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Can computers change what you think and do? Can they motivate you to stop smoking, persuade you to buy insurance, or convince you to join the Army? Yes, they can, says Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University. Fogg has coined the phrase Captology(an acronym for computers as persuasive technologies) to capture the domain of research, de Can computers change what you think and do? Can they motivate you to stop smoking, persuade you to buy insurance, or convince you to join the Army? Yes, they can, says Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University. Fogg has coined the phrase Captology(an acronym for computers as persuasive technologies) to capture the domain of research, design, and applications of persuasive computers.In this thought-provoking book, based on nine years of research in captology, Dr. Fogg reveals how Web sites, software applications, and mobile devices can be used to change people's attitudes and behavior. Technology designers, marketers, researchers, consumers--anyone who wants to leverage or simply understand the persuasive power of interactive technology--will appreciate the compelling insights and illuminating examples found inside. Persuasive technology can be controversial--and it should be. Who will wield this power of digital influence? And to what end? Now is the time to survey the issues and explore the principles of persuasive technology, and B.J. Fogg has written this book to be your guide.


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Can computers change what you think and do? Can they motivate you to stop smoking, persuade you to buy insurance, or convince you to join the Army? Yes, they can, says Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University. Fogg has coined the phrase Captology(an acronym for computers as persuasive technologies) to capture the domain of research, de Can computers change what you think and do? Can they motivate you to stop smoking, persuade you to buy insurance, or convince you to join the Army? Yes, they can, says Dr. B.J. Fogg, director of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University. Fogg has coined the phrase Captology(an acronym for computers as persuasive technologies) to capture the domain of research, design, and applications of persuasive computers.In this thought-provoking book, based on nine years of research in captology, Dr. Fogg reveals how Web sites, software applications, and mobile devices can be used to change people's attitudes and behavior. Technology designers, marketers, researchers, consumers--anyone who wants to leverage or simply understand the persuasive power of interactive technology--will appreciate the compelling insights and illuminating examples found inside. Persuasive technology can be controversial--and it should be. Who will wield this power of digital influence? And to what end? Now is the time to survey the issues and explore the principles of persuasive technology, and B.J. Fogg has written this book to be your guide.

30 review for Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do

  1. 5 out of 5

    Roger McNamee

    Persuasion is the key to selling products and ideas. A decade ago, technology evolved to the point where software could be used to persuade. The early systems were crude, but as is often the case with technology, they evolved rapidly. Persuasive technologies reached their breakout point with the arrival of social media and then smart phones. Stanford professor BJ Fogg's "Persuasive Technologies" is the textbook that entrepreneurs and investors have used to design products today's versions of Fac Persuasion is the key to selling products and ideas. A decade ago, technology evolved to the point where software could be used to persuade. The early systems were crude, but as is often the case with technology, they evolved rapidly. Persuasive technologies reached their breakout point with the arrival of social media and then smart phones. Stanford professor BJ Fogg's "Persuasive Technologies" is the textbook that entrepreneurs and investors have used to design products today's versions of Facebook, Google and other social platforms. Technologists have used Fogg's principles to make their products highly addictive, with escalating negative consequences. Facebook had nearly 2 billion active users. Google has 1.5 billion. Other platforms also have hundreds of millions of active users. All of their products are addictive ... The proof point is that the average consumer checks his or her smartphone 150 times a day. Thanks to persuasive technologies, platforms have the ability to influence what their users believe, a concept known as brain hacking. The unintended consequences of brain hacking have rippled into politics, as the Russians were able to exploit the openness of Facebook and other platforms to influence the outcome in Brexit and the election of Trump. This is a really important book. Historians will look back on it as the manual that spurred a massive social experiment, the unintended consequences of which will have lasting impact.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Ralph Zoontjens

