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Proceedings of the 2014 International Conference on Persuasive Technology

Fullname:PERSUASIVE 2014: 9th International Conference on Persuasive Technology
Editors:Anna Spagnolli; Luca Chittaro; Luciano Gamberini
Location:Padua, Italy
Dates:2014-May-21 to 2014-May-23
Publisher:Springer International Publishing
Series:Lecture Notes in Computer Science 8462
Standard No:DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-07127-5 hcibib: Persuasive14; ISBN: 978-3-319-07126-8 (print), 978-3-319-07127-5 (online)
Links:Online Proceedings | Conference Home Page
Covert Persuasive Technologies: Bringing Subliminal Cues to Human-Computer Interaction BIBAKFull-Text 1-12
  Oswald Barral; Gabor Aranyi; Sid Kouider; Alan Lindsay; Hielke Prins; Imtiaj Ahmed; Giulio Jacucci; Paolo Negri; Luciano Gamberini; David Pizzi; Marc Cavazza
The capability of machines to covertly persuade humans is both exciting and ethically concerning. In the present study we aim to bring subliminal masked stimulus paradigms to realistic environments, through Virtual Environments. The goal is to test if such paradigms are applicable to realistic setups while identifying the major challenges when doing so. We designed a study in which the user performed a realistic selection task in a virtual kitchen. For trials below one-second reaction time, we report significant effect of subliminal cues on the selection behavior. We conclude the study with a discussion of the challenges of bringing subliminal cueing paradigms to realistic HCI setups. Ethical concerns when designing covertly persuasive systems are discussed as well.
Keywords: Covert persuasion; subliminal cueing; masked cues
Designing a Mobile Persuasive Application to Encourage Reduction of Users' Exposure to Cell Phone RF Emissions BIBAKFull-Text 13-24
  Stefano Burigat; Luca Chittaro
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies radio-frequency (RF) electromagnetic emissions of cell phones as possibly carcinogenic to humans [1] and suggests the use of hands-free devices such as earphones to reduce direct exposure of the brain to such emissions. In this paper, we present the design of a mobile application that exploits persuasive principles to encourage the use of earphones during cell phone calls. We propose different notifications and visualizations aimed at informing the user about her behavior with respect to earphone use and discuss the results of a user study that was aimed at investigating aspects such as understandability, emotional impact, and perceived usefulness of the proposed solutions. Results of the study are used to inform the design of the application. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first investigation of persuasive technologies applied to the reduction of user's exposure to cell phone RF emissions.
Keywords: mobile persuasion; mobile phones; behavior change; health; RF emissions; earphones
Opportunities for Persuasive Technology to Motivate Heavy Computer Users for Stretching Exercise BIBAKFull-Text 25-30
  Yong-Xiang Chen; Siek-Siang Chiang; Shu-Yun Chih; Wen-Ching Liao; Shih-Yao Lin; Shang-Hua Yang; Shun-Wen Cheng; Shih-Sung Lin; Yu-Shan Lin; Ming-Sui Lee; Jau-Yih Tsauo; Cheng-Min Jen; Chia-Shiang Shih; King-Jen Chang; Yi-Ping Hung
Reducing the negative effects of extended computer use is becoming increasingly important and it has been demonstrated that appropriate stretching yields benefits. We investigated the opportunities of motivating heavy computer users to stretch by incorporating mobile and sensing technologies into a 1-on-1 social competition game. We implemented the "Social Persuasion System for Stretching" (SP-Stretch) and conducted a 4-week study with 25 heavy computer users. Based on the quantitative and qualitative results, we identify a number of design considerations, and provide suggestions for future research.
Keywords: Heavy Computer User; Stretching Exercise; Competition Game
Changing User's Safety Locus of Control through Persuasive Play: An Application to Aviation Safety BIBAKFull-Text 31-42
  Luca Chittaro
Virtual risk experiences have been proposed in persuasive technology as an approach to change people's attitudes and behaviors concerning safety topics. This paper advances the investigation of virtual risk experiences in different directions. First, we extend the study of their effects to safety locus of control, which is an important predictor of an individual's attitudes and behaviors with respect to risky situations. Second, we explore a design that relies much more on play than previous virtual experiences of risks in the literature. Third, we extend the investigation of persuasive technology to a topic in aviation safety (i.e., assuming a proper brace position during an emergency landing) that has never been approached before with an interactive system and we analyze if a novel game-based approach can be effective in fostering awareness of this fundamental safety action. Our study shows that the proposed persuasive game produces noteworthy results in terms of learning safety knowledge and improves players' attitudes towards aircraft accidents, increasing their internal safety locus of control and decreasing the external one.
