Persuasive Technology

Persuasive Technology 2009: Day 3

Can you be persuaded to be happy?
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

  • Attention is the gatekeeper to persuasion
  • But attention is a scarce resource: We can really pay attention to one thing at a time. Millions of bits of information compete to be processed every moment by every brain.
  • The limits of attentional capacity: about 114 bit of information per second. 500,000 bits per day
  • The Quality of our Lives depends n how we invest attention over the life-span
  • The effort required to focus attention is generally experienced as unpleasant. Effortful attention characterizes most activities of everyday life: school, work, commuting…
  • But when concentration is experienced as effortless, high concentration coexists with enjoyment, motivation, interest, happiness
  • What makes attention effortless? I want to do it, I enjoy it now. It might make me happy later (H(n) + H(l) + Choice)/Effort
  • “Concenration is like breathing: you never think of it. The roof could be fall in and, if it mised you, you would unaware of it.”
  • “You’re right in the work, you lose your sense of time, you’re completely enraptured, you’re completely caught up in what you’re doing… there’s no future or past…”
  • “To go into a dark room and look through the microscope and see these glowing objects which may be moving around or maybe stationary, and in different colors– it’s a video game, if you will. It’s just beautiful… I can sit in front of a microscope for three or four hours at a time, just looking at the material and analyzing it… I can be very disconcerting to other people in the degree to which I can concentrate on something and not pay too much attention to what’s going on around me.”
  • What makes information enjoyable now? H(n) is, in part, a function of the balance of challenges provided by the information, and the receiver…
  • Different levels of challenges and skills combinations: Flow (high challenge and high skills), control (high skills, medium challenge), boredom (low challenge), anxiety
  • Some obvious implications for enhancing the enjoyment of attending to information: Information out to engage the receiver’s interest, curiosity, and abilities. It should provide several different choices for kinds of engagement. Different levels of skills; to provide immediate feedback
  • Of course engaging atention by providing enjoyment that leads to effortless concentration is just the first — but perhapst most important — step in the process of persuasion.
  • To get from boredom sate to an improved state: people may eat, drinking, resting. Others reading, or doing work. These activities allows people to focus on tasks that they feel in control. Some listing to music, texting feels they are wasting time. To really find a flow in a constrained environment requires a lot of skills and is possible.

“show-me”: Water Consumption at a Glance to Promote Water Conservation in the Shower
Karin Kappel and Thomas Grechenig

  • Water is ubiquitous.
  • Water facts: One flush of a western toilet uses as much water as the average person in the developing world uses for a whole day’s washing, drinking, cleaning and cooking.
  • Sustainable behavior: Why would people save water? Self interest: What is in it for me?
  • Quesionnaire shows 65.8% think of themselves as being energy-conscious
  • Dissonance between atitude and behavior -> Cognitive dissonance: dissonance results when an individual must choose between attitudes and behaviors that are contradictory.
  • The conservation should be considered as benefit rather than as curtailment. consumption and savings are made visible, thus providing goals and motives where they did not previously exists
  • Create awarenes for a behavior change: “Awareness is the state of knowing about the environment in which you exist; about your surrounding…”
  • Deedback is the key to awareness. Effective feedback has to be direct, immediate, and continuous.
  • Why ambient display as persuasive technology: ambient displays deliver information in real time, thus, serving the effect, that timing is a critical factor for persuasion. the permanent visualization of water consumption leads to increased awareness.
  • 4 roles of technology: as intermediary, amplifier, determinant, promoter
  • Future work: other visualization approaches –> virtual water level on the shower wall, include historic data, extract hot water and visualize separately

Persuasive Qualities of Maps
Louise Norgaard Glud, Anders Albrechtslund and Henrik Harder

  • Zoo case: Use heat maps to illustrate how long guests stay in each area.
  • SMS map: connect location and experience
  • Mapping as experiment: maps as actors, mapping as experiment. Users report what they were looking, doing, and feeling at different part of the zoo. This data is combined w/ their time (SMS timestamps) and location (from GPS). Google Earth was used for data visualization. Some SMS messages was sent w/ wrong GPS coordinate. Some visitors saw the survey experience as part of the zoo experience.
  • Maps as persuasive platforms: The persuasive designer as an actor

