Laboratory for Designing Work Environments


- The CELDA Conference, International Conference on Cognition in the Digital Age, has reached its eighteenth edition (October 13-15, 2021). This year it will deal with issues relevant to the evolution of learning and pedagogical processes to support training.
The Laboratory for the Design of Work Environments will participate in the conference with a study on Italian Universities in the first period of isolation entitled: Effects of the lockdown on perceived stress and well-being: a study on Italian university in the first period of isolation due to covid-19.


- Since 2019 the University of Siena has an Ethics Committee for Research in Human and Social Sciences -CAREUS- which, among other activities, organizes events to refine sensitivity and raise awareness on ethical research issues. The next event will be a webinar, entitled "Ethics and Research" which will be held on November 4, 2021. For more information, please refer to the CAREUS page.


- ICERI 2021 conference, 14th Annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, continues its commitment to promoting cooperation and exchange of educational experiences between educational institutions and organizations around the world.
The researchers of the University of Siena who collaborate within the the Laboratory foor the Design of Work Environments, this year will present a research on the conditions that have favored stress and / or well-being experiences by university students during periods of isolation due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. The title of the paper is: Female university students during lockdown due to covid-19 pandemic isolation conditions, perception of stress and well-being.


The Laboratory for the Design of Work Environments was founded in 2004 within the Department of Communication Sciences. It then becomes a structural element of the Department of Social, Political and Cognitive Sciences since its establishment. The Laboratory aims at supporting the activities and applicative aspects of research relating to the design and definition of operating environments. Particular attention is paid to the influence that the use of technologies has on the contents of work and daily activities, on the development of new communities of practice, on dysfunctional phenomena such as work-related stress, on the ethical aspects of organizations.


General objectives

- To promote, from an interdisciplinary point of view, theoretical-applicative research on designing environments for communication in the work setting and in the contexts of daily life;

- To develop theoretical and practical tools for the analysis of less explored operational contexts in the area of interest of psychological analysis (i.e. the Academic context);

- To foster an increasingly closer link between research and teaching, with special attention to the orientation of near-graduates;

- To provide students with the opportunity to practise their skills and do internships within the University.


The laboratory’s activities focus mainly on:
- The analysis of human activity in organisations aimed at the production of goods and services;
- The study of principles for the design of tools for communication and education;
- Methodologies for the evaluation of the interaction with technological artefacts;
- The study of the cognitive and emotional aspects of behaviour in organisational contexts;
- The study of the relationship between emotion and cognition in learning;
- The analysis of issues in real and virtual organizations, such as stress and cyberbullying;
- The analysis of the relationships between stress, human relationships and ethics in organizational settings;
- The evaluation of the moral aspects in Human Robot Interaction, HRI.


Research is conducted using methodologies such as ethnographic observation, interviews, focus groups, questionnaires, scenario-based design, design thinking, laboratory experiments.


Recent and current research activity:


Studies in the field of health and  communication

- Rare illnesses and communication. Cognitive and emotional aspects of communication on the websites of Associations of patients with rare illnesses.
- Development and research on innovative methodologies in continuing education in medicine.
- Evaluation of usability levels and performance of complex technologies in healthcare such as Computerized Axial Tomography (Studies conducted in collaboration with the emergency room of the Santa Maria alle Scotte Polyclinic in Siena).


Studies in the educational/training field

- E-learning and traditional learning environments: the relationship between emotion and cognition. (Studies conducted in collaboration with the Language Center of the University of Siena).
- Design and implementation of teaching and learning methodologies that use the silent reading of images of wordless picture books in order to improve the affective and relational skills and the development of narrative thinking of school-age children (Project "The silent book. Narration  and self-narration: tell a story through images"). Partners of the project: School Insitute Mattioli of Siena; Società PromoCultura, Empoli (FI); DISPOC, University of Siena; with the collaboration of Azienda Ospedaliera Universitaria Senese (Polyclinic Hospital Santa Maria alle Scotte in Siena).


Studies on Academic contexts

- Evaluation of the relationship between stress and ethics in the Academic field (teachers, technicians, students).


Studies on interactive technologies

- Evaluation of the attribution of moral and cognitive skills to artificial collaborative systems.
- Evaluation of systems for mediated relations (systems for trading and e-commerce).


Explorative studies on sensory communication

- Observation of the behavioural response of people with cognitive, motor, sensory deficits when presented with stimuli that entail the use of different artistic expression: music, dance, theatre, painting. (Study conducted in collaboration with the departments of Child Neuropsychiatry and Neonatology of the Polyclinic Hospital Santa Maria alle Scotte in Siena).


Student support activities and internship

- Students’ support activities in setting up experiments or conducting surveys through tools such as questionnaires, interviews, focus groups, in order to write theses, papers or for internships.
- Support activities for high school students in school-work progrrammes, through participation in group work and activities related to research projects and studies conducted within the laboratory.


