Self-quantification and motivation.


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Self-quantification and motivation. Theories of motivation. Self-tracking/self-quantification technologies.

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Self-quantification and motivation.

  2. 2. WHAT IS SELF-QUANTIFICATION? • Also referred to as „self-tracking‟, self quantification is “a way of applying the social web, apps and consumer technology for personal health and productivity” (CIPR, 2013). Evans (2012) refers to self-quantification as “self-knowledge through numbers” Evans goes on to refer to this phenomenon as “a rational, scientific approach to self-improvement, which means keeping account of yourself, so that you can see what progress you‟re making, which interventions are really working, and which are a waste of time” (Evans, 2012). “Members of the quantified-self movement have invented bio-digital devices to track their daily calorie intake, alcohol intake, heart-rate, bloodsugar levels, exercise regimes, social life, sex life, emotions (and) finances…”(Evans, 2012).
  3. 3. HOW DOES THIS PRINCIPLE FIT INTO BROADER PSYCHOLOGICAL CONTEXT? SELF-REGULATION AS A PROCESS: • Self-regulation is often thought of as a cylindrical process. Reeve (2009) refers to the self-regulation process as “an ongoing, cylindrical process… it involves forethought, action and reflection”. Bandura also posited that self-regulation involves three processes; “self-observations, self-judgements and self-reactions” (Bandura as cited in Zimmerman & Schunk, 2011). Therefore, literature regarding self-regulation asserts that it is a cylindrical process involving three distinct steps and features include observing aspects of one‟s functioning, goalsetting, implementation intentions, evaluating performance (with a standard) and self-monitoring as well as self-evaluation.
  4. 4. THE RISE OF SELF-QUANTIFICATION: • The phrase „quantified-self‟ was first used by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly, editors of wired magazine, in 2007 (CIPR, 2013). According to Morozov (2013) Wolf and Kelly cofounded the quantifiedself movement. In 2010; “Wolf penned something of a manifesto for this nascent movement… which was published in… The New York Times Magazine, launching the Quantified-self movement not just nationally but globally” (Morozov, 2013). This article contained four factors that Wolf speculated led to the swift rise of this movement in recent years these included…..
  5. 5. THE RISE OF SELF-QUANTIFICATION: FOUR FACTORS THAT AIDED IT’S SUCCESS AS DESCRIBED BY WOLF: • “electronic sensors shrank in size and became more powerful… once they entered our smartphones, they became ubiquitous… social media :–from Facebook to Twitter- made sharing seem normal… the idea of cloud computing made it possible (and acceptable) to offload one‟s :data onto distant servers, where merged with the data of other users, it can be expected to yield better results” (Morozov, 2013).
  6. 6. HOW DOES SELF-QUANTIFICATION ALIGN WITH THEORIES OF MOTIVATION? • There are several overarching themes that encompass the concepts discussed in this presentation. These are general concepts established through research into motivation that help us to better understand motivation in a broader sense.
  7. 7. INTRINSIC AND EXTRINSIC MOTIVATION: • There are two main categories into which human motivation falls. Intrinsic and Extrinsic motivation. Intrinsic motivation refers to “the inherent propensity to engage in one‟s interests and to exercise one‟s capacities and, in doing so, to seek out and master optimal challenges” (Deci & Ryan as cited in Reeve, 2009 p.111). Intrinsic motivation “emerges spontaneously from psychological needs and innate strivings… when people are motivated intrinsically, they act out of interest „for the fun of it‟” (Reeve, 2009). Essentially intrinsic motivation stems from one‟s capacity and desire to pursue an interest into stages of mastery for the sake of enjoyment. Extrinsic motivation “arises from environmental incentives and consequences… praise, attention… tokens, approval… public recognition… extrinsic motivation arises from some consequence that is separate from the activity itself” (Reeve, 2009).
  8. 8. THEORIES OF MOTIVATION RELATING TO SELF-QUANTIFICATION – MOTIVATION BENEFITS ADAPTATION: • “Motivations and emotions provide tremendous resources that allow people to adapt to environmental changes… anyone who tries to lose weight, write a creative poem, or learn a foreign language without first recruiting motivation will quickly realise that motivation benefits adaptation… take away the motivational states, and people would quickly lose a vital resource they rely on to adapt and maintain wellbeing” (Reeve, 2009). Adapting to one‟s surrounding environment and conscious attempts to maintain well-being are subject to one‟s motivational drive. Conscious effort requires motivation, without it, it is likely such efforts will fail.