Keywords: safety; persuasive games; virtual risk experiences; locus of control; aviation safety; brace position
What's Your 2%? A Pilot Study for Encouraging Physical Activity Using Persuasive Video and Social Media BIBAKFull-Text 43-55
  Drew Clinkenbeard; Jennifer Clinkenbeard; Guillaume Faddoul; Heejung Kang; Sean Mayes; Alp Toygar; Samir Chatterjee
The purpose of this study is to observe the response of a group of subjects towards a message persuading them to include physical activities into their daily routine in order to improve and maintain their overall health. Our message, based on previous scientific studies, is in the form of short movie emphasizing that exercising during 2% of the day, or 30 min, is sufficient to remain in good health. The slogan, "What's Your 2%?" is appealing because "2%" is perceived as such a tiny fraction, yet it accurately reflects the 30-minute daily exercise goal as recommended by experts. This study uses persuasive techniques applied to a group of subjects composed of members of our personal Facebook networks, and this social network platform as way to communicate with them. We were able to demonstrate that changing a person's short-term exercise behavior is possible by using persuasive technology.
Keywords: physical health; two percent; exercise; persuasive messaging; social media; behavior change
The Effect of Credibility of Host Site Upon Click Rate through Sponsored Content BIBAKFull-Text 56-67
  Martin Colbert; Adam Oliver; Eleni Oikonomou
This paper demonstrates the effect of website credibility upon the click rate through Sponsored Content. The study compares three versions of a live website -- high, medium and low credibility -- and collects quantitative data from traffic logs, and qualitative data from remote usability tests. The high credibility version of the website achieved a significantly higher click rate through sponsored Content, because the site's credibility encouraged visitors to explore the site for longer, and because the perception of the site overall 'rubbed off' on the perception of the Sponsored Content in particular (a halo effect). This finding is important, because it shows how site design and content creation may increase persuasiveness without impairing user experience -- there is an alternative to Banners and Banner blindness! We hope the paper helps the on-going rethink of the design of online publications in relation to their underlying business models.
Keywords: advertisement; sponsored content; click through rate; traffic study; remote usability test; credibility; halo effect
Informing Design of Suggestion and Self-Monitoring Tools through Participatory Experience Prototypes BIBAKFull-Text 68-79
  Nediyana Daskalova; Nathalie Ford; Ann Hu; Kyle Moorehead; Benjamin Wagnon; Janet Davis
We aim to design a persuasive technology to help college students, who are particularly susceptible to sleep deprivation, get better, longer, and more regular sleep. In order to gain the insights of our future users, we applied a participatory design approach that included experience prototypes, which aim to actively engage designers and participants with the functions that new technology might serve in the context of their daily lives. We deployed two experience prototypes: paper sleep logs and scripted reminders. We show how deploying low-technology experience prototypes as part of a participatory process can engender valuable insights into persuasive technology design.
Keywords: Experience prototypes; participatory design; persuasive technology; self-monitoring; reminders; sleep; college students
Persuasion in the Wild: Communication, Technology, and Event Safety BIBAKFull-Text 80-91
  Peter de Vries; Mirjam Galetzka; Jan Gutteling
Recent disasters during major events have resulted in increased focus on influencing crowds, both during emergencies and under normal circumstances. In this exploratory study event experts were interviewed to uncover good practices regarding the use of technology to communicate with crowds.
   They agree that, rather than using directive means and force, crowds can best be persuaded; proving relevant information enables them to decide for themselves what course of action to take. Some of the experts remain critical about use of social media at events; effectiveness depends on target group composition, visitors' engagement in the event, and reliability. Additionally, the abundance of information visitors have at their fingertips may reduce effectiveness of information emitted by organisers. Especially important in communicating with crowds is "communicating as one", not only pertaining to explicit messages but also to non-verbal communication.