Structured staff who participate in the laboratory activities

  • Oronzo Parlangeli (Scientific director)
  • Enrica Marchigiani (Technical person in charge)
  • Margherita Bracci
  • Stefano Guidi
  • Paola Palmitesta
  • Massimiliano Tiberio
Project “S.P.Acca – Stress and the Perception of Unethical Behaviours in the Academic Setting”

Stress at work not only influences the state of our health, but can also have repercussions on our “ethical reasoning”, favouring the enactment of behaviours that contradict our values. Contextual circumstances that can produce stress (such as job uncertainty, frequent socio-organisational changes, isolation at work, insufficient possibilities to manage operative procedures) may lead to a deterioration of cognitive and emotional resources and contribute to facilitating the causes that lead to the enactment of incorrect behaviours.


In the academic context, morality holds a particular importance and prominence for the pursuit of scientific research that is ethically sustainable. It is therefore important to verify the existence of a correlation between stress levels experienced by teaching staff, perceptions relative to the occurrence of unethical behaviour and the attributions of judgment regarding the seriousness of these behaviours.

  • Guidi S., Marchigiani E., Roncato S. and Parlangeli O. (2021) Human beings and robots: are there any differences in the attribution of punishments for the same crimes?, Behaviour & Information Technology, first online, DOI:
  • Parlangeli O., Marchigiani E., Bracci M., Boldrini M., Di Pomponio I., Palmitesta P. (2021) Being Part of an “Intermediate Community” and Aggressive Behavior on the Net: A Study on Cyberbullying Inside the Contrade of Siena in Italy. In: Meiselwitz G. (eds) Social Computing and Social Media: Experience Design and Social Network Analysis. HCII 2021. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12774. Springer, Cham.
  • Ranzani F. and Parlangeli O. (2021) Digital Technology and Usability and Ergonomics of Medical Devices. In: Donaldson L., Ricciardi W., Sheridan S., Tartaglia R. (eds) Textbook of Patient Safety and Clinical Risk Management. Springer, Cham.
  • Parlangeli O., Marchigiani E., Guidi S., Bracci M., Andreadis A., Zambon R. (2020) I Do It Because I Feel that…Moral Disengagement and Emotions in Cyberbullying and Cybervictimisation. In: Meiselwitz G. (eds) Social Computing and Social Media. Design, Ethics, User Behavior, and Social Network Analysis. HCII 2020. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 12194. Springer, Cham. 289-304.
  • Parlangeli, O., Guidi, S., Marchigiani, E., Bracci, M. & Liston, P.M. (2019) Perceptions of Work-Related Stress and Ethical Misconduct Amongst Non-tenured Researchers in Italy. Science and Engineering Ethics, published online, 04, February, 2019, 1-23
  • Marchi S., Targi N., P.M. & Parlangeli O. (2019) The possible role of empathy and emotions in virtual negotiation, Ergonomics, published online.
  • Parlangeli, O., Guidi, S., Liston P.M., Marchigiani E., and Zucchiatti, A. (2019) Shopping online and online design: The role of prospective memory in the use of online product configurators. In Proceedings of ACM CHItaly'19, Biannual Conference of the Italian SIGCHI Chapter, September 23--25, 2019, Padova, Italy. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 7 pages.
  • Parlangeli O. Marchigiani E., Bracci M.. Duguid A.M., Palmitesta P., and Marti P. (2019) Offensive acts and helping behavior on the internet: An analysis of the relationships between moral disengagement, empathy and use of social media in a sample of Italian students. Work, 63, 3, 469-477,
  • Parlangeli O., Liston P.M., Marchigiani E., Bracci M., Giani A. (2019) Perceptions and Use of Computed Tomography in a Hospital Emergency Department: Technicians’ Perspectives. Human Factors. First Published April 24, 2019,
  • Parlangeli, O., Guidi, S., Marchigiani, E., Bracci, M. & Liston, P.M. (2019) Perceptions of Work-Related Stress and Ethical Misconduct Amongst Non-tenured Researchers in Italy. Science and Engineering Ethics, published online, 04, February, 2019, 1-23
  • Cassano, C., Colantuono, A., De Simone, G., Giani, A., Liston, P. M., Marchigiani, E., Talla, G., and Parlangeli, O. 2019. Developments and Problems in the Man-Machine Relationship in Computed Tomography (CT). In Proceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018) (Florence, Italy, August 26 – 30, 2018). S. Bagnara, R. Tartaglia, S. Albolino, T. Alexander, and Y. Fujita, Eds. Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing, vol 822. Springer, Cham.
