Persuasive Technologies

Course Code :2100FSWPUT
Study domain:Communication Studies
Academic year:2019-2020
Semester:2nd semester
Contact hours:45
Study load (hours):168
Contract restrictions: No contract restriction
Language of instruction:English
Exam period:exam in the 2nd semester
Lecturer(s)Karolien Poels

3. Course contents *

This course deals with persuasion through technology in the broadest sense of the word. It will discuss how behavior can be influenced or changed through interactive technologies (e.g. persuasive design, recommendation systems, algorithmic persuasion, ...). ‘Persuasive Technologies’ starts with basic theories on persuasion and behavior change (e.g. social influence, heuristics, nudging, behavioral economics,…) and frames these theories within the particular nature of technology mediated environments. The course will further look at theories dealing with technology acceptance and adoption and the practice of evidence-based technology design. Special emphasis will be put on the contextual factors and the processes through which technology can (or not) persuade people and become a habit. Ethical aspects of technology-based and/or algorithmic persuasion will also be discussed.

Students will be actively involved in “designing” a habit-forming persuasive technology based on the theories and models discussed in the theoretical lectures.  

This course involves a group assignment and project. Students will have to work on a concrete case in which they implement a persuasive theory or principle(s) for designing a habit-forming persuasive technological application. They will work in a multidisciplinary team together with students from computer sciences. The assignment involves a design document and a pitch of the project for a (professional) jury.