Engineers and other logical people tend to dismiss

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Engineers and other logical people tend to dismiss the visceral response as irrelevant. Engineers are proud of the inherent quality of their work and dismayed when inferior products sell better just because they look better. But all of us make these kinds of judgments, even those very logical engineers. That s why they love some of their tools and dislike others. Visceral responses matter. THE BEHAVIORAL LEVEL The behavioral level is the home of learned skills, triggered by situations that match the appropriate patterns. Actions and analyses at this level are largely subconscious. Even though we are usually aware of our actions, we are often unaware of the details. When we speak, we often do not know what we are about to say until our conscious mind (the reflective part of the mind) hears ourselves uttering the words. When we play a sport, we are prepared for action, but our responses occur far too quickly for conscious control: it is the behavioral level that takes control. When we perform a well-learned action, all we have to do is think of the goal and the behavioral level handles all the details: the conscious mind has little or no awareness beyond creating the 52 The Design of Everyday Things desire to act. It s actually interesting to keep trying it. Move the left hand, then the right. Stick out your tongue, or open your mouth. What did you do? You don t know. All you know is that you willed the action and the correct thing happened. You can even make the actions more complex. Pick up a cup, and then with the same hand, pick up several more items. You automatically adjust the fingers and the hand s orientation to make the task possible. You only need to pay conscious attention if the cup holds some liquid that you wish to avoid spilling. But even in that case, the actual control of the muscles is beneath conscious perception: concentrate on not spilling and the hands automatically adjust. For designers, the most critical aspect of the behavioral level is that every action is associated with an expectation. Expect a positive outcome and the result is a positive affective response (a positive valence, in the scientific literature). Expect a negative outcome and the result is a negative affective response (a negative valence): dread and hope, anxiety and anticipation. The information in the feedback loop of evaluation confirms or disconfirms the expectations, resulting in satisfaction or relief, disappointment or frustration. Behavioral states are learned. They give rise to a feeling of control when there is good understanding and knowledge of results, and frustration and anger when things do not go as planned, and especially when neither the reason nor the possible remedies are known. Feedback provides reassurance, even when it indicates a negative result. A lack of feedback creates a feeling of lack of control,
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which can be unsettling. Feedback is critical to managing expectations, and good design provides this. Feedback knowledge of results
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