    When you are a designer or developer of interactive technology, or work in a company that does so, this book is for you. It links the world of marketing and sales to the world of design and explains strategies to connect to people while changing their views and behaviors. Its content is related to the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini which truly forms the groundwork for this textbook. The renowned researcher and author goes on to explain how interactive technology, especially computers When you are a designer or developer of interactive technology, or work in a company that does so, this book is for you. It links the world of marketing and sales to the world of design and explains strategies to connect to people while changing their views and behaviors. Its content is related to the Psychology of Persuasion by Robert Cialdini which truly forms the groundwork for this textbook. The renowned researcher and author goes on to explain how interactive technology, especially computers and smartphones, can and will continue to change our behavior, and touches on the strategies and ethics of doing so. Technology has a great advantage here, for example: - offers anonimity - manages big data - opportunity to use appropriate modalities at the right place and time. Suggestions and asking for returned 'favors' are powerful when well-timed and the user can take action immediately. - scale up easily - can be programmed to behave like a social actor only when appropriate (unlike Clippy) - clearly guides people through steps - provides permissive experiences allowing people to explore, rehearse and develop intrinsic motivation (through cooperation, competition and recognition) - Reduction strategy: the very act of simplifying tasks gives it a level of persuasive control over its user, it increases perceived cost-benefit ratio and a person's belief in himself - the very fact of being a computer still works on some target groups as a persuasive argument - Tunneling strategy: a series of consistent steps makes people stick to the technology for the very fact that it is being consistent. Ethically, coercion must always be avoided so offer a way out of the tunnel. - Great observation/tracking capabilities which in itself is motivating. - People accept similarity strategies; pretending to be from the same hometown, root for the same team etc. - Social comparison: connected devices can show other's performance which is a great motivator when this is publicly shared with the in-group. Disadvantages of computers: - Depending on the situation, errors will not be tolerated - Less transparency; people may not trust experts behind the system. (Perceived) Trustworthiness + (Perceived) Expertise = (Perceived) Credibility. Making its performance levels clear adds to the credibility of a computer. - Programming unpredictability, important for example when reinforcing target behavior - Hard to program a computer to be a social actor (physical cues, humor, personality, feelings, spoken language, turn taking, cooperation, praise, role playing). It is hard to make a computer attractive. Acting socially is important for applications in leisure, entertainment and education. It is not appropriate when the point is to increase task efficiency as social interaction would slow things down. For websites, increased persuasive effect depends on credibility, which depends on: 1. Providing a physical address and phone number 2. Providing quick responses to customers 3. Always sending email transaction confirmations 4. Providing good articles 5. Professional design 6. Stating a policy of content 7. Providing an email address 8. Links to outside sources 9. Being linked to by a believable site 10. Being recommended by the social group 11. Providing competitor's sites 12. Providing ratings and reviews 13. Few but detailed news stories 14. A .org extension 15. Offering information in multiple languages 16. Displaying a won award 17. Being advertised on radio or billboards 18. Being the official site for a specific topic 19. Showing photos of team members Things to avoid in a website: 1. Ads indistinguishable from content 2. Linking to a site that is not credible 3. Rarely updating the site 4. Broken links and typos 5. Difficult navigation and access 6. A domain name not matching the company name Greatest opportunities: - Mood sensing; when people are in a good mood, they are more open to persuasion - Education and healthcare (there is the funding) - Simulated experiences. People naturally accept it as true and accurate, and want to experience it fully so less attention goes to the 'persuasive' parts. Realism can distract from the experience. - Developing computers with a psychology, since people infer it anyway.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Fabrizio Stucchi

    A very good book that analyze the how, when, who and by what, of all the way technology can impact our choices and behaviors the approach is really systematic and complete with lots of example, it not a 5 stars because being 15 years old it misses all the new wave of connected devices, starting with smartphones. Nevertheless a great book that helps approaching technology with a critical approach toward inputs and outputs.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Chris Branch