Creating Persuasive Technologies: An Eight-Step Design Process
BJ Fogg

  • Stanford Persuasive Video, a class at Stanford. Assignment: create an intervention that achieves a target behavior of your choice. BJ’s advice: Pick a simple behavior that you will be able to measure. “small, measurable successes should be highly valued…”
  • Make it easy to do, call to action, simple, fast
  • Everything big started small: “When one looks at the history of successful consumer Internet services, a striking similarity emerges: Each service started in a smalled focused way.”
  • How to expand on success? repeat, creating a routine. try other simple behaviors, make behavior harder, scale to reach more people (tag or ask people to spread it), create “19 second” genre (pick one of these different paths)
  • Success opens doors
  • don’t over plan interventions
  • How to get on the right path? start small, do it on the side
  • think small
  • 1. Choose a simiple behavior to target 2. Choose a receptive audience 3. Find what is preventing the target behavior (require behavior trigger, simple enough, and moativated) 4. Choose an appropriate technology channel (video, texting, etc. Using the channel that the audience uses.) 5. Find relevant examples of persuasive technology (that works with the target audience) 6. Imitate successful examples 7. Test & iterate quickly (10 tests or more) 8. Expand on success (start the project)
  • Simplicity book: “Getting Real” by 36 signals

A theory-based framework for evaluation exergames as persuasive technology
Marc A Adams, Simon J Marshall, Lndsay Dillon

  • Exergames: examples includes ddr, wii sports, wii fit. Xavix (controllers are shapped like sports equipments)
  • The take-home message is that it’s better than sitting around”
  • Promote physical activity, replace sedentary time, motor skill development, provide safe environment for activity, allow players to engage in sports that have barriers (i.e. elderly can bowl in home)
  • Background: Games are rich microsuasion environments. What’s attractive about games? Why does game play decline over time?
  • The proposed study: quantifying behavior change principles with a set of games
  • operant theory, operant/learning theory: antecedent –> behavior –> consequences. Repeaed interactions w/ contingencies shapes behavior.
  • behavior: conventional video games – mainly thumb and finger movements, exergames – walking, running, sliding, etc.
  • measurable dimensions of behavior: form, frequency, rates, intensity, duration, latency. Games aim to increase or decrease these dimensions using contingencies.
  • Example – xavix powerboxing
  • consequences: reinforcing stimuli, aversive stimuli
  • persuading with consequences: positive and negative reinforcement increase
  • magnitude of reinforcement, immediacy of reinforcement
  • antecedents: instructions, rules, behavioral modeling, visual or auditory stimuli, teach or demonstrate a new behavior

Social Influence of a Persuasive Agent: The Role of Agent Embodiment and Evaluative Feedback
Suzanne Vossen, Jaap Ham and Cees Midden

  • Interactive social feedback as an intervention aimed at energy conservation
  • Social cues: 1. use of speech, 2. embodiment, 3. performance evaluation
  • individuals’ interactions with computers are fundamentally social
  • Effect of the agent embodiment: no main effect of embodiment on energy consumption, emobdiment x gender interaction, no difference for men, women in embodied agent condition…
  • conclusions: the presence of an embodied agent resulted in lower energy consumption compared to voice only, but just for female participants. Indicating a good or bad performance.

Persuasive Technology 2009: Day 2

Does it Make a Difference Who Tells You What To Do?
Maaike Roubroeks, Cees Midden and Jaap Ham

  • Psychological reactance: A state of arousal that occurs when a person experiences a perceived threat to freedom, which motivates to restore that threatened freedom
  • When does it occur When you try to persuade people to do something, you always send them in some kind of direction: stop smoking, more exercise, energy conservation
  • Social agency: Social agency theory (Mayer, Sobko & mautone, 2003) – Social cues trigger social rules and consequently social interaction, CASA Paradigm (Nass & Reeves, 2002) – - people react to computers as if they were reacting to other people
  • Research Question: What is the role of social agency on psychological reactance?, Hypothesis 1: High threat > Low threat (confirmed by the research), Hypothesis 2: Higher social agency, more psychological reactance (confirmed by the research), Hypothesis3: combine 1 and 2 will result in strongest response (research result did not confirm this)
  • Research: 89 participants, online experiment, read an advisory test, questionnaires afterwards, mreasure of reactance
  • Conclusions: To minimize psychological reactance to occur, use low-threatening language

