Seminar: Design for Behavior Change: A Model-Driven Approach for Tailoring Persuasive Technology

Dr. Rita Orji
University of Saskatchewan

Design for Behavior Change: A Model-Driven Approach for Tailoring Persuasive Technology

Candidate for Faculty Position in Computer Science

Department of Computer Science
Tuesday, June 7, 2016, 2:15 p.m., Room EN-2022


Interactive systems can be designed to aid and motivate people for actions and causes that are beneficial for them and their communities. Avoiding risky behavior, living a healthy lifestyle, promoting safety and security-conscious behaviors online and offline, acting to preserve the environment and reduce climate change, engaging in energy conservation behavior, volunteering to contribute to a team or community, and maintaining positive social connectedness, can all be influenced by Persuasive Technologies (PTs). PTs are interactive systems designed to motivate desired behavior and attitude change. In the health domain, PTs have helped people to manage addictive behaviors, achieve personal wellness, manage diseases, and make healthy choices. However, most Pts are designed using a one-size-fits-all approach, and research has shown that an approach that motivates one type of person to perform a desired behavior may actually discourage another type of person.

This talk presents recent findings on tailoring PTs to increase their efficacy in motivating healthy behavior change. Specifically, I present a Model-driven Persuasive Technology (MPT) design, which models the motivating factors for different user groups, thus showing how to tailor PTs to various people or groups. To evaluate the MPT design approach, the model is applied to the design and development of two versions of a persuasive game for promoting healthy eating behaviors (targeting two distinct gamer types), and a large-scale randomized controlled trial (N = 802) of the two versions of the game is conducted, comparing the efficacy of a tailored, contra-tailored, and one-size-fits-all version of the persuasive game. The talk concludes with a view of future work in the broad area of “Interactive Systems and Human Behaviors”, including investigation into how technology can be designed to track and to help people explore, understand, and visualize the choice-and-consequences linkage of their micro behaviors. The main goal is to design adaptive persuasion mechanisms in the social software infrastructure that can be applied across several domains to engage and motivate people. Completing the research will involve research challenges in context-aware systems, user modelling and user-adaptive systems, data analytics, ubiquitous computing, information visualization, and human-computer interaction.


Department of Computer Science

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