University of Twente Student Theses


The relation between persuasive technology and personality

Shuttleworth, FA (2015) The relation between persuasive technology and personality.

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Abstract:Background: eHealth interventions provide an opportunity to deliver more health care to the public. The effect of eHealth interventions is influenced by several factors,a big one of which is adherence. However, adherence to eHealth interventions is low. Persuasive technology has positive effects on adherence and therefore, experts say persuasive technology needs to be personalized to the individual user. Research objective: The aim of this master’s thesis was to investigate the relationship between Big Five personality traits and intention to use persuasive technology. The participants’ scores on all five traits were compared to their intention to use persuasive feature elements from the Persuasive System Design model’s ‘social support’ design category. Methods: The research had a cross-sectional design, using a survey to measure personality traits (Dutch version of Big Five Inventory) and storyboards depicting the five social support design principles in an mHealth application that stimulates exercise. The researcher, inspired by a similar study, designed the storyboards. Participants (N=148) were asked to rate their intention to use on a 5-point Likert scale and with whom they would want to share the social support design principles. The participants were grouped for each trait, depending on whether they had scored relatively low or high on that trait. After coding the responses in SPSS, all analyses were executed using the Chi-Squared test and Mann-Whitney U test (both tested against an alpha of 0.05). The low scoring group and high scoring group of each trait were compared to each other. Results: There was no significant difference found between the scores on the personality trait groups and the intention to use the social support design principles. The only personality trait groups yielding significant results were the low scoring and high scoring participants on the trait neuroticism. Participants scoring high on neuroticism used social media networks more often and wanted to share the social support design principles social comparison, recognition, social facilitation and competition less than the group who scored low on neuroticism. Conclusion: Reasons for the lack of significant results could be methodologically, seeing as there were no official cutoff scores for BFI, creating a possible false division of personality traits scores. Also, the sample size was quite small in combination with the chi-squared test. The current study made a start in making a full personalization design inventory based on the Persuasive Design Model, and thereby in the improvement of effectiveness of eHealth interventions. Future research should avoid limitations made in this study, by choosing a random and larger sample and using a personality inventory that has cutoff scores to increase the validity of the findings.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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