Subtle Persuasion: The Unobtrusive Effect of Website-Banner Congruence on Trust
Peter de Vries and Thomas van Rompay

  • Trust reduces uncertainty. Important if consumers need to be persuaded… to divulge personal information, to make a purchase, to become loyal, to rely on provided advice/information
  • Trust is particularly important in online and, by extension, mobile interactions. How to influence online trust? e.g. seals of approval, privacy disclosures, security disclosures, return policy, awards from neutral sources.
  • Effects of on-line atmospherics on cognition and behavior: Website color, website layout, background images. Effects of congruence on attitudes: More positive attitude when banner and web site are congruent
  • Processing fluency (PF): the ease with which different stimuli can be integrated. Similar to Ease of Retrieval, PF is hedonically marketed: Experienced ease of processing positively influences subsequent evaluations
  • PF influenced by: symmatry, goodness of form, contract in color of text and background, congruence between associations with stimuli. The ease with which different elements of a websie and associations with them can be integrated influences subsequent opinions.
  • Experiment: Mobile website with either a congruent, mildly incongruent and incongruent banner ad.
  • Results: The more congruent the more trust
  • Trust is influenced by congruence, and this relation is mediated by processing fluency. Although significant, mediation was only partial; automatic AND cognitively controlled effects of congruence?

Communication-Based Influence Components Model
Brian Cugelman, Mike Thelwall and Phil Dawes

  • Real-world online interventions: Quit smoking, exercise more, drive safer, drink less, eat healthier. Designing online interventions: 1. Research behaviour and audiences, 2. Pick a suitable theory, 3. Pick techniques to influence users’ psychology, 4. build a mock-up etc. The result of this model is complex real-world interventions. Result in difficult applying systems to describe online interventions: too many theories to choose from, with numerous overlapping theories.
  • Behavioural influence frameworks: 1. Evidence-based behavioural medicine (what works) 2. Cialdini, 3. Captology, 4. Stages of change, 5. Community based social marketing. Influence components approaches: Evidence-based kernels, behavioural change consortium, Evidence-based behavioral medicine. Influence Components Model: Behavioral Outcome, Behavioral Determinants, Influencers.
  • Applying communication theory online: one-way: one-to-one, one-to-many; two-way: circular, interpersonal and mass media; mass interpersonal (two-way one-with-many)
  • Communication theory to frame online influence
  • Apply the model: Using in a meta-analysis of online behavioural change interventions (being finalized)
  • Closing: The model worked well for the meta-analysis

Three Possible Futures for Persuasive Technology
BJ Fogg

  • Goal: make the world a better place.
  • Tradition: change attitude, deep thinking, theory guides steps, control intervention, measure result
  • Million Monkeys: If you got enough monkeys, you can create great literatures — automated or random, create many trials. An example of this is spam. Another example is YouTube ( 3rd example is Facebook’s opening their platform. 4th example, hunch “helps you make decisions and get smarter the more you use it.” Hunch is a decision engine. The contents are created by its users.

  • Savvy DJ: use metrics drive iteration with many trials. With feedback loop, DJs iterates with changes that adopt to the market. Pattern matching. Company that are doing this: zynga (game network), slide, and RockYou (watch metrics constantly)
  • Swisher: analyze what exists and do pattern matching. output on a schedule. She has very engaging point of view.

  • These are possible things that are happening and may pose challenges. BJ wanted to identify these ideas and share with the community and increase awareness.

Persuasive Technology 2009: Day 1

Here are some notes I took while at Persuasive Technology 2009. Unfortunately, I had to get back to work by mid-afternoon. I had to balance between different priorities.

“Meeting People Where They Are”
Brenda Laurel

  • intent –> strategy –> tatic
  • Structural analysis: computing (managing sensory input, senses its effects, adapts), persuasion ( embodes intent, orchestrates effects, manifests change)
  • Methodology: Primary research (talk w/ people), Quantitative research, analysis (identify patterns, combine findings w/ design principles)
  • Purple Moon: 1. Persuade girls to use computers, 2. Create contents to attract girls to use computers, conducted dyad research (use probe in focused groups/interviews)
  • Primate studies: Male (direct competition, direct measures), females (covert competition, affiliation & exclusion)
  • girl’s inner (fantasy world) and outer self (dealing with relationships)
  • Human centered research is essential
  • mobo: a product inspired by the insight that technology is comfort from market research.
  • Shades of green: product ideas inspired by kid’s desire for “outside” and a way to inspire kids to be a green hero.
  • Her students developed a framework for change. (look for the slides)
  • see,, and her Twitter.

