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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. In this thought-provoking book, based on nine years of research, 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.
Audience: Applied technologists, interaction designers, academics, technology enthusiasts; designers of technology products such as information appliances, consumer devices, websites, and software applications.
Foreword by Philip Zimbardo, Ph.D
Introduction: Persuasion in the Digital Age
Chapter 1: Overview of Captology
Chapter 2: The Functional Triad: Computers in Persuasive Roles
Chapter 3: Computers as Persuasive Tools
Chapter 4: Computers as Persuasive Media: Simulation
Chapter 5: Computers as Persuasive Social Actors
Cbapter 6: Credibility and Computers
Chapter 7: Credibility and the World Wide Web
Chapter 8: Increasing Persuasion Through Mobility and Connectivity
Chapter 9: The Ethics of Persuasive Technology
Chapter 10: Captology: Looking Forward
Appendix: Summary of Principles
About the Author
Posted March 4, 2003
Dr. Fogg has spent a number of years creating the field of Captology - Computers as Persuasive Technology - from foundations in several diverse fields. Dr. Fogg's "Persuasive Technology" neatly presents his work over the last several years. His book provides solid background and well-structured frameworks for informing the design process of persuasive systems. "Persuasive Technology" is an in depth look at the cognitive and social factors surrounding computers as persuasive technology. Dr. Fogg takes several steps from research to practice by clearly organizing the research and theory into actionable frameworks and principles that help designers develop coherent strategies and products. His work on web credibility goes even further to provide very actionable metrics and specific factors that help improve or detract from a web site¿s credibility. It's refreshing to find someone in research that has pushed hard to assist the transition of ideas from research to practice. His book is not a "how-to" cookbook of guidelines for creating persuasive software. Great design rarely proceeds from slavishly following lists of guidelines. It involves understanding the user and their behavior, the problem space and the media, and creating optimal solutions. ¿Persuasive Technology¿ provides the necessary fundamentals for design in this domain and stands with classics like ¿The Design of Everyday Things¿ by Don Norman in achieving this end. Dr. Fogg ends by taking on the controversial topic of ethics in persuasive computing and steps forward as a champion of using persuasive computing for the benefit of users while acknowledging the darker side that exists. ¿Persuasive Computing¿ is an essential read for those interested in this area and in recognizing unwanted persuasion.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 17, 2003
With his book Persuasive Technology, BJ Fogg has made an important contribution to the fields of psychology and business. BJ, (a PHD graduate of Stanford) has done for digital-platform user experience what Allan Afuah and Christopher L. Tucci (two PhD graduates of MIT) have done for digital-platform business models. Afuah and Tucci, in their book Internet Business Models and Strategies: Text and Cases, clearly laid out the elements of Internet-related strategy formulation. Although its first edition came out only recently (August, 2000), the book is already in its second edition and has been adopted at a number of top-tier business schools. It has also had significant impact on the way many (including myself) develop Internet strategies. I expect that Dr. Fogg¿s book Persuasive Technologies will also soon be established as an important reference text for those wishing to use the Internet and other digital platforms (e. g., mobile devices, interactive broadband media) in pursuit of strategic and tactical aims. It will also serve as a powerful agent for stimulating discussions about the ethics of information technology design and deployment. Persuasive Technology is the first book dedicated to exploring Dr. Fogg¿s widely-discussed work on Captology (Captology standing for ¿computers as persuasive technologies¿). BJ wrote the book at the urging of Philip Zimbardo (a Stanford professor famous for the Zimbardo Prison Experiment that many of us remember from our undergraduate psychology courses), who served on BJ¿s dissertation committee. Professor Zimbardo also wrote the Foreword to the book, which will most likely get the reader¿s attention as the importance of BJ¿s work is put in perspective. The book begins by providing an insightful context for the consideration of persuasive technologies. The book then spends the bulk of its time working through a refreshingly-explicit approach to characterizing how digital platforms may be used to shape user experience and behavior. Dr. Fogg has made important strides forward at providing a MECE framework (i. e., the categories/issues laid our per the matter under consideration are  Mutually Exclusive and  Collectively Exhaustive ¿ this allows for breaking a problem down into smaller elements that may be understood and ¿solved¿ more readily.)* This has been done in a fashion that is user-friendly in the extreme. From merely scanning the Table of Contents, the reader can begin to formulate reasonably-robust methods for framing critical issues and opportunities relevant to persuasive technologies. Components of the framework are fleshed out in a fair amount of detail, with a generous set of references to the research and commercial applications that give shape and substance to the book¿s ideas. The book ends by discussing future trends in persuasive technology, and by exploring the ethical implications of the use of technology platforms in changing people¿s thinking and behavior. For several years, BJ has been challenging his students and his audience at large to address the ethical issues at hand. It is perhaps reassuring that the public community has been stimulated (and at times angered) by BJ¿s provocative attempts to stimulate dialogue. BJ, like many of his Silicon Valley colleagues, is somewhat of a technophile, but he has been adamant that we consider not just the benefits of technology, but its potential challenges to human privacy and dignity. This text will almost certainly be a key possession for marketing and strategy professionals who use digital platforms as a key component of their work. Hopefully, this book will make its readers not only ¿successful¿, but also a bit more thoughtful as actors in the human community. * Life, it may be argued, is not MECE (that is one of the reasons it is so interesting), but life and its salient issues can frequently be understood meaningfully in the context of MECE frameworks.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 12, 2003
