Robert Morris on Crowdsourcing Mental Health and Emotional Well-Being

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Robert Morris
Robert Morris


This talk is part of the Advancing Wellbeing seminar series at the MIT Media Lab. For information about future talks, please join our mailing list by sending an email to wellness-seminars-join [at] media [dot] mit [dot] edu

More than 30 million adults in the United States suffer from depression. Many more meet the diagnostic criteria for an anxiety disorder. Psychotherapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy can be extremely effective, but the demand for these treatments exceeds the resources available. What if we could crowdsource this problem? ​

​ In this talk, Morris will describe the design, deployment, and evaluation of Panoply—a crowdsourcing platform for mental health and wellbeing. The therapeutic approach is derived from evidence-based cognitive therapies and involves helping users think more flexibly and adaptively about stressful situations. Morris will also review previous work in the field of computer-based psychotherapy and discuss the importance of designing mental health technologies that are optimized for both user experience and therapeutic efficacy.


Robert R. Morris earned his AB in psychology from Princeton University and his PhD in media arts and sciences from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research lies at the intersection of affective science, crowdsourcing, and computer-based interventions for mental health. He is an award winning designer and his work has been featured in Time, New Scientist, the BBC, and the Boston Globe, among others. Prior to MIT, Morris worked as a research technologist in the departments of clinical and cognitive neuroscience at Harvard and Massachusetts General Hospital.

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