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To reduce frustration while performing no-risk tasks (e.g. in training and games) for BCI users, we propose increasing their perceived level of control through fabricated input - system-generated positive task outcomes. Two surrogate BCI studies injected fabricated input creating additional positive task outcomes to a 50% baseline. Users' perceived control increased significantly compared to the 50% baseline. In turn, frustration levels decreased. Fabricated input worked equally well in a game story context that provided an emotional stake in the protagonist's success and a simpler task lacking such incentives. People's number of input attempts during the tasks determined perceived control more than our controlled ratios of positive to negative task outcomes. Delays between users' input attempts and subsequent fabricated inputs further moderated their perceived control.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2021
EventCHI PLAY 2021 - Virtual
Duration: 18 Oct 202121 Oct 2021


ConferenceCHI PLAY 2021
Internet address


  • agency
  • brain-computer interface
  • frustration
  • illusion of control
  • perceived control


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