerfully reshaping human existence. One is the degradation if not destruction of large parts of the natural world. The second is unprecedented technological development, both in terms of its computational sophistication and pervasiveness. Humans will adapt to such changes. How could we not: it is that or we will die as a species.
But questions emerge: (a) Will such adaptations portend any fundamental impoverishment in terms of human functioning and human flourishing? (b) Are frequent interactions with diverse nature important, or even necessary, for children to develop well -- physically and psychologically? (c) What are the psychological effects of interacting with “Technological Nature” – technologies that mediate, augment, or simulate nature (e.g., robot pets, real-time digital windows of nature, and tele-operated gardening)? (d) How can personified computational systems (e.g., humanoid robots, androids, and “smart homes”) be designed to enhance children’s social and moral development? And (e) how can technological systems be designed to enhance the world, and where should we back off from specific technological designs and implementation?
The HINTS lab focuses on these questions. We aim for rigor in our scientific research. Depth in our apprehension of the problems. Solutions that build on the biodiversity of human experience. And far-ranging compassionate visions of the future.
- September 30, 2022 Peter Kahn and colleagues published in Land journal
- March 25, 2021 Peter Kahn is featured in the short documentary film “Forgetting Nature.”
- October 30, 2020 Peter Kahn is quoted in this Guardian article about being nature-deprived.
- April 27, 2020 Peter Kahn is quoted in this UW News article about the benefits of nature in reducing stress during COVID-19.
- April 17, 2020 Peter Kahn will be livestreaming a talk on Earth Day for the Pacific Science Center on April 22, 7:00-9:00pm. The talk is called Earth Day Now More Now than Ever: Into Nature and Toward Life.
- March 6, 2020 Peter Kahn, and his co-authors, discuss the benefit to human well-being of more wildness in urban parks in this UW News article.
- January 20, 2020 Peter Kahn is quoted in this PBS article about the benefits of immersion in nature.
- August 12, 2019 Peter Kahn was one of the co-authors featured in this UW News article on the impact of nature on mental health. It was based on a new study that was published in Science Advances.
- January 22, 2019 Congratulations to Ling Wai Lam, in Peter Kahn’s lab, who was awarded a Mary Gates Research Scholarship. She will present her research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium on May 17, 2019.
- September 24, 2018 Science Friday came out with a podcast that focuses on Peter Kahn’s research on relationships with social robots. Peter’s former psychology grad students, Rachel Severson and Nathan Freier are also mentioned
- January 25, 2018 Peter Kahn’s quest to cure environmental amnesia is highlighted in a story in ParentMap.
- November 20, 2017 UW News takes an inside look into Peter Kahn’s research into "environmental generational amnesia."
- August 11, 2017 Peter Kahn is interviewed by Quartz Media about the effect of technology on humans' relationship with nature.
- June 30, 2017 Peter Kahn discusses how to maintain quality human connections with the advent of virtual and robotic assistants in a USA Today article.
- May 3, 2017 Peter Kahn talks about environmental generational amnesia, in regards to climate change, in the New York Times.
- May 3, 2017 Peter Kahn was also featured in this NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt broadcast discussing artificial intelligence and how children can develop feelings towards the machines.
- March 8, 2017 Peter Kahn’s research on children’s social and moral relationships with a humanoid robot was referenced in a Washington Post article.
- April 27, 2015 We’re losing more than land as the forests are disappearing according to Peter Kahn.
- April 6, 2015 Does our connection to machines make us more human? Here's what Peter Kahn has to say
- September 16, 2014 One of Peter Kahn's recent graduates, Jolina Ruckert, was quoted extensively by the Washington Post on the psychological benefits of exposure to nature.
- May 9, 2013 Jolina Ruckert has been selected as a recipient of a 2013 American Psychological Association Student Travel Award.
- April 24, 2013 Peter Kahn has been appointed the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Ecopsychology.
- April 30, 2012 Peter Kahn’s study of "whether a robotic entity is conceptualized as just a tool, or as some form of a technological being that can be held responsible for its actions" was published in the proceedings of the International Conference on Human-Robot Interaction.
- April 9, 2012 Peter Kahn and his students Solace Shen and Heather Gary (and other collaborators) won Best Paper award at the International Conference of Human-Robot Interaction 2012.
- April 9, 2012 UW Today featured Peter Kahn and his research team in the exploration of how children interact socially with a humanoid robot.
- June 14, 2011 Peter Kahn was interviewed about "our tangled relationship with the natural world" by New Scientist.
- May 24, 2011 Peter Kahn’s book Technological Nature: Adaptation and the Future of Human Life was published by MIT Press.
- March 28, 2011 Andrew Meltzoff and Peter Kahn presented at the Osaka-UW Workshop on campus in March.
- April 27, 2009 Peter Kahn’s and colleagues’ recent work with HDTVs and blank walls was mentioned in the New York Times Magazine, April 19. "Natural happiness,"
- April 13, 2009 Peter Kahn’s work was featured on UW homepage. "Humans may be losers if technological nature replaces the real thing."
- June 30, 2008 Peter Kahn and Rachael Severson co-authored a study that is receiving media coverage in the U.S, Canada, Spain, England, the Netherlands, and Poland. Other co-authors include Batya Friedman, Jennifer Hagman, Erika Feldman and Anna Stolyar. "Scenes of nature trump technology in reducing low-level stress,"
- May 21, 2007 Peter Kahn was among the five awardees of the UW Undergraduate Research Mentor Award in 2007.
- January 27, 2003 World gets bleaker for our children, contends psychologist
- May 13, 2002 Researchers studying whether a robot dog is kid's best friend
- Kahn, P. H., Jr., & Hasbach, P. H. (2012). (Eds.). Ecopsychology: Science, totems, and the technological species. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Kahn, P. H., Jr., Kanda, T., Ishiguro, H., Freier, N. G., Severson, R. L., Gill, B. T., Ruckert, J. H., & Shen, S. (2012). “Robovie, You’ll Have to Go Into the Closet Now”: Children’s social and moral relationships with a humanoid robot. Developmental Psychology, 48, 303-314.
- Kahn, P. H., Jr. (2011). Technological nature: Adaptation and the future of human life. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
- Kahn, P. H., Jr., Friedman, B., Gill, B., Hagman, J., Severson, R. L., Freier, N. G., Feldman, E. N., Carrère, S., & Stolyar, A. (2008). A plasma display window? – The shifting baseline problem in a technologically-mediated natural world. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 28, 192-199.
- Kahn, P. H., Jr., Ishiguro, H., Friedman, B., & Kanda, T. (2006). What is a human? – Toward psychological benchmarks in the field of human-robot interaction. Proceedings of the 15th International Workshop on Robot and Human Interactive Communication (RO-MAN ’06) (pp. 364-371). Piscataway, NJ: Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
- Kahn, P. H., Jr. (1999). The Human Relationship with Nature: Development and Culture. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.