Psychological Dimensions of Tracking
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Psychological Dimensions of Tracking



Quantified Self projects have focused on tools and techniques. The assumption that info changes behavior is broken. Attention to psychological aspects of tracking, particularly wrt compliance, can ...

Quantified Self projects have focused on tools and techniques. The assumption that info changes behavior is broken. Attention to psychological aspects of tracking, particularly wrt compliance, can transform the Quantified Self.



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Psychological Dimensions of Tracking Psychological Dimensions of Tracking Presentation Transcript

  • Psychological Dimensions of Tracking Motivation & Compliance Quantified Self SiliValley Meetup Aug 11, 2011Paul Whitmore
  • QSelf currently dominated by focus on tools &techniques
  • Data Enuresis QS activity to date assumes that information guides behavior NYC has posted calorie information on all fast foods “The effect is very, very close to zero.” Dan Ariely Dale Larson at QS#13 described “LeanScale” To be fair, it did increase lean mass & loss of fat 3
  • Behavioral economists view Designers/Product Managers asCHOICE ARCHITECTS Opt ion A Opt io nB “Many features, noticed and unnoticed, can influence decisions. The person who creates that environment is, in our terminology, a choice architect.” (Thaler & Sunstein)6
  • Motivational ContextGamification is just lipstick on a pigTrue integration of psychology with technology wouldparallel the “GUI” that transformed tools from theHomebrew Computer ClubHabit: “the enormous flywheel of society” (Wm James)Maker community building an economy of whimsy Hacker Dojo/NoiseBridge/Ace Monster Toys Bootcamps morph into “Summer of Riesling” with tasting workouts
  • Channel Factors Persuasion not as important as removing behavioral barriers WWII sale of bonds (Cartwright, 1949) Tetanus shot messaging Biggest impact (10X): providing a map to clinic + specifying appt time Once this was seen to be “applied”, further psych research stunted. Now it takes place as “behavioral economics” Well-chosen defaults (opt-out vs opt-in) Reduction in choice overload 6
  • People do not know what they want, since that gets constructed Choosing for tonight Choosing for next Choosing for second Thursday Thursday Next week I will want things that are good for me… 7 slide adapted from Prof Russell James III,  Texas Tech U
  • Automating Choice Subscription to reduce friction of decision-making Theater tickets / Gym membership Amazon reduces cognitive load in multiple ways PRIME 15% off if a purchase is transformed from a one-off purchase to a subscription Medical insurance –Seems irrational to choose high premium, low deductible, yet many don’t want to make repeated calculations about trade offs 8
  • Understanding Preferences Building a better Eliza (1966 computer program)ELIZA mimicked a therapist by returningwhatever user typed with a question> How does that make you feel?> Tell me more about … 9
  • How to get people to talk about themselves? Hunch isexemplaryat playing“thequestiongame” 10
  • Beware that Q&A can just be peskyEliza tricked people into thinking that we are talking about meMicrosoft “Clippy” had much more computational intelligence, but it only directed attention to Clippy 11
  • Diminishing Returns (Weber-Fechner Law)Response starts big, and with each additional increment, givesless and less bang Psychophysics of Value
  • Behavioral Economics can explain one way that games hook into motivation Move from framing where response is flat into framing where the payoff is still increasing. Games do this by slicing infinite horizon into smaller intervals The reverse occurs with Subscription, and explains how friction reduces: Move many short, sharp shocks toward one smooth flat perspective. 13
  • Beyond Boredom and Anxiety Csikszentmihalyi’s concept of Flow (adapted by Jenova Chen, MFA) 14
  • Peak and End Rule (Kahneman) Experienced vs. Remembered Utility Our mind does not make movies; it takes snapshots Rather than guess the total amount of suffering, people recall the worst instant, and the last instant. If you increase the amount of suffering, but arrange for the last minutes to be less intense, people report a longer period as less painful 15
  • Next step for the Quantified Self Community In QS experiments, focus should initially be on “compliance with tracking” as the dependent variable Manipulations to be experimentally delivered Timing of prompt Contextual cues of prompt Reward for providing response to the prompt Data collection can go from extrinsic imposition to intrinsic Even interrupts could demand generation of a specific measure Deliver a Heart rate change, arithmetic task or eye-hand coordination action Humans will outsmart the interrupt, so the DV is still compliance Gold: Experience as motivating as a Hollywood personal trainer 16