   Based on these results, implications for event safety are discussed.
Keywords: crowd control; crowd management; event safety
Mitigating Cognitive Bias through the Use of Serious Games: Effects of Feedback BIBAKFull-Text 92-105
  Norah E. Dunbar; Matthew L. Jensen; Claude H. Miller; Elena Bessarabova; Sara K. Straub; Scott N. Wilson; Javier Elizondo; Judee K. Burgoon; Joseph S. Valacich; Bradley Adame; Yu-Hao Lee; Brianna Lane; Cameron Piercy; David Wilson; Shawn King; Cindy Vincent; Ryan Scheutzler
A serious video game was created to teach players about cognitive bias and encourage mitigation of both confirmation bias and the fundamental attribution error. Multiplayer and single-player versions of the game were created to test the effect of different feedback sources on bias mitigation performance. A total of 626 participants were randomly assigned to play the single player/multiplayer game once or repeatedly. The results indicate the single player game was superior at reducing confirmation bias and that repeated plays and plays of longer duration were more effective at mitigating both biases than a control condition where participants watched a training video.
Keywords: Cognitive bias; Confirmation bias; Feedback; Fundamental Attribution error; Serious Games
Sentiment Variations in Text for Persuasion Technology BIBAKFull-Text 106-117
  Lorenzo Gatti; Marco Guerini; Oliviero Stock; Carlo Strapparava
Accurate wording is essential in persuasive verbal communication. Through it speakers can provide an affective connotation to the text and reveal their disposition or induce a similar disposition on the recipient. All this is apparent in persuasion texts par excellence, such as political speech and advertisement. Automatic sentiment variations of existing linguistic expressions open the way to promising applications, yet it is a challenging problem. In this paper we describe a system which takes up this challenge, together with a framework for evaluating the persuasiveness of the newly produced expressions.
Keywords: Language-based persuasion; affective NLP; persuasiveness evaluation
Do Persuasive Technologies Persuade? -- A Review of Empirical Studies BIBAKFull-Text 118-136
  Juho Hamari; Jonna Koivisto; Tuomas Pakkanen
This paper reviews the current body of empirical research on persuasive technologies (95 studies). In recent years, technology has been increasingly harnessed to persuade and motivate people to engage in various behaviors. This phenomenon has also attracted substantial scholarly interest over the last decade. This review examines the results, methods, measured behavioral and psychological outcomes, affordances in implemented persuasive systems, and domains of the studies in the current body of research on persuasive technologies. The reviewed studies have investigated diverse persuasive systems/designs, psychological factors, and behavioral outcomes. The results of the reviewed studies were categorized into fully positive, partially positive, and negative and/or no effects. This review provides an overview of the state of empirical research regarding persuasive technologies. The paper functions as a reference in positioning future research within the research stream of persuasive technologies in terms of the domain, the persuasive stimuli and the psychological and behavioral outcomes.
Keywords: persuasive technology; motivational affordance; gamification; persuasive computing; captology; game-based learning; behavioral change support system; sustainability; health technology
Wicked Persuasion: A Designerly Approach BIBAKFull-Text 137-142
  Bran Knowles; Paul Coulton; Mark Lochrie; Jon Whittle
Persuasive computing has tended to be applied toward the promotion of minor behavior change in the direction of easily understood and uncontroversial goals. Such approaches may not make sense, however, when designing for so called 'wicked problems'. We argue that while wicked problems can be effectively addressed through persuasive technology, a 'designerly' (as opposed to engineering or experimental psychology) approach is required in their creation. We illustrate this approach through the design of our own persuasive system directed at the wicked problem of encouraging local spending, and we draw lessons for persuasive design more generally.
