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Captology

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  1. Captology

  2. Contents • Captology • Computerized persuasive techniques • Ethics of persuasion • Science of persuasion • Credibility

  3. Captology • Captology is derived from “Computers as Persuasive Technologies” • It is the study of how computers can be used to persuade people to ater their behaviour or opinions • It draws heavily on research on persuasion in psychology and marketing

  4. Intentionality • Persuasive technologies are those which intend to be persuasive • The introduction of the automobile caused the development of suburbs, but that was not the intention of introducing automobiles • Computers have no intent themselves, they simply reflect the intent of the people who create them and the programs which run on them

  5. Types of Intent • Endogenous • Intent comes from the people who produce the technology • Exogenous • Intent comes from people who give the technology to others to distribute • This is the case when large companies distribute persuasive technologies • Autogenous • Intent comes from the user’s themselves • The user has decided to use a device to modify his/her own behaviour

  6. Functional Roles • Computers can act in several roles when they are used for persuasion • Tools • Media • Social actors

  7. Computers as Tools • The computer provides the user with new capabilities so that they can do things they could not otherwise • Tools can be persuasive by • Reducing barriers so that certain behaviours are promoted • Making certain behaviours seem achievable • Providing information for informed decisions • Shaping a person’s mental model

  8. Computers as Tools • An example of a persuasive tool is • A heart rate monitor • Can be preset to notify the user when heart rate goes too high or low • Modifies user behaviour by providing feedback not available without the device

  9. Computers as Persuasive Media • One example • A computerized exhibit at the San Francisco Exploratorium allows people to make various choices about sexual behaviour • The program then shows them the consequences of their behaviour • This is an educational medium which seeks to influence behaviour by demonstrating the dangers of various behaviours

  10. Computers as Social Actors • In this role, the computer acts as a character which tries to influence behaviour • Example • A children’s computer game has a central character who encourages the children to eat their fruits and vegetables

  11. Persuading Groups • Persuasive technology need not affect just the individual • Family’s can be persuaded by family entertainment software • Company employees can be persuaded by software in the workplace that reminds them of good behaviour that the company wants to encourage • All users of a software product receive notices of new versions in the hope that they will upgrade

  12. Domains for Persuasive Technologies • Safety • Safe driving, using bike helmets, • using bike helmets, • Substance abuse • Environment • Recycling • Conservation • Bicycle commuting • Personal Management • Time management • Study habits • Personal finance • Marketing • Selling products

  13. Contents • Captology • Computerized persuasive techniques • Ethics of persuasion • Science of persuasion • Credibility

  14. Just in Time Persuasion • Many decisions are made at the last minute • Decisions on what food to purchase are often made at the grocery store • Handheld devices that offer nutritional advice can persuade the user to make healthier choices • This type of persuasion will work best when the suggestions are made on the spot

  15. Comparison Shopping • When a new product is introduced, it is difficult to attract the customer • Many websites resort to comparison charts showing their product vs. their competitors’ • This provides the customer with the evidence to make an informed decision and purchase their product

  16. Simulating Experience • Another way to persuade the users is to simulate an experience for them • One study used a computerized baby doll to simulate an infant • It cried and required constant attention from the people caring for it • The goal was to demonstrate to teens what having a child is like and to persuade them to act in a sexually responsible manner

  17. Personalization • People pay more attention to information when it is personalized for them • www.scorecard.org provides information on pollution • It allows the user to enter their zip code and provides information on their area • This is far more relevant than information at the national level

  18. Recommendation • Many e-commerce web sites use recommendation as a persuasion technique • The user is asked a series of questions about their requirements • They are then presented with a list of products that meet their needs

  19. Automated Collaborative Filtering • This is a way of recommending products, not on their attributes, but based on the preferences of people similar to you • Create a profile of the user • Find another user with a similar profile • Recommend what they bought to the user • This has proven to be a successful strategy

  20. Monitoring and Tracking • This monitors the users behaviour and recommends changes • It is used by companies to ensure that employees wash hands after using the washroom • It’s use is highly controversial as it is seen as an invasion of privacy or as Big Brother

