Questioning Our Attitudes and Feelings Towards Persuasive Technology

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    Abstract

    Definitions regarding Persuasive Technology are often introduced with the accompanying remark: without using coercion and deception. For this position paper, we investigated, evaluated, and discussed the term Persuasive Technology and its connotations. We investigated whether Persuasive Technology is perceived with negative connotations such as coercive and deceptive, and, how in comparison, similar labels (such as Behavior Change Support System and Digital Behavior Change Intervention) were perceived. We conducted an online survey where participants (N = 488) rated their attitude towards these systems in the context of a system description, indicated to what extent they agreed with 10 descriptors (such as, manipulative, motivating, or supportive) in the context of a system description, and whether this system in general, is at risk of being perceived as coercive, manipulative, deceptive, or propagandistic. We found that when considering risks of systems in general, labeling them as PT results in them being perceived significantly more forceful than all other labels, and switching the labeling of a system to Digital Behavior Change Intervention results in them being perceived significantly more captivating compared to a neutral system label. The findings suggest that when choosing labels to use for technology or systems it is essential to consider the impact labels can have on how the system or technology is perceived, regardless of the actual function of the system. These findings are relevant for the field of Persuasive Technology and the Persuasive Technology conference specifically. This paper is meant to spark further discussion in the field and at the conference.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationPersuasive Technology: Development of Persuasive and Behavior Change Support Systems
    Subtitle of host publication14th International Conference, PERSUASIVE 2019, Limassol, Cyprus, April 9–11, 2019, Proceedings
    EditorsHarri Oinas-Kukkonen, Khin Than Win, Evangelos Karapanos, Pasi Karppinen, Eleni Kyza
    Place of PublicationCham, Switzerland
    PublisherSpringer
    Pages3-15
    ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-17287-9
    ISBN (Print)978-3-030-17286-2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    Event14th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, PERSUASIVE 2019 - Atlantica Miramare Beach Hotel, Limassol, Cyprus
    Duration: 9 Apr 201911 Apr 2019
    Conference number: 14
    https://www.persuasive2019.org/

    Publication series

    NameLecture Notes in Computer Science
    PublisherSpringer
    Volume11433

    Conference

    Conference14th International Conference on Persuasive Technology, PERSUASIVE 2019
    Abbreviated titlePERSUASIVE 2019
    CountryCyprus
    CityLimassol
    Period9/04/1911/04/19
    Internet address

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    Cite this

    van Delden, R., de Vries, R. A. J., & Heylen, D. K. J. (2019). Questioning Our Attitudes and Feelings Towards Persuasive Technology. In H. Oinas-Kukkonen, K. Than Win, E. Karapanos, P. Karppinen, & E. Kyza (Eds.), Persuasive Technology: Development of Persuasive and Behavior Change Support Systems: 14th International Conference, PERSUASIVE 2019, Limassol, Cyprus, April 9–11, 2019, Proceedings (pp. 3-15). (Lecture Notes in Computer Science ; Vol. 11433). Cham, Switzerland: Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-17287-9_1