Special Issue "Personalizing Persuasive Technologies"

A special issue of Information (ISSN 2078-2489). This special issue belongs to the section "Information Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 September 2019) | Viewed by 10746

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Kiemute Oyibo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
School of Public Health and Health Systems, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Canada
Interests: persuasive technology; personalization; human–computer interaction, user experience; eHealth
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Rita Orji
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Faculty of Computer Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada
Interests: human–computer interaction; persuasive technology; behaviour change systems; games for change
Dr. Jaap Ham
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences, Eindhoven University of Technology, ‎Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Interests: user experience; persuasive technology; eHealth; social robotics
Dr. Joshua Chibuike Nwokeji
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Computer and Information Science, Gannon University, Erie, PA, USA
Interests: information systems education; cybersecurity; data analytics education; enterprise agility
Dr. Ana Ciocarlan
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, UK
Interests: persuasive technology; personalisation; eHealth; human–computer interaction; artificial intelligence

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The 4th International Personalizing Persuasive Technologies (PPT 2019) Workshop (https://personalizedpersuasion2019.wordpress.com/) will be held on 09 April, 2019 in Limassol, Cyprus, in conjunction with the 14th International Conference on Persuasive Technology 2019 (https://www.persuasive2019.org/).

PPT 2019 is the 4th workshop in the series. PPT is an international workshop on personalizing persuasive technologies. It offers a platform for networking and exchanging of ideas among scholars from academia and practitioners from industry working in the field of personalized persuasive technologies and human–computer interaction (HCI). Persuasive Technology is an interactive system designed to change human behavior and attitude through persuasion and social influence without deception or coercion. Specifically, PPT focuses on how such applications can be tailored and/or personalized to users to increase their effectiveness. It has been applied in solving problems in many areas including health, sustainability, safety and security, education, marketing, e-commerce, social media, entertainment, games, etc.

The first three editions of the PPT workshop were held in conjunction with the Persuasive Technology Conference in 2016, 2017, and 2018. Over time, the workshop has evolved to become an annual event attracting hundreds of participants from over 20 different countries. Each of the last three workshops witnessed at least 12 peer-reviewed paper presentations and one keynote presentation. 

The scope and topics of interest of this Special Issue include the following:

  • Frameworks and models for developing personalized persuasive technology.
  • Objective and subjective approaches to personalizing persuasive technologies.
  • Methods and Metrics for evaluating the effectiveness of personalized persuasive technology.
  • Long-term evaluation and evidence of long-term effects of personalized persuasive technology.
  • Methods for large-scale computational personalization.
  • Systematically investigating and highlighting the difference between adaptivity and adoptivity.
  • Systematically investigating and highlighting the difference between system-controlled personalization and user-controlled personalization.
  • The relationships between individual characteristics and the effectiveness of various persuasive technology features.
  • How to balance the cost and benefit of personalizing persuasive technology.
  • How to develop ethical and privacy-sensitive personalized persuasive technology.
  • What do we personalize (for example, do we personalize persuasive strategies, approaches, or end-goals)?
  • How do we personalize (e.g., subjective and objective personalization methods)?
  • What do we personalize for (e.g., personality, gender, age, persuadability, player types, emotional states, contextual/situational variables)?
  • Challenges and limitations of implementing personalized persuasive technology and possible solutions.
  • Case studies and examples of personalized persuasive technologies

The authors of a number of selected full papers of high quality will be invited after the workshop event in Limassol, Cyprus, to submit revised and extended versions of their originally accepted workshop papers to this Special Issue of Personalizing Persuasive Technologies, which will be published by MDPI in open access. The selection of successful papers will be based on  their review, quality of their presentation during the workshop, and expected impact on the PT research community. Submitted papers should be extended to the size of a regular research article, with 70% of its content presenting new results. Although extended versions of papers presented at PPT 2019 are sought, this call for papers is also fully open to all who want to contribute by submitting a relevant research manuscript. All submitted papers will undergo our standard peer-review procedure.

Accepted papers will be published in open access format in Information and collected together in this Special Issue website. We would like to publish the extended best papers of the conference with Article Processing Fees waived. Since MDPI organizes the peer-review process, the publishing fees will be waived only for papers that receive all positive review reports. By "positive review reports", we mean no rejecting reports. Papers accepted with rejecting reports (in all rounds of peer review) will be charged for Article Processing fees.

The deadline for submission to this Special Issue is 20 August, 2019.

Please prepare and format your paper according to the Instructions for Authors. You can use  the LaTeX or Microsoft Word template file of the journal (both are available from the Instructions for Authors page). Manuscripts should be submitted online via our susy.mdpi.com editorial system.

