Persuasion Through Mobile Devices and Operant Conditioning via Interactive Technology

From The Theme

What if we could better understand how computers (including handheld computers and mobile phones) might use principles of behaviorism to influence people and change their behavior?

Persuasion Through Mobile Devices Image

We set out to enhance investigations in two areas: (1) persuasion through mobile devices and (2) operant conditioning via interactive technology. Working in conjunction with Abby King at the Stanford Center for Research in Disease Prevention, we investigated how handheld devices can promote better health behaviors in sedentary people over 50 years of age. In order to better understand how interactive technologies can use operant conditioning to affect human behavior, we designed a year-long research project including user experience analysis, artifact collection, interaction design, and controlled experiments.

We developed a variety of research projects to investigate persuasion and technology.

As part of our research, we compiled reports on mobile persuasion products (over 100 reviewed), collected a set of over 300 digital stimuli (sounds, images and animations) that could serve as rewards, and reviewed movie clips to better understand how persuasion plays out in everyday life. Based on these explorations, we developed a system for coding persuasion patterns found in media clips and a system for assessing the reinforcement value of digital stimuli type rewards. We also prototyped mobile applications.

Projects such as Hydra, Sleep Smart, CHART, and Pedometer investigated the use of persuasive technology in handheld devices to influence healthy behavior. These projects examined how variables such as reminders, visualization and tracking can motivate people towards healthier activities, such as drinking more water, improving sleep hygiene, completing health related surveys or being more physically active.

Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab

Mobile Health and Persuasion

Behavior Design

BJ FoggBJ Fogg directs the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, and is consulting faculty at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education. His work focuses on behavior design, creating insights into how computing products–from websites to mobile phone apps–can be designed to change people’s behaviors. Dr. Fogg has created a new model of human behavior change, which guides research and design. He is the author of Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, as well as the co-editor of Mobile Persuasion, and Texting 4 Health.

John BoydJohn Boyd, formerly a researcher at the Persuasive Technology Lab, has been Director of Research at Facebook since 2014. Boyd received his PhD in psychology from Stanford University.

Ramit SethiRamit Sethi was Director of Special Projects at Persuaive Technology Lab from 2001 to 2006. He is also the founder of the “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” program and author of the New York Times best selling book by the same name. Sethi combines his experience in social influence and persuasion with personal finanace to focus on the tactical and psychological aspects of behavioral change. He holds an MA in Science Technology and Society from Stanford University.

Tacy Trowbridge Tacy Trowbridge was Project Manager at the Persuasive Technologies Lab from 2001 to 2002. Since 2011 she has been the World Wide Lead of Education Programs at Adobe Systems.

Tami KamedaTami Kameda received her Bachlors in Symbolic Systems and her Masters in Communication from Stanford University, graduating in 2002. She received her JD at the UCLA School of Law in 2006. Currently she is an attorney with Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.

Joshua SolomonJoshua Solomon is an experienced User Experience Professional. He has 20+ years in industry as a leader working with small teams of designers and engineers to craft visually compelling and easy-to-use interfaces. His special focus is on enterprise applications, mobile applications, data visualizations and game interfaces. Since 2016, Mr. Solomon has been with Akamai Technologies since 2012, as a Principal UI Engineer, Lead Principal UI Designer and User Experience Strategist.

Additional Collaborators
Abby KingAbby King is Professor of Health Research and Policy and of Medicine at the Stanford Prevention Research Center. Dr. King’s research focuses on the development, evaluation, and translation of public health interventions to reduce chronic disease in the US and globally.

Audie AtienzaAudie Atienza (From 1998-2002), Dr. Atienza was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Since then, he has worked with the National Institutes of Health, the National Cancer Institutes and the US Department of Health and Human Services. Since 2016, Dr. Atienza is currently Senior Fellow of Biomedical Informatics at ICF.

Additional Researchers
Lezlee Pruitt, Ph.D., Karen Bolen, M.S., Johnny Bilderbeck, Peter Dodd, Ph.D., John Wong, M.S., Tanisha Lloyd