Tuesday, May 06, 2008

B J Fogg and Persuasive Technology

Some of the most extensive work on helping people to learn is by B J Fogg and his colleagues at Stanford University. In their Persuasive Technology Lab, these scientists are working on understanding how to use computers to help people change behaviors and attitudes.

His core idea is that computers can be used to persuade people to change. Fogg suggests that computers can be used as tools, the medium and as social actors. As tools, computers can make it easier for people engage in a specific behavior, lead people through a process or provide information that is motivating. As a medium, computers can allow people to explore cause and effect relationships, provide people with vicarious experiences that motivate and help people reverse a behavior. Computers can also be a social actor by rewarding people with positive feedback, modeling a target behavior, or providing social support.

This work gets beyond talking in general terms about elearning or learning 2.0 and provides specific ideas and results about how to change behavior. Increasingly, this work is moving to the use of mobile technology for changing behavior.

1 comment:

BJ Fogg said...

Hi, Robert

Thanks for commenting on my work. In case your readers are interested, I cover this in more depth in my book, Persuasive Technology. It's available on Amazon although I noticed the price is pretty high right now (sometimes it goes down to $30).

BJ Fogg
Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab