Studying lived experience and automated systems: The case of Universal Credit

Morgan E. Currie, Lena Podoletz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract / Description of output

This paper applies the concept of ‘lived experiences’ to understand people’s subjective and everyday encounters with automated systems. We reflect on how qualitative longitudinal research methods are useful for capturing the affective and emotional dimensions of these experiences; these flexible methods also allow for iterative changes that can react to new findings and participant feedback. Using our empirical study on Universal Credit (UC), the UK’s largest social security payment, we demonstrate how studying lived experiences via qualitative longitudinal research helps us reflect on both the topic of the research and our position as researchers in relation to study participants. We argue that the lived experience framework is extremely valuable for understanding the consequences of automated decisions for users of these systems and to redress the uneven power dynamics of representing the voices of those sharing these encounters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 24 May 2023
Event86th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology - London, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Oct 202331 Oct 2023


Conference86th Annual Meeting of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • lived experience
  • automated and algorithmic decisions
  • digitalisation
  • qualitative longitudinal research
  • digital social security systems

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