Understanding Persuasive Software Functionality in Practice: a Field Trial of Polar FT60
Marja Harjumaa, Katarina Segerstahl and Harri Oinas-Kukkonen

  • Research area: Study persuasive techniques.
  • Product: a heart rate monitor for users with active life style (i.e. workout at gyms and running)
  • Persuasive Systems Design Model (PSD)
  • The goal of the use of hard rate monitor is to persuade users to not push over intensive exercise with feedback from heart rate monitor/training program
  • Categories
    • Primary task Support: most users got hooked to self monitoring and it empowers users to control their behavior.
    • Dialogue Support: Engaging initially, but the effect wears out after while.
  • The study did not do an user education on how to use the device fully.
  • There were 3 type of people: performance/long-term goal (thought the stars/trophies are ridiculous) , self-monitoring (can get motivated by stars/trophies), maintenance oriented (can get motivated by stars/trophies)

Towards a Handy Interactive Persuasive diary for Teenagers with a Diagnosis of Autism
Anja Meiland Ranfelt, Tony Wigram and Peter Ohrstrom

  • HANDS project, a European commission sponsored project, covers psychology, pedagogy, and persuasive design.
  • The provides a smart phone application as one of the tools to address issues of Autism

A Persuasive Interactive Mannequin for Shop Windows
Wolfgang Reitberger, Alexander Meschtscherjakov

  • Enhanced store map: improve shopping experience by informing the user about the collective shopping activity in a store
  • PerFrame: a setting posture feedback application
  • Design concept: Shop windows are an important interface between sops and their customers. Three steps of persuasion: 1. Attraction of attention 2. Engagement 3. _______
  • Design process: take pictures of an user to create a 3d model, use CryEngine 2 (a gaming engine)
  • Technical setup: Head-tracker with visual configuration based on fraunhofer libraries
  • The goal of the research project was to increase user engagement, which may lead to a purchase.
  • Majority of users agreed that: the mannequin should automatically adapt to one’s own gender, they wished to be able to change the color of the PIM’s clothes, they would also like to change the type of the mannequin’s clothes, the mannequin should recommend them suitable clothes.
  • User design suggestions: game, mood, and information
  • Conclusion: short-term behavior change –> increase of the perceived length of stay, no attitude change towards beter perceived image of the store, Usser suggested a more realistic and human-like design, Use natural behavior of the user (mirroring) as input modalities for additional features, explicit interactions (such as change color of the clothes and gender), Automatically personalize the PIM.
  • Young women are interested this technology and responded positively.

Persuasive Design Techniques

Influencing Interaction: Development of the Design with intent

  • 26-36% of household energy use are wasted(?)
  • Design with Intent: Design that’s intended to influence, or result in, certain user behavior. Motivating behavior, enabling behavior (example: eco button, an easy way to save energy and get energy saving information), Constraining behavior (this technique invites workaround that defeats the original intent).
  • A challenge: “We want people to switch off lights that don’t need to be on” –> Self-monitoring: “How is m behavior affects the system”, Kairos: “What’s the best action for me to take right now?”, Social proof: “What do other users like me do in this situation?”, framing: “Well, if you put it that way…”, Scarcity: “Not much left, better use it wisely”, commitment & consistency: “Stick to the plan”, a few other approaches has different recommendations. See paper for more information on this.

Design Methods for Ethical Persuasive Technology
Janet Davis

    Example issues: Bias in information systems (due to their design), web browsers persists cookies, accountability in design-support systems

  • principles in persuasive technologies: see paper by Berdichevsky & Neuenschwander
  • Value sensitive design: a theoretical grounded approach to the design of technology that accounts…
    participator design (end-user as participates)

Designing Empathic Computer: The Effect of Multimodal Empathic Feedback, UK
Hien Nuyen and Judith Masthoff

  • User’s mood can impact the amount of time he/she spend reading a web site.
  • 1. The positive attitude of the users toward active support. 2. The positive outcome of an empathic system regardless of the modality of content delivery. 3. A system represented by a human-like representation is expected to e empathic. 4. Adding a mechanism to allow the users to freely express themselves does not improve the effectiveness or liking of an empathic system.