Being involved in technology research and marketing, I¿d heard of BJ Fogg¿s Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford, but had always associated negative or unethical implications with the term ¿persuasive technology.¿ This book enlightened me on the profoundly positive applications of this science. For anyone who interacts with computer technology, whether from a designer¿s perspective or as an end-user, this book provides a thorough understanding of how interactive computing systems can motivate us to change our attitudes and behaviors. In particular, I found the chapter on Credibility and the World Wide Web a valuable source of guidance on how to build trust into the online experience, resulting in better web marketing. Additionally, I was fascinated by the possibilities for persuasive mobile devices - especially the idea that the most successful motivating mobile technologies will be those that best serve the personal goals of the user, rather than intrude into our lives and betray the trust we will eventually need to place in them. Although based in research and academia, the book is not overly academic, but takes advantage of a somewhat textbook style of organization to make the concepts clear and easy to grasp. Illustrations, references, highlighted definitions, and bulleted summaries reinforce the concepts or give a quick shorthand depending on how you prefer to read the book. Fogg includes many excellent real-world and hypothetical examples. I found the hypothetical examples most intriguing and suspect (or at least hope) that we¿ll see many of them become reality in the not too distant future. In writing this book, clearly Fogg was not only attempting to educate us about this new field of study, but also to persuade us that the future of interactive computing technology can have some very positive outcomes if we understand and respect the humans on both ends of the equation. In my opinion he succeeded.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 18, 2003
Think you are in control of your life? Think again! Persuasive Technology is an "eye-popping" look at how we are being influenced everyday by devices and computers. The use of technology for persuasion in the future will expand beyond mere advertising, marketing and sales. Your success in the future is dependent on understanding how captology works and how you are or can be manipulated. Awareness and education are the first step towards embracing new technologies and using them to your advantage. You could sign up and study at the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford to learn more, or you could read the book! Dr. Fogg clears the "fog" and mystique around captology and persuasion by interactive devices. He offers frequent thought-provoking examples of captology in everyday life. In Persuasive Technology you learn how persuasive technologies are already influencing you, and how you can use your new found knowledge to your advantage. What is captology? In the book you will learn that captology "focuses on the design, research and analysis of interactive computing products created for the purpose of changing people's attitudes or behaviors". As you will learn, persuasion has always been with us. Governments have long been known to attempt to influence their citizens. Some years ago, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) had a series entitled "Films of Persuasion". The show examined how the government produced movies aimed at changing citizens' attitudes and allowing the government new power. What is different today? Interactivity! With interactive persuasion, persuaders now "adjust their influence tactics as the situation evolves". The book is easy to read and "human engineered" for easy use and optimal retention. Each chapter is complete with references for further study and notes for clarification. Key points are visually summarized in tables in the chapters. All in all a well thought out format and presentation. The first five chapters cover the groundwork needed to understand captology. Later chapters discuss credibility and ethics. The book concludes with a glance to the future of this emerging field. Persuasive Technology gives you the resources for understanding how you are or can be persuaded by technology. It also provides skills for reseaching, designing and using captology. B.J. Fogg has given us the golden keys to the future. Whether you are a businessperson, or student...or just plain curious, you will gain insight and power. As Spiderman once said, "with power comes great responsibility". Use you new knowledge to your advantage, but be gentle dear reader. After completing the book you will find that you have a great new power... knowledge of captology!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 20, 2003
Dr Fogg¿s new book on Persuasive Technology has given me some significant new insights on how computers are becoming persuasive by design and, therefore, how we can better drive credibility into our mission critical commercial web tools. As a tax partner in a global professional services firm I know how important our web tools are in building and maintaining the trust of our clients. Today, millions of dollars of client service revenue are at stake on this very point! Heretofore I¿ve have seen little research based commentary on how to improve the effectiveness of commercial web tools. This has now changed with the introduction of Dr Fogg¿s new book. Chapter seven on Credibility and the World Wide Web is right on point. In this chapter I found several simple but profound categories of web credibility ¿uppers¿ and ¿downers¿ that I am in the process of rethinking to ensure that our clients have the most persuasive experience possible when they use one of our web tools. For this reason, I have recommended this book to my colleagues in our national technology design center in Dallas.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.