Ural Federal University: Well-being Level Will Be Measured Using App

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Psychologists at Ural Federal University have developed an app that will help measure a person’s level of well-being: anxiety, goal-setting, self-perception, satisfaction with the environment, and other factors. It can be used to assess psychological, professional and emotional components. The app is designed in two versions for phones and the Web. It will be available to the public in September and will be downloadable from the UrFU website. The working title is “Blagopoluchik”.

“The app is designed for a wide range of users, but we are primarily launching it for students when they start studying. At this stage, the main target audience for us are university students, because it is important for us to interact with them. We want to understand how to make their lives better and their studies more interesting and productive, how to prevent risks of burnout or failure in professional or academic environment,” says Sergey Sverdlov, PhD student of the Department of General and Social Psychology at UrFU.

The app assesses a person’s condition using professional psychological techniques. After a full testing cycle, machine learning will be added, which will help measure how honestly a person answers questions, whether the person doubts an answer, whether the person admits to him or herself some, not always pleasant, moments. Certain questions can trigger emotions in people, in addition, their own feelings are not always clear enough for the person him or herself, scientists say. This is why machine learning is necessary in such cases.

“The app works like this: the user registers, answers questions. It is a classic test with additional factors. The results go into a recommendation system, which gives specific advice for each person on how to improve his or her current state. As a result, thematic psychological materials are selected which can be read to better understand one’s condition,” explains Sergey Sverdlov.

The task of scientists is not only to identify what is going on with a person, but also to enable them to change something in their life, to monitor the risks of well-being, to identify strengths and motivating factors that will help them achieve new results.

“Well-being is a multidimensional phenomenon that affects all spheres of life and areas of human functioning, covers both emotions and actions, allows a person to feel the fullness of life and strive for development and self-realization. Well-being is connected both with subjective: personal qualities, cognitive and age features, and with objective factors: living conditions, material prosperity, social security. In general, well-being is not static; it is a dynamic system, which tends to change over time. Well-being is not only when things are going well, but also how a person copes when things get more difficult,” explains Elvira Symanyuk, Head of Research, Director of the Ural Institute of Humanities at Ural Federal University.

In the future, the application will be updated. The developers will add modules with recommendations for citywide or international events: films, lectures, master classes, and art therapy. It is also planned to introduce a psychological help service. For example, the developers plan to select psychologists who, if necessary, will give a consultation.

“If the app becomes popular, we plan to broaden the functionality and over time introduce subscriptions to additional blocks. For example, to make the app a personal coach, which will carry out a checkup of goals, clarify the specifics of the user’s condition, introduce additional techniques, and make an individual plan,” adds Sergey Sverdlov.

The creators of the application are now in the process of getting a registration certificate for the software.

Note that the application was developed under the “Priority 2030” program. The Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Russian Federation supported the project “Human Well-Being in Digital Transformation”. This project is intended to conduct fundamental and applied research into the psychological and socioeconomic well-being of a person under the conditions of the digital transformation of society.

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