  9. 9. THEORIES OF MOTIVATION RELATING TO SELFQUANTIFICATION – MOTIVATION INCLUDES BOTH APPROACH AND AVOIDANCE TENDENCIES: • Are you motivated because you want to avoid failure or because you want approach and excel in achievement? Many self-quantification technologies include settings and features that cater for both approach and avoidance motivated persons. Approach motivation is “the energisation of behaviour by, or the direction of behaviour toward, positive stimuli (objects, events, possibilities)“ (Elliot, 2008). Avoidance motivation is “the energisation of behaviour by, or the direction of behaviour away from, negative stimuli (objects, events, possibilities)” (Elliot, 2008).
  10. 10. THEORIES OF MOTIVATION RELATING TO SELFQUANTIFICATION – TO FLOURISH MOTIVATION NEEDS SUPPORTIVE CONDITIONS: • When seeking motivation it is important to surround oneself with supportive environs as “those who are surrounded by social contexts that support and nurture their needs and strivings show greater vitality, experience personal growth, and thrive more than those who are surrounded by social neglect and frustration” (Keyes, Ryan & Deci as cited in Reeve, 2009). In a nutshell; in order to successfully promote motivation one‟s social and physical environment must be supportive.
  11. 11. SOCIAL NEEDS AND SELFQUANTIFICATION: • According to Plotnik and Kouyoumdjian (2011, p.332) “social needs are needs that are acquired through learning and experience”. Reeve (2009) asserts that “social needs arise and activate emotional and behavioural potential when needsatisfying incentives appear”. So, social needs facilitate emotional and behavioural actions when potentially socially satisfying inducements present themselves. Social needs have the potential to motivate behaviour. Since selfquantification technologies often feature social aspects as a means of sharing users‟ progress, social gratification serves as a means of motivating achievement. As such, human social needs are highly relevant to self-quantification in the 21st century.
  12. 12. SOCIAL NEEDS AND SELFQUANTIFICATION: • It can be asserted that improvements and progress recorded by self-quantifying technologies are in part due to motivation resulting from social needs. • Many of these technologies feature the option to upload progress and data collected to social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. There is also often a feature allowing one to send an email or text message showing the details of their achievements. • These features allow users to employ self-quantification technologies for the purpose of seeking social gratification, acceptance and praise from their peers via social media. • For many self-quantifiers the motivation behind logging an extra kilometre on one‟s fitness app may be the revere of one‟s peers when one upload the data associated with this workout to social media.
  13. 13. ACHIEVEMENT MOTIVATION AND SELF-QUANTIFICATION • Spielberger (2004) refers to achievement motivation as “the desire to excel at effortful activities”. • Research by McClelland “found that the goals that people with a high need for achievement set for themselves are challenging but realistic” (McClelland as cited in Nevid, 2009, p.289). • Self-quantifying technologies may help users to be pulled toward achievement motivation or to engage in avoidance motivation. • Achievement motivation refers to “the need to excel in one‟s endeavours” (Nevid, 2009, p.289). Avoidance motivation refers to “the motive or desire to avoid failure” (Nevid, 2009, p.289). • Self-quantifying technologies may have features that encompass both of these concepts in order to motivate users.
  14. 14. CASE STUDIES: POPULAR SELFQUANTIFICATION TECHNOLOGIES: • The majority of popular self-quantification technologies are „apps‟ (applications) available for download on smartphones, tablets and Ipods. Although some require a specific piece of equipment that logs and transmits data often to a website or social media so one may compare their data with that of others or simply display one‟s progress. • These technologies are often internationally successful and available in a global market. • To provide you with a better understanding of the intricacies and commonalities of modern self-quantification this presentation will take an in-depth look at some of the most popular technologies… • This presentation focuses on the largest sector of the selfquantification technology industry – Health and fitness data tracking and sharing technologies.
  15. 15. CASE STUDY: ‘7 MINUTE WORKOUT CHALLENGE’: • At this time one of the top selling self-quantifying technologies in the apple store is a fitness guide called „7 minute workout challenge‟. • Advertisement for the product boasts: “this app takes this research-proven workout and guides you through the process. Further, it tracks your results, and makes it fun by allowing you to unlock rewards as you continue working out” (Fitness guide Inc., n.d.). • This app features intrinsic and approach motivational concepts. That is one is motivated to achieve by the want or need to unlock „rewards‟ in token form in-app. Fitness guide inc., 2013. • The app‟s listing also describes how a recent update now includes a “sharing option that lets you tell your friends about the app via twitter, Facebook or text” (Fitness guide Inc., n.d.). • This feature aligns with social theories of motivation. Fitness guide Inc., 2013.
