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Persuasive computers: perspectives and research directions

by BJ Fogg
… the SIGCHI conference on Human factors in computing … ()


The study of computers as persuasive technologies (called `captology') was introduced at CHI 97 as a new area of inquiry. This paper proposes definitions, perspectives, and research directions for further investigation of this field. A persuasive computer is an interactive technology that attempts to change attitudes or behaviors in some way. Perspective 1 describes how computers can inherit three types of intentionality: endogenous, exogenous, and autogenous. Perspective 2 presents the `Functional Triad,' which illustrates that computers can function as persuasive tools, media, and social actors. Perspective 3 presents a `levels of analysis' approach for captology, which include varying levels from individual to societal. Perspective 4 suggests a simple method for exploring the design space for persuasive computers. Perspective 5 highlights some ethical issues inherent in persuasive computing. The paper concludes by proposing seven directions for further research and design.

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