  • Parlangeli O., Palmitesta P., Bracci M., Marchigiani E., Liston P.M. (2018) Stress, misconduct and reduced ability to express dissent: a study on a sample of students at the University of Siena. In  Pedro M. Arezes, João Santos Baptista, Monica P. Barroso, Paula Carneiro, Patrício Cordeiro, Nelson Costa, Rui B. Melo, A. Sergio Miguel, Gonçalo Perestrelo  (eds), Proceedings of the 6th International On Occupational safety and Hygiene VI, 26-27 March 2018, Guimarães (Portugal), Taylor and Francis, pp. 443-446
  • Parlangeli O., Bracci M., Guidi S., Marchigiani E., Duguid A.M. (2018) Risk perception and emotions regulation strategies in driving behaviour: an analysis of the self-reported data of adolescents and young adults. International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 5(2), pp. 166–187
  • Parlangeli O., Bracci M., Guidi S., Marchigiani E., and Liston P.M. (2017) Stress and Unethical Behaviour in the Research of the Untenured University Researchers. ICERI2017, 10th International Conference of Education Research and Innovation,16-19 nov., Seville, Spain, pp. 1905-1911. ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
  • Parlangeli O., Palmitesta P., Bracci M., Caratozzolo M.C., Liston P.M. and Marchigiani E., (2017) Stress and Perceptions of Unethical Behaviour in Academia. ICERI2017, 10th International Conference of Education Research and Innovation,16-19 nov., Seville, Spain. Pp. 1912-1919. ISBN: 978-84-697-6957-7
  • Parlangeli O., Cesaroni M., Giuliani G., Elieli I. (2017). Social commerce: Informative richness and perceived quality of products. Journal of Advanced Management Science, vol. 5, p. 279-284, ISSN: 2168-0787, doi: 10.18178/joams
  • Caratozzolo M.C. e Parlangeli O. (2016) La salute di tutti. In O. Parlangeli (a cura di) Tecnorama. Prospettive future sostenibili. Arcidosso, GR: Edizioni effigi. Pp.149-168.
  • Parlangeli O., Caratozzolo M.C., Guidi S. (2014) Multitasking and Mentalizing Machines: How the Workload Can Have Influence on the System Comprehension. In D. Harris (ed.) Engineering Psychology and Cognitive Ergonomics. 11th International Conference, EPCE 2014, Held as Part of HCI International 2014, Heraklion, Crete, Greece, June 22-27, 2014. Pp. 50-58. ISBN: 978-3-319-07514-3
  • Parlangeli O., Chiantini, T. and Guidi, S. (2012) A Mind in a disk: The attribution of mental state to technological systems. Work, 41, pp. 1118-1123
  • Parlangeli O., Guidi S. and  Fiore Farina R. (2012) Overloading Disks onto a Mind: Quantity Effects in the Attribution of Mental States to Technological Systems. Proceedings of the 18th international Congress, IEA – International Ergonomics Association, Recife, 12-16 february, 2012
  • Parlangeli O., Marchigiani, E., Guidi, S. and Mesh L. (2012) Disentangled emotions in blended learning. International Journal of Human Factors and Ergonomics, 1, 1, pp. 41-57.
  • Caratozzolo M.C, Marchigiani E, Parlangeli, O., Bracci M. (2011). Rare Diseases and Patients Associations Websites: Informative and Affective Virtual Places for Bidirectional Communication Exchange. Proceedings HEPS, Health Ergonomics and Patients Safety, Oviedo, Spain, 22-24/6/2011, pp 60-63.
  • Bagnara, S., Parlangeli, O., Tartaglia R., (2010) Are hospitals becoming high reliability organizations? Applied Ergonomics, 41, 5, 713-718.
  • Caratozzolo, M.C., Marchigiani, E., Parlangeli, O., & Zaccariello M. (2009) Caring and Curing by Mixing Information and Emotions in Orphan Diseases Websites. A Twofold Analysis. Proocedings of the HCI International 2009, 19-24 july 2009, San Diego, CA., 661-670.
  • Caratozzolo, M.C., Bagnara, S., & Parlangeli, O. (2008) Use of ICT to supply health-care services to nomadic patients: An explorative survey. Behaviour and Information Technology. 27, 4. pp.354-350.
  • Palmieri, S., Parlangeli, O., Bellandi, T., Tartaglia, R.  (2006) Lo stretching per la prevenzione di disturbi muscolo-scheletrici di origine occupazionale: un sistema per la formazione di lavoratori a rischio. In Bagnara S., Tartaglia R. e Tosi F. (eds), atti del convegno: L’ergonomia, tra innovazione e progetto. Milano: Moretti&Vitali.
  • Parlangeli , O., Palmieri, S., Bracci, M., Guidi, S., Tartaglia, R. (2006) Training for safety:virtual reality and hypermedia for construction workers education. International Ergonomics Association Conference. Maastricht, july 11th-14th, proceedings on CD.
  • Parlangeli, O., Bracci, M., Guidi, S, & Palmieri, S., (2005) La percezione del rischio nel giovane lavoratore edile: la realizzazione di un sistema formativo basato su tecniche di rappresentazione tridimensionali, In “La percezione del rischio” R. Rumiati e L. Lotto (a cura di). Padova: CLEUP.
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