Me against myself: Addressing personal dilemmas through design

Deger Ozkaramanli

Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

725 Downloads (Pure)


You have bought a bag of candy to keep yourself entertained while watching movies in the comfort of your home. Your intention is to keep the candy bag in your cabinet for several weeks, and to only treat yourself with some candy when watching movies. However, you somehow find the bag emptied while watching your first movie. And although eating the delicious candy by the handful was certainly enjoyable, you also feel guilty for finishing the entire bag at once. This is only one example of many dilemmas we encounter in everyday life. In this thesis, dilemmas are defined as experiences with three main ingredients: (1) mutually exclusive choices, (2) conflicting concerns, and (3) mixed emotions. Figure 1 shows the framework of dilemmas, which illustrates these ingredients related to the conflict between enjoying candy while watching a movie versus eating moderately to maintain good health (see Chapter 5). The articulation of these three ingredients enables us to provide a more elaborate definition of dilemmas:
People experience a dilemma when they are faced with two mutually exclusive choices, both of which touch upon their personal concerns, and the simultaneous fulfillment of both choices is challenging, if not impossible, to obtain or achieve. Because of this challenge, people experience both positive and negative emotions toward each alternative.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Delft University of Technology
  • Desmet, P.M.A., Supervisor
  • Ozcan Vieira, E., Advisor
Award date31 Mar 2017
Print ISBNs978-94-6186-789-6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


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