Keywords: persuasion; persuasive games; interaction design; wicked problems; rhetoric
Credibility and Interactivity: Persuasive Components of Ideological Group Websites BIBAKFull-Text 143-154
  Genevieve Johnson; William D. Taylor; Alisha M. Ness; Michael K. Ault; Norah E. Dunbar; Matthew L. Jensen; Shane Connelly
The quickly growing presence of ideological groups on the Internet has garnered interest into how these groups use technology to persuade others. This study extends current research on the influential effects of website credibility and interactivity to the context of ideological group websites. Results of this study indicated that credibility and interactivity had direct and interactive effects on outcomes of agreement with the ideology, negative affective responses, and strength of argument when responding to the website. A number of these results may be due to (in)consistency with previous beliefs or violations of expectations regarding ideological group websites. Limitations and future directions are also discussed.
Keywords: Ideological groups; websites; credibility; interactivity
Managing Depression through a Behavior Change Support System without Face-to-Face Therapy BIBAKFull-Text 155-166
  Sitwat Langrial; Harri Oinas-Kukkonen; Päivi Lappalainen; Raimo Lappalainen
We present results from a study that examines impact of persuasive reminders and virtual rehearsal on the effectiveness of a Behavior Change Support System. Good Life Compass is a web-based BCSS aimed at supporting people with mild to moderate depression without face-to-face therapy. The content of virtual rehearsal were drawn from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Eligible participants were randomized into an intervention study and a control (wait-list) group. In this paper, both groups shall be reported as intervention group 1 and 2 respectively. For data collection, we employed semi-structured questionnaires and post-study interviews. As a result, participants acknowledged persuasive reminders as being helpful in completing weekly tasks and virtual rehearsal as an effective technique for learning new behaviors.
Keywords: Behavior Change Support Systems; Acceptance and Commitment Therapy; persuasive reminders; virtual rehearsal
Using Ambient Lighting in Persuasive Communication: The Role of Pre-existing Color Associations BIBAKFull-Text 167-178
  Shengnan Lu; Jaap Ham; Cees J. H. Midden
Earlier research indicated that ambient persuasive lighting can have persuasive effects on energy-efficiency behavior. However, why would this kind of ambient feedback be effective? The current research investigated the influence of the strength of associations (of colors used for giving feedback) on the effectiveness of ambient feedback. Two color sets were chosen from a pre-test to represent strongly- and weakly-associated with energy consumption, i.e. red versus green and yellow vs. purple, respectively. Results indicated that lighting feedback that was strongly associated with energy consumption had stronger persuasive effects than weakly-associated lighting feedback. Moreover, participants who received weakly-associated feedback needed more time to program the thermostat when performing the additional cognitive task (as compared to participants without additional task), while this difference was not found in strongly-associated feedback condition. This research reveals that the persuasive potential of ambient persuasive lighting can be enhanced by making use of pre-existing color associations.
Keywords: Ambient persuasive technology; Ambient lighting; Color association; Color perception
'This Is Your Life!' BIBAKFull-Text 179-190
  Geke D. S. Ludden; Saskia M. Kelders; Bas H. J. Snippert
'This Is Your Life' is a training aimed at personal growth, or 'flourishing', and is based on the science of positive psychology. The objective of this project was to create a design for a digital version of a book with theory and exercises about positive psychology. The target group for the digital version were primary school teachers. A user-centered design approach was used together with persuasive and gameful design frameworks. More specifically, a metaphorical design was used to motivate the target group to start using the training and to continue using and complete the training. Several metaphors were explored and tested with the target group. Finally, a working prototype of the digital training was developed and tested by the target user group. From this final test we found that the chosen metaphorical design indeed motivated people to (1) start working on the training and (2) continue working on the training.
Keywords: persuasion; positive psychology; motivation; adherence; design
Investigating the Influence of Social Exclusion on Persuasion by a Virtual Agent BIBAKFull-Text 191-200
  Peter A. M. Ruijten; Jaap Ham; Cees J. H. Midden
Persuasive agents may function as a tool to induce changes in human behavior. Research has shown that human-likeness of such agents influences their effectiveness. Besides characteristics of the agent, other characteristics may also have strong influences on persuasive agents' effectiveness. One such characteristic is social exclusion. When people feel socially excluded, they are more sensitive to social influence. In two studies, we investigated this effect in a human-agent interaction. Results show stronger behavior changes for socially exclusion compared to social inclusion. This effect seems stronger for females than for males.