  21. Competition • Most people are motivated to win competitions • Some online bidding sites structure bidding as a competition between bidders • One is told the bid of the other and encouraged to win by beating the competing bid

  22. Contents • Captology • Computerized persuasive techniques • Ethics of persuasion • Science of persuasion • Credibility

  23. The Ethics of Persuasion • Persuasion raises many ethical concerns • It can be used on unsuspecting parties • Untrue statements can be used to persuade • Persuasion can be directed towards minors • Persuasion can be done surreptitiously • Persuasion can be done for the good of the persuader, not the one being persuaded

  24. Ethical Guidelines • Daniel Berdichevsky has proposed • The motivations and intended outcome of persuasion should not be unethical • The persuasive techniques should be visible to the users • The creators of persuasive technology should be aware of all predictable outcomes of the use of their technology

  25. Ethical Guidelines • The creators should respect the privacy of the users • Inaccurate information should not be presented to achieve the persuasive goal • Users who would not consent to being persuaded should not be persuaded

  26. Contents • Captology • Computerized persuasive techniques • Ethics of persuasion • Science of persuasion • Credibility

  27. The Science of Persuasion • Have you ever been tricked into saying yes? • Have you ever bought something you didn’t really want? • If so, then it is time to understand the science of persuasion • We will look at six techniques based on human psychology

  28. Reciprocation • When people are given something, they feel an obligation to repay what they have received • The Disabled American Veterans appealed for contributions and got an 18% response • They gave free address labels with their request and the response doubled to 35% • Offer free samples, free evaluation, or free anything and you increase the likelihood the customer will buy from you

  29. Consistency • People tend to act in a consistent manner • A charity for the handicapped got potential donors to sign a petition to support handicapped in the neighbourhood • Later they asked for donations and received far more than before they had started the petition • Once people pledge their support for something they will continue to act that way

  30. Consistency • Once people make a public commitment, even a minor one, they tend to honour it • A restaurant was plagued with people who made reservations but did not show up • They changed their message from • “please call if you cannot make it” to • “Will you please call if you cannot make it”? And waited for a response • The number of no-shows dropped to near zero • Once people make a commitment, they tend to do what they said they would

  31. Social Validation • If people see a lot of others doing something they assume it is a good idea and do it too • One man stops on a street and looks at the sky • Other people simply step around him • 15 people stop and look at the sky • Everyone else on the street looks at the sky to see what is happening

  32. Social Validation • If you can show that • Large numbers of people have bought your product • Large numbers visit your web site • Many people recommend your service • Then prospective customers will assume that you must be worth doing business with

  33. Liking • People are more easily persuaded by people they like • People take advice from friends • People buy more from attractive sales people • People vote for politicians who are better looking • Show attractive people selling and using your products

  34. Authority • People respond to authority • If the man who stops to look at the sky is wearing a suit and tie more people will look at the sky • If you say, “more doctors recommend…” more people will pay attention • The problem with following authority is that few bother to discover if the authority is credible

  35. Scarcity • People want items more if they know there is a scarcity of the item • Sales people call customers to sell beef • Then they call and tell them there is a shortage of Australian beef and this is one of the last shipments • Sales double instantly • Mark your products “last stock before Xmas” or “with high sales volume, stock will be gone by the end of the week”

  36. Knowledge is Power • These characteristics evolved in humans as they usually benefits to people living in groups • Successful people in sales and marketing know these characteristics • They also use them to best advantage in their daily business

  37. Contents • Captology • Computerized persuasive techniques • Ethics of persuasion • Science of persuasion • Credibility

  38. Credible Computing • In the beginning, computers were thought to be infallible and all was believed • This is still true, but as people find more incorrect information on line, they start to doubt

  39. What Affects Credibility? • Trustworthiness • Whether the viewer believes what you say • Largely depends on whether you have been right in the past • Expertise • The higher expertise you can claim in an area the more likely you are to be believed

  40. What Affects Credibility? • Layout • Cool color tones • Balanced layout of the interface

  41. Regaining Credibility • You can regain lost credibility by • Delivering reliable information over a long period of time • Delivering the same incorrect information repeatedly so that users ignore it and gain trust in the rest of the information