Computer technology is often designed in technology hubs in Western countries, invariably making it WEIRD, because it is based on the intuition, knowledge, and values of people who are Western, Educated, Industrialized, Rich, and Democratic. Developing technology that is universally useful and engaging requires knowledge about members of WEIRD and non-WEIRD societies alike. In other words, it requires us, the CHI community, to generate this knowledge by studying representative participant samples. To find out to what extent CHI participant samples are from Western societies, we analyzed papers published in the CHI proceedings between 2016-2020. Our findings show that 73% of CHI study findings are based on Western participant samples, representing less than 12% of the world’s population. Furthermore, we show that most participant samples at CHI tend to come from industrialized, rich, and democratic countries with generally highly educated populations. Encouragingly, recent years have seen a slight increase in non-Western samples and those that include several countries. We discuss suggestions for further broadening the international representation of CHI participant samples.

Proceedings of the 2021 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems