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The Influence of Age, Gender, and Cognitive Ability on the Susceptibility to Persuasive Strategies

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Department of Computer Science, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa 720223, Nigeria
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Department of Computer Science, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK S7N 5A2, Canada
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Department of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, NS B3H 4R2, Canada
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Department of Computer Science, Ibrahim Babadamasi Babangida University, Lapai 911101, Nigeria
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Information 2019, 10(11), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10110352
Received: 20 September 2019 / Revised: 12 November 2019 / Accepted: 13 November 2019 / Published: 15 November 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalizing Persuasive Technologies)
The fact that individuals may react differently toward persuasive strategies gave birth to a shift in persuasive technology (PT) design from the one-size-fits-all traditional approach to the individualized approach which conforms to individuals’ preferences. Given that learners’ gender, age, and cognitive level can affect their response to different learning instructions, it is given primacy of place in persuasive educational technology (PET) design. However, the effect of gender, age, and cognitive ability on learners’ susceptibility to persuasive strategies did not receive the right attention in the extant literature. To close this gap, we carried out an empirical study among 461 participants to investigate whether learners’ gender, age, and cognitive ability significantly affect learners’ susceptibility to three key persuasive strategies (social learning, reward, and trustworthiness) in PETs. The results of a repeated measure analysis of variance (RM-ANOVA) revealed that people with high cognitive level are more likely to be susceptible to social learning, while people with low cognitive level are more likely to be susceptible to trustworthiness. Comparatively, our results revealed that males are more likely to be susceptible to social learning, while females are more likely to be susceptible to reward and trustworthiness. Furthermore, our results revealed that younger adults are more likely to be susceptible to social learning and reward, while older adults are more likely to be susceptible to trustworthiness. Our findings reveal potential persuasive strategies which designers can employ to personalize PTs to individual users in higher learning based on their susceptibility profile determined by age, gender, and cognitive level. View Full-Text
Keywords: personalized persuasive technologies; cognitive ability; persuasive strategies; reward; social learning; trustworthiness; education personalized persuasive technologies; cognitive ability; persuasive strategies; reward; social learning; trustworthiness; education
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Abdullahi, A.M.; Oyibo, K.; Orji, R.; Kawu, A.A. The Influence of Age, Gender, and Cognitive Ability on the Susceptibility to Persuasive Strategies. Information 2019, 10, 352.

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