Dr. Kiemute Oyibo
Dr. Rita Orji
Dr. Jaap Ham
Dr. Joshua Chibuike Nwokeji
Dr. Ana Ciocarlan
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • persuasive technology
  • personalization
  • tailoring
  • adaptation
  • behavior change

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

Article
The Influence of Age, Gender, and Cognitive Ability on the Susceptibility to Persuasive Strategies
Information 2019, 10(11), 352; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10110352 - 15 Nov 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1596
Abstract
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 [...] Read more.
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. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalizing Persuasive Technologies)
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Article
Can Message-Tailoring Based on Regulatory Fit Theory Improve the Efficacy of Persuasive Physical Activity Systems?
Information 2019, 10(11), 347; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10110347 - 08 Nov 2019
Viewed by 1286
Abstract
Background: Many behaviour-change technologies have been designed to help people with a sedentary lifestyle to become more physically active. However, challenges exist in designing systems that work effectively. One of the key challenges is that many of those technologies do not account for [...] Read more.
Background: Many behaviour-change technologies have been designed to help people with a sedentary lifestyle to become more physically active. However, challenges exist in designing systems that work effectively. One of the key challenges is that many of those technologies do not account for differences in individuals’ psychological characteristics. To address that problem, tailoring the communication between a system and its users has been proposed and examined. Although in the research related to public health education, message tailoring has been studied extensively as a technique to communicate health information and to educate people, its use in the design of behaviour-change technologies has not been adequately investigated. Objective: The goal of this study was to explore the impact of message tailoring, when tailoring was grounded in Higgins’ Regulatory Fit Theory, and messages were constructed to promote physical activity. Method: An email intervention was designed and developed that sent participants daily health messages for 14 consecutive days. There were three categories of messages: reminders, promotion-, and prevention-messages. The effect of the messages on behaviour was compared between those who received messages that fitted their self-regulatory orientation, versus those who received non-fitted messages. Results: Participants who received promotion- or prevention-messages walked for longer periods of time, compared to those who received reminders in the control group. When comparing the first two groups, promotion-message-recipients on average walked more than those who received prevention-messages. In other words, promotion messages acted more persuasively than prevention-messages and reminders. Contrary to our hypothesis, those individuals who received messages that fitted their self-regulatory orientation did not walk more than those who received non-fitted messages. Conclusions: The efficacy of Higgins’ Regulatory Fit Theory in the design of tailored health messages was examined. This study did not find support for the use of that theory in guiding the design of persuasive health messages that promote physical activity. Therefore, more research is necessary to investigate the effectiveness of tailoring strategies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalizing Persuasive Technologies)
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Article
Investigation of the Moderating Effect of Culture on Users’ Susceptibility to Persuasive Features in Fitness Applications
Information 2019, 10(11), 344; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10110344 - 06 Nov 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1591
Abstract
Persuasive technologies have been identified as a potential motivational tool to tackle the rising problem of physical inactivity worldwide, with research showing they are more likely to be successful if tailored to the target audience. However, in the physical activity domain, there is [...] Read more.
Persuasive technologies have been identified as a potential motivational tool to tackle the rising problem of physical inactivity worldwide, with research showing they are more likely to be successful if tailored to the target audience. However, in the physical activity domain, there is limited research on how culture moderates users’ susceptibility to the various persuasive features employed in mobile health applications aimed to motivate behavior change. To bridge this gap, we conducted an empirical study among 256 participants from collectivist (n = 67) and individualist (n = 189) cultures to determine their culture-specific persuasion profiles with respect to six persuasive features commonly employed in fitness applications on the market. The persuasive features include two personal features (goal-setting/self-monitoring and reward) and four social features (competition, cooperation, social learning and social comparison). We based our study on the rating of storyboards (on which each of the six persuasive features is illustrated) and the ranking of the six persuasive features in terms of perceived persuasiveness. The results of our analysis showed that users from individualist and collectivist cultures significantly differ in their persuasion profiles. Based on our rating measure, collectivist users are more likely to be susceptible to all six persuasive features (personal and social) than individualist users, who are only likely to be susceptible to personal features. However, based on our ranking measure, individualist users are more likely to be susceptible to personal features (goal-setting/self-monitoring and reward) than collectivist users. In contrast, collectivist users are more likely to be susceptible to social features (cooperation and social learning) than individualist users. Based on these findings, we provide culture-specific persuasive technology design guidelines. Our study is the first to uncover the moderating effect of culture on users’ susceptibility to commonly employed persuasive features in fitness applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalizing Persuasive Technologies)
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Article
Psychophysiological Measures of Reactance to Persuasive Messages Advocating Limited Meat Consumption