Keywords: Social exclusion; Social influence; Virtual agent
An Empirical Comparison of Variations of a Virtual Representation of an Individual's Health BIBAKFull-Text 201-223
  Andreas Schmeil; L. Suzanne Suggs
In this paper we present a study that empirically compares the effects of different variations of a virtual representation of health (VRH) on an individual's motivation and intention to improve their health behavior. We aimed to understand how the approach of a 3D virtual character can be most effective for positively influencing an individual's motivation and intention to engage in a healthier diet and more physical activity. Four variations of this vicarious virtual character were tested: (1) holding a still pose, (2) mimicking health behavior, (3) personifying a possible future health status, and (4) both mimicking health behavior and personifying a possible future health status. The results from data collected from 512 participants in three European countries indicate that in particular juxtaposing the current VRH to a possible future version has a positive effect. Subjective satisfaction measurements imply that the approach is well received by a general population.
Keywords: Virtual character; VRH; health behavior; behavior change; 3D; physical activity; nutrition; visual communication
Using Social Influence for Motivating Customers to Generate and Share Feedback BIBAKFull-Text 224-235
  Agnis Stibe; Harri Oinas-Kukkonen
A combination of high tech environments and social influence concepts holds great potential to positively effect behaviors and attitudes of individuals. Drawing upon socio-psychological theories, this study explores how social influence design principles change customer engagement in sharing feedback. For that purpose, an information system consisting of social influence design principles was implemented on situated displays and examined with 77 Twitter users. The results reveal interplay between the design principles and their capacity to explain 52% of the variance in perceived persuasiveness of the system, which can further predict 40% of the variance in behavioral intention of participants to provide feedback through the system in the future. The findings could be instrumental in progress towards a richer understanding of how to further harness social influence for customer engagement through socio-technical environments and how it effects the development of novel persuasive systems.
Keywords: Customer engagement; social influence; persuasive systems design
Analyzing Non-Textual Arguments with Toulmin BIBAKFull-Text 236-246
  Kristian Torning
This paper seeks to advance existing research on persuasive design, opening up new research opportunities by addressing the notion of technology embedded arguments. The prevailing literature does not offer models for analyzing technology embedded arguments, and thus in order to explore some basic ideas on the analysis of arguments in technology, Toulmin's traditional argument pattern is used on two simple persuasive design examples. The main findings are: 1) it is difficult to analyze non-textual persuasive designs with Toulmin's pattern due to the less explicit nature of technology embedded arguments and 2) there are ethical implications if users cannot systematically assess the validity of technology embedded arguments.
Keywords: Persuasive design; technology embedded arguments; technology arguments; Toulmin's argument pattern; argument model
Embodied Persuasion BIBAKFull-Text 247-252
  Thomas J. L. Van Rompay
Research on embodied cognition indicates that abstract meaning attributions are to a large extent grounded in our own (and at the same time shared) bodily interactions in and with the environment. One particularly interesting finding relates to visual-spatial aspects inherent in these interactions that bring about specific experiential qualities. In this paper we will show how such visual-spatial dimensions may be applied across visual and interactive media in order to induce specific beliefs, feelings and behaviors. In addition, future directions are discussed, amongst others addressing the feasibility of applying the insights presented in interface and interactive product design.
Keywords: Persuasive visualization; embodiment; interactive products; sensory experience; consumer decision making
Embedded Disruption: Facilitating Responsible Gambling with Persuasive Systems Design BIBAKFull-Text 253-265
  Kristen Warren; Avi Parush; Michael Wohl; Hyoun S. Kim
Principles of Persuasive Systems Design (PSD) have been implemented in various applications designed to promote attitude or behaviour change. In order to facilitate responsible gambling, current practices call for gamblers to preset monetary limits and adhere to them. In this study, PSD principles were combined with a "just-in-time" embedded disruption in order to facilitate adherence to preset monetary limits in online gambling. A user-centred design process, including focus groups and a heuristic evaluation, was employed to define needs and requirements, and evaluate the tool. A lab study with a virtual casino showed that the embedded disruption tool was associated with more players quitting when they reached their preset monetary limit compared with the current monetary limit tool, demonstrating the principle of embedded disruption is effective.
