Persuasive Everyware - Persuasive Design funderet i Kairos

Student thesis: Master thesis (including HD thesis)

  • Sandra Burri Gram-Hansen
In this thesis, I explore, analyze and develop the notion of applying persuasive design principles to pervasive and ubiquitous computer technologies, in order to improve the developers’ ability to incorporate the rhetorical notion Kairos when creating persuasive technologies. Selected ethical issues are studied and discussed, and an approach is made towards suggesting an ethical foundation for persuasive design, which includes the ethical considerations of the Danish theologian and philosopher K. E. Løgstrup.
By interlacing the concepts and principles of persuasive computing presented by BJ Fogg, with Adam Greenfield’s notion of Everyware, I introduce the term Persuasive Everyware, which I define as a particular type of persuasive technology that is distinguished by being integrated in the use context – in terms of both appearance and interactive facilitation, in ways which make the presence of the technology be all but unnoticeable.
The primary benefit of Persuasive Everyware appears to be an increased facilitation of contextual adaption in the development process. The ability to tailor the technology to the intended use context is one of the most essential considerations when creating persuasive technologies, as context in terms of Kairos is vital to the fulfillment of any persuasive aim.
The notion of Kairos is three-dimensional and unifies reflections concerning the appropriate time, manner and place to perform an action. In terms of appropriateness, Kairos emphasizes the importance of ethical considerations in relation to all types of persuasive technologies.
Traditionally, Information Technology is characterized by a primarily utilitarian approach to ethical evaluation. This perspective is both relevant and important, but appears insufficient as an independent perspective when the evaluation concerns technologies which are designed with a specific persuasive intention.
In order to both facilitate the need for ethical reflections concerning the persuasive intention of the technology, as well as considering the previously mentioned contextual perspective, I approach the ethical reflections of this thesis from a three-dimensional ethical foundation, including both utilitarian and deontological perspectives, as well as the ontological approach to ethics presented by Løgstrup. By doing so, I am able to not only accentuate the importance of contextual considerations in ethical evaluation; I am also able to advocate the existence of a mutual responsibility between the developers and the users of a persuasive technology.
Publication date31 Jul 2010
Number of pages79
Publishing institutionAalborg Universitet
ID: 35008332