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Technological Determinism and
Behaviour Change
Adam N Joinson
Bristol Social Marketing Centre
Bristol Business School
Technological determinism
• 'The belief in technology as a key governing
force in society ..’ (Smith, 1977)
• Became unpop...
Technology and behaviour
change
Tools and Behaviour
• First tool use around
3 million years ago.
• Early tools
transformed abilities
(e.g. to remove flesh...
Tools, Technology and
Behaviour
Affordances
• A quality of the
object
• An ‘action
possibility’
• A ‘perceived’
affordance -
relational
Assemblage
• Shove &
Southerton, 2000
• Impact (and use)
a combination of
technological,
cultural and
social factors
Persuasive technology
• B J Fogg
E-A-S-T framework
Extension
• Based on McLuhan’s definition of
media
• Technology and tools…
• Make things faster, easier, more
efficient.
•...
Extension
Amplification
Shaping
Shaping
via
constraints
Shaping: Rewards
But…..Determinism != Designability
Behavioural Design vs. Unpredictability…
• The Frankenstein Syndrome: One creates a
machine for a particular and limited p...
Telephone
• Dismissed as an ‘electrical
toy’
• Seen as a broadcast
device...
– “dancing party...with no need
for a musicia...
• …in order to make money
out of those users and
satisfy the denizens of
Wall Street, it has to
become ever more
intrusive...
Health gadgets and behaviour
Health wearables and behaviour
capturecapture
analyseanalyse
Self-monitoringSelf-monitoring
motivationmotivation
shareshar...
So…There’s another side
to behavioural
design and
determinism
The inherent
unpredictability of
human behaviour
and adoptio...
Thanks
Adam.Joinson@uwe.ac.uk
@joinson (Twitter)
Adam.Joinson@uwe.ac.uk
@joinson (Twitter)
Technological determinism and behaviour change
Technological determinism and behaviour change
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Technological determinism and behaviour change

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Slides from my talk at the ESRC Seminar Series on Behaviour Change (at UCL) - a short talk about technological determinism, how tools change the way we behave, and how technology can be designed to change people's behaviour.

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  • Hello... What you refer in the slide 13? The progression graph isn't clear to understand, and i don't know that criteria about shaping
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Technological determinism and behaviour change

  1. 1. Technological Determinism and Behaviour Change Adam N Joinson Bristol Social Marketing Centre Bristol Business School
  2. 2. Technological determinism • 'The belief in technology as a key governing force in society ..’ (Smith, 1977) • Became unpopular in 1990s – socio-technical perspectives…but… – Now, the question is no longer: does technology shape human communication, but rather: under what circumstances, in what ways, and to what extent? (