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Building online platforms for peer support groups as a persuasive behavior change technique

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Online peer group approach is inherently a persuasive technique as it is centered on peer pressure and surveillance. They are persuasive social networks equipped with tools and facilities that enable behaviour change. This paper presents the case for domain-specific persuasive social networks and provides insights on problematic and addictive behaviour change. A 4-month study was conducted in an addiction rehab centre in the UK, followed by 2-month study in an online peer group system. The study adopted qualitative methods to understand the broad parameters of peer groups including the sessions’ environment, norms, interaction styles occurring between groups’ members and how such interactions are governed. The qualitative techniques used were (1) observations, (2) form and document analysis, and (3) semi-structured interviews. The findings concern governing such groups in addition to the roles to be enabled and tasks to be performed. The Honeycomb framework was revisited to comment on its building blocks with the purpose of highlighting points to consider when building domain-specific social networks for such domain, i.e. online peer groups to combat addictive behaviour.




Alrobai, A., Dogan, H., Phalp, K., & Ali, R. (2018). Building online platforms for peer support groups as a persuasive behavior change technique. In Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics) (Vol. 10809 LNCS, pp. 70–83). Springer Verlag.

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