Understanding Persuasive Technology and Its Advantages

Last Updated: 03 May 2023
Essay type: Persuasive
Pages: 3 Views: 140

Persuasion is pervasive and is part of our lives. Everyday, we are influenced by persuasion messages either explicitly or implicitly. Mass media including newspapers, radio and television have been used as major means to deliver persuasive messages to purchase, educate or change our belief. With the emergence of mobile and pervasive computing, computing technologies and products (e.g., email, web, high-speed internet, smart phones, mobile applications, etc) becomes pervasive and is part of our lives. Everyday, we are influenced by them either explicitly or implicitly. They have changed our way to live and our behaviors intentionally or unintentionally. Since we have used email, we do not write a mail often so that we go to post office much less than before. After varieties of chat programs are available, we become more comfortable to chat than talking on the phone. Since on-demand Internet video streaming is available, more and more people watch movies on the Internet rather than renting DVDs in the local store. Like this, we have affected by computing technologies and products consciously or unconsciously and they changed our behaviors. Throughout the past decade, there has been research intended to make persuasion interactive rather than one way. The outcome is known today as persuasive technology.

Fogg defined persuasive technology as any interactive computing system designed to change people's attitudes and behaviors. He coined the term, captology, which refers to computers as persuasive technologies and focuses on the design, research, and analysis of interactive computing products created for the purpose of changing people's attitudes or behaviors. Fogg described the potential benefits and pitfalls of persuasive technology. It has the potential to bring out constructive changes in many domains, including health, safety, and education. However, persuasive technology can be misused for destructive purposes; the dark side of changing attitudes and behaviors lead to manipulation and coercion.

Fogg mentioned several advantages of persuasive technology over human persuaders, which are considered to be strong persuaders. First, computers can be more persistent; Humans cannot be as persistent as a machine. Second, they can allow anonymity, which is important when sensitive issues are involved. Third, they can store, access, and manipulate huge volumes of data. Fourth, they can use many modalities. (e.g graphics, rich audio and video, animation, simulation or hyperlinked content). Fifth, computer software can scale; effective persuasive software can be easily replicated and distributed. Sixth, computers can be ubiquitous; they can be located even where human persuaders are not welcomed, such as the bathroom, or where humans cannot go.

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With those advantages of persuasive technology, there have been considerable efforts to apply persuasive technology in many domains especially in healthcare domain. These effort is coming to fruition. Despite this fruition, several problems and challenges have arisen. Most current persuasive systems available are not based on explicit theoretical foundation on persuasion theories and models when they were developed because of the following reasons. The first reason is there is lack of theoretical framework and practical methodologies for building persuasive systems or applications. The second reason is it is difficult for computer scientists and also developers to understand and harness persuasion theories and models. Another problem is most current persuasive systems are designed to change a finite set of behaviors to achieve a specific goal. If user's situation and goals are changed, the system cannot adapt to the changes and it becomes useless. In order to solve first problem, we developed new behavior change model that can be utilized by computer scientist and developers. For second problem, we propose a new way of computing, which is persuasion-aware computing that has ability to adapt to the changes of situation and goal.

The rest of this proposal is organized as follows. In Chapter 2, we describe problems and limitation of existing persuasive systems. In Chapter 3, we introduce concept of persuasion-aware computing. In Chapter 4, we discuss theories for persuasion-aware computing, which are action-based behavior model (ABM) for providing persuasion template to developers, new definition of situation and situation trace as a mechanism to detect persuasion need and apply persuasion strategy, and assess tree for evaluating a user's reaction. In Chapter 5, we propose a programming model for persuasion- aware computing. In Chapter 6, we present case study to show how ABM can be utilized to enable persuasion. In Chapter 7, we provide another case study in terms of programmability.

Persuasive technology can be classified by three functional roles of computers: tool, media and social actor. As tools, they can make target behaviors easier or more efficient to do, lead people through a process, or perform calculations and measurements to motivate. As media, they allow people to explore cause and effect relationships, provide vicarious experiences to motivate, and rehearse a behavior. As social actors, they can reward people with positive feedback, model a target behavior or attitude, and provide social support.

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Understanding Persuasive Technology and Its Advantages. (2023, May 01). Retrieved from https://phdessay.com/understanding-persuasive-technology-and-its-advantages/

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