  16. 16. ‘FIT-BIT’: • Another tremendously popular self-quantification technology is the „fitbit‟. • The „zip‟ “wireless activity tracker” is a data logging sensor that “tracks your steps, distance and calories burned – and syncs those stats to your computer and select smartphones”. • Fitbit advertisement boasts: “it (the fitbit device) celebrates how much more you do each day. Zip™ encourages you to set goals, challenge friends, and go farther - one step at time. That's how you turn everyday life into a social, achievable, awesome path to fitness”. • • Fitbit app, 2013. Fitbit technologies also embrace approach and intrinsic motivation. This is so as the technology encourages users to set goals and strive to achieve them. Token achievement enables this. Social motivation is also used in this technology as social sharing allows comparison and display of data and achievements. Fitbit app. 2013.
  17. 17. NIKE+ Nike+, 2013 • The Nike+ technology is advertised as “Map your runs, track your progress, and get the motivation you need to keep going. The Nike+ Running app tracks distance, pace, time and calories burned with GPS, giving you audio feedback as you run. Automatically upload to to see your runs, including your route, elevation and NikeFuel”. • This technology employs intrinsic and approach motivation techniques as it allows the user to track their progress and set distance goals to achieve. • Like so many self-quantification technologies Nike+ allows users to share their data via social media and the Nike+ webpage supplying them with social motivation. Nike+, 2013.
  18. 18. HOW SELF-QUANTIFIED ARE YOU? • If you answer „yes‟ to a question add the number of points with which it corresponds, if no, do not add any points. The sum of scores at the end of the quiz reveals your self-quantification data! 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Do you have access to one of the following; a smartphone, tablet, computer, the internet? (If yes add 1 point). Do you use any of the following social media websites: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram? (If yes add 1 point). Do you use any of the following apps/websites?: Nike+, MapMyRun, MyFitnessPal, Spendee or fitbit? (If yes add 3 points). Have you ever used one of these apps to share your personal data through social media, email or text message? (If yes add 3 points) Do you use more than one technology to record personal data in the pursuit of self-improvement? (If yes add 4 points). Have you ever used any other application that records your personal data in the pursuit of self-improvement? (If yes add 1 point). Is there a technology that you would attribute personal selfimprovement to? (If yes add 2 points)
  19. 19. HOW SELF-QUANTIFIED ARE YOU? • What does your score say about you? 0-5 points you're a non-quantified Nancy! You are yet to embrace the self-quantification movement! • 5-10 points you're catching on! You are starting to embrace some self-quantifying technologies... • 10-15 points you're a self-quantifying smarty! Not only are you embracing the self-quantifying technologies available you're sharing your data with the world - you're a part of the movement! •
  20. 20. CONCLUDING REMARKS: • Self-quantification technologies encompass many motivational concepts in their development. The most prominent of these being intrinsic and approach motivation and social motivation. However, motivational theories that also align with broad concepts of self-quantification include: • Motivation benefits adaptation (or change) – changes encouraged by selfquantification technologies need to employ motivation in the pursuit of success. • Motivation includes both approach and avoidance tendencies – approach and avoidance motivation concepts are integrated into many self-quantifying technologies. • To flourish motivation need supportive conditions – in many cases elf-quantifying technologies are the supportive conditions needed to produce adaptation and change. • If you wish to learn more about the intricacies of self-quantification and motivation please follow this link:
  21. 21. REFERENCES: • CIPR (Chartered Institute of Public Relations). (2013). Share this too: More social media solutions for PR professionals. Cornwall: UK. :John Wiley & Sons Inc. • Elliot, A. (2008). Handbook of approach and avoidance motivation. New York: USA. Taylor and Francis publishing. • Evans, J. (2012). Philosophy for life and other dangerous situations. Great Britain. Ebury Publishing. • Morozov, E. (2013). To save everything, click here: The folly of technological solutionism. PublicAffairs publishing. • Nevid, J. (2009) Psychology: Concepts and applications. Boston: MA. Houghton Mifflin Company. • Plotnik, R. & Kouyoumdjian, H. (2011). Introduction to psychology. Belmont: CA. Wadsworth publishing. • Reeve, J. (2009). Understanding motivation and emotion. New Jersey: US. John Wiley & Sons Inc. • Spielberger, C. (2004). Encyclopaedia of applied psychology. Academic Press. • Zimmerman, B. & Schunk, D. (2011). Handbook of self-regulation of learning and performance. New York: US. Taylor & Francis. • • • The fitbit website. Includes product information about „fitbit‟ technologies. Fitness guide Inc. (n.d.). „7 minute workout challenge‟. Apple app store. Nike+ webpage. Information regarding the Nike+ product.