Keywords: Persuasive Systems Design; Embedded Disruption; Heuristic Evaluation; Validation Study; User-Centred Design
(Re)Defining Gamification: A Process Approach BIBAKFull-Text 266-272
  Kevin Werbach
Gamification is a growing phenomenon of interest to both practitioners and researchers. There remains, however, uncertainty about the contours of the field. Defining gamification as "the process of making activities more game-like" focuses on the crucial space between the components that make up games and the holistic experience of gamefulness. It better fits real-world examples and connects gamification with the literature on persuasive design.
Keywords: Gamification; games; persuasive design; persuasive technology
Persuasion in the Car: Probing Potentials BIBAKFull-Text 273-278
  David Wilfinger; Magdalena Gärtner; Alexander Meschtscherjakov; Manfred Tscheligi
The automotive domain has recently investigated interfaces to persuade drivers to drive safer or in a more sustainable way. So far, these systems are rather technology driven and mostly do not follow a user centered design process. Our aim is to widen the scope of automotive persuasive interfaces and bring the user into the loop. We present a probing study aiming at the identification of persuasion potentials in the car. We describe findings related to inappropriate behavior, past behavior changes, and persuasion for passengers. Our study is a qualitative approach to inform the design of innovative persuasive interfaces in the automotive domain. We present the setup and results of the probing study including a discussion of its potentials and limitations.
Keywords: automotive interfaces; car; cultural probing; persuasion
SubRosa: Supporting a Proper Learning Atmosphere through Subtle Cues with Immediate Feedback BIBAKFull-Text 279-290
  Pawel Wozniak; Bartosz Koczorowicz; Morten Fjeld; Andrzej Romanowski
SubRosa is a persuasive ambient display system designed to reduce sound levels in areas used for quiet study. We have constructed a high-fidelity prototype that visualises ambient noise levels, in this case as a rotting tomato. SubRosa is different from similar systems in that it uses immediate feedback and targets a dynamic user group with a high member turnover. An experience study we conducted in two different locations showed positive influence on ambient noise conditions. Based on the study results, we discuss insights into the design of persuasive ambient displays, the effectiveness of our approach, and types of ambient feedback that could be used in similar systems. By comparing the experience study results, we show how immediate feedback for ambient displays is suitable for environments with dynamic user groups.
Keywords: persuasive technology; ambient display; behavioural change; ubiquitous computing
Systematic Review of Behavioral Obesity Interventions and Their Persuasive Qualities BIBAKFull-Text 291-301
  Anna Xu; Taridzo Chomutare; Sriram Iyengar
In this systematic review of weight loss interventions, we reviewed interventions aimed at maintaining weight loss, and identify persuasive elements that drive weight maintenance.
   Methods: We searched the Medline database for long-term obesity interventions, and targeted randomized control trials that aimed to reduce weight among adults for over 12 months, and extracted outcomes related to body weight change.
   Results: Seventeen publications were in the final review. Tailoring, or group counseling led by a health care professional, was shown to have a significant effect on long-term weight loss. Positive effects were also obtained by personalization (one-on-one counseling), competition (competing against other people trying to lose weight), and reminders.
   Conclusion: Maintaining weight loss long-term as so far eluded researchers, but results suggest that some elements of the interventions are more greatly associated with weight maintenance than others. Future interventions might be more effective if they were based on persuasive technology.
Keywords: Persuasive technology; obesity; systematic review; behavior
Stop Clicking on "Update Later": Persuading Users They Need Up-to-Date Antivirus Protection BIBAKFull-Text 302-322
  Leah Zhang-Kennedy; Sonia Chiasson; Robert Biddle
Online security advice aims to persuade users to behave securely, but appears to have limited effects at changing behaviour. We propose security advice targeted at end-users should employ visual rhetoric to form an effective, memorable, and persuasive method of communication. We present the design and evaluation of infographics and an online interactive comic developed to persuade users to update their antivirus software. Results show superior learning and behavioural outcomes compared to mainstream text-only security advice.
Keywords: Antivirus; Persuasive Visualization; Usable Security