Information 2019, 10(10), 320; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10100320 - 17 Oct 2019
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1934
Abstract
Persuasive interventions can lose their effectiveness when a person becomes reactant to the persuasive messages—a state identified by feelings of anger and perceived threat to freedom. A person will strive to reestablish their threatened freedom, which is characterized by motivational arousal. Research suggests [...] Read more.
Persuasive interventions can lose their effectiveness when a person becomes reactant to the persuasive messages—a state identified by feelings of anger and perceived threat to freedom. A person will strive to reestablish their threatened freedom, which is characterized by motivational arousal. Research suggests that the motivational state of psychological reactance can be observed in physiology. Therefore, the assessment of physiological reactions might help to identify reactance to persuasive messages and, thereby, could be an objective approach to personalize persuasive technologies. The current study investigates peripheral psychophysiological reactivity in response to persuasive messages. To manipulate the strength of the reactant response either high- or low-controlling language messages were presented to discourage meat consumption. The high-controlling language condition indeed evoked more psychological reactance, and sympathetic arousal did increase during persuasive messaging in heart rate and heart rate variability, although no clear relationship between physiological reactivity and self-reported psychological reactance was found. However, the evaluation of multiple linear models revealed that variance in self-reported psychological reactance was best explained by initial intentions in combination with cardiovascular reactivity. To conclude, considering physiological reactivity in addition to motivational state can benefit our understanding of psychological reactance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalizing Persuasive Technologies)
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Article
Gender, Age and Subjective Well-Being: Towards Personalized Persuasive Health Interventions
Information 2019, 10(10), 301; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10100301 - 27 Sep 2019
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1438
Abstract
(1) Background: Subjective well-being (SWB) is an individual’s judgment about their overall well-being. Research has shown that high subjective well-being contributes to overall health. SWB consists of both Affective and Cognitive dimensions. Existing studies on SWB are limited in two major ways: first, [...] Read more.
(1) Background: Subjective well-being (SWB) is an individual’s judgment about their overall well-being. Research has shown that high subjective well-being contributes to overall health. SWB consists of both Affective and Cognitive dimensions. Existing studies on SWB are limited in two major ways: first, they focused mainly on the Affective dimension. Second, most existing studies are focused on individuals from the Western and Asian nations; (2) Methods: To resolve these weaknesses and contribute to research on personalizing persuasive health interventions to promote SWB, we conducted a large-scale study of 732 participants from Nigeria to investigate what factors affect their SWB using both the Affective and Cognitive dimensions and how distinct SWB components relates to different gender and age group. We employed the Structural Equation Model (SEM) and Confirmatory Factor Analysis (CFA) to develop models showing how gender and age relate to the distinct components of SWB; (3) Results: Our study reveals significant differences between gender and age groups. Males are more associated with social well-being and satisfaction with life components while females are more associated with emotional well-being. As regards age, younger adults (under 24) are more associated with social well-being and happiness while older adults (over 65) are more associated with psychological well-being, emotional well-being, and satisfaction with life. (4) Conclusions: The results could inform designers of the appropriate SWB components to target when personalizing persuasive health interventions to promote overall well-being for people belonging to various gender and age groups. We offer design guidelines for tailoring persuasive intervention to increase SWB based on an individual’s age and gender group. Finally, we map SWB components to possible persuasive technology design strategies that can be employed to implement them in persuasive interventions design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalizing Persuasive Technologies)
Article
When Personalization Is Not an Option: An In-The-Wild Study on Persuasive News Recommendation
Information 2019, 10(10), 300; https://doi.org/10.3390/info10100300 - 26 Sep 2019
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2496
Abstract
Aiming at granting wide access to their contents, online information providers often choose not to have registered users, and therefore must give up personalization. In this paper, we focus on the case of non-personalized news recommender systems, and explore persuasive techniques that can, [...] Read more.
Aiming at granting wide access to their contents, online information providers often choose not to have registered users, and therefore must give up personalization. In this paper, we focus on the case of non-personalized news recommender systems, and explore persuasive techniques that can, nonetheless, be used to enhance recommendation presentation, with the aim of capturing the user’s interest on suggested items leveraging the way news is perceived. We present the results of two evaluations “in the wild”, carried out in the context of a real online magazine and based on data from 16,134 and 20,933 user sessions, respectively, where we empirically assessed the effectiveness of persuasion strategies which exploit logical fallacies and other techniques. Logical fallacies are inferential schemes known since antiquity that, even if formally invalid, appear as plausible and are therefore psychologically persuasive. In particular, our evaluations allowed us to compare three persuasive scenarios based on the Argumentum Ad Populum fallacy, on a modified version of the Argumentum ad Populum fallacy (Group-Ad Populum), and on no fallacy (neutral condition), respectively. Moreover, we studied the effects of the Accent Fallacy (in its visual variant), and of positive vs. negative Framing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personalizing Persuasive Technologies)
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