    A foundational text on the subject of persuasive technology, this book was written by one of the originators of the field, who coined the term “captology”. It is referenced in many of the other materials on the topic, and it presents a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the subject. Numerous ideas and principles are isolated and articulated, beginning with the concept of the “functional triad” – the role of technologies as tools, as media, and as social actors. Fogg’s writing is clear an A foundational text on the subject of persuasive technology, this book was written by one of the originators of the field, who coined the term “captology”. It is referenced in many of the other materials on the topic, and it presents a comprehensive discussion of all aspects of the subject. Numerous ideas and principles are isolated and articulated, beginning with the concept of the “functional triad” – the role of technologies as tools, as media, and as social actors. Fogg’s writing is clear and engaging, and the content is remarkably visionary, for the time it was written. The discussion of persuasion through mobility and connectivity accurately describes common attributes of smartphone apps today, although it was written two years before the first iPhone was released. There are references to ethics throughout the book, including several sections about ethical concerns in chapters 3 and 5 (pp. 37, 40, and 100), as well as an entire chapter focused on the topic, chapter 9 (p. 211). Fogg considers coercion and deception to be approaches that are “almost always unethical” and discusses at length the methods of operant conditioning and surveillance, both of which “raise red flags” in his view. He describes scenarios in which each of these methods could be ethical (scenarios in which they are “overt and harmless”) and presents a stakeholder-based method for evaluating the ethical nature of a persuasive technology product. In another prescient comment, he suggests that “In the future, certain interactive influence tactics are likely to raise ethical concerns, if not public outrage.”

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lorenzo Barberis Canonico

    B.J Fogg is the tiny habits guy who runs the Stanford Behavior Design Lab. He is a major thought leader in the area of UX and more importantly in the intersection between behavioral science and technology. His thoughts on how we can use technology to induce long-lasting behavioral change, along with the ethical repercussions are still true to this day. This book is very likely to change how you think about technology and its role in improving our lives. It’s not about code, algorithms or data st B.J Fogg is the tiny habits guy who runs the Stanford Behavior Design Lab. He is a major thought leader in the area of UX and more importantly in the intersection between behavioral science and technology. His thoughts on how we can use technology to induce long-lasting behavioral change, along with the ethical repercussions are still true to this day. This book is very likely to change how you think about technology and its role in improving our lives. It’s not about code, algorithms or data structures, but rather about human-computer interaction.

  6. 5 out of 5

    David

    Even with it's outdated 2003 era examples, there is a lot of good framework level information in here. I give it 3 stars because some of it holds up and some of it doesn't, but I thin it's a great reference book to have on the shelf for designers thinking about the persuasive aspects of their technologies.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Ben Kennerly

    Fantastic!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Carly Grace

    Very interesting point of view that many do not think about, even today. Would love to see an updated version of this book for todays technological usage.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Giulia

    I'll give a 3.5. Not as insightful and systematic as research in JDM. I'll recommend Thaler's and Sunstein's books instead.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Douglas Summers-Stay

    Read for my teaching job. A bit dated in its examples, but it looks at how technology can persuade form many different points of view-- as a tool, as a medium, and as an agent.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Nathanael Coyne

    Interesting book on the topic of captology and the use of technology (primarily computers) to motivation and persuade people to change behaviour in an ethical way. There are three pages of bibliographic references at the end of every chapter which lends the book quite some credibility. Easy to read.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sam

    If you're a fan of Fogg, then you Gould check this out. In some ways his more recent ideas are more interesting to me: Tiny Steps, his behavior model, and his ideas about habit. That said, the key idea in this book is so important that it's worth a look.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kelseysmith

    Whilst Fogg is no doubt an authority on persuasion and tech the source material for this book does feel dated - pre-social media and in many cases pre-web. Fogg's later books and blog, etc. hopefully fill the gap.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Sean

    A little dated now, but still an excellent overview of numerous issues related to persuasive technology.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lobna

    Very interesting new field and sensitive one.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

    Good book to read for someone in the field or testing the waters, not a lot of world-changing information but I finished it feeling inspired.

  17. 4 out of 5

    S

    153.852 FOG

  18. 4 out of 5

    Patrick

    Read this for UX Book Club Amsterdam.

  19. 4 out of 5

    J.J.

    Overall very informative book. Although much of the information still stands up today, it is clearly already dated. An updated edition would be outstanding!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Pedro Rosas

    The clearest introduction to Persuasive Technology

  21. 4 out of 5

    Annabel

    Good!!!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

  23. 4 out of 5

    Justin

  24. 5 out of 5

    David Ortinau

  25. 4 out of 5

    Ravi Chauhan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sohee

  27. 4 out of 5

    Meg

  28. 5 out of 5

    Scott Wood

  29. 4 out of 5

    Ahmed

  30. 4 out of 5

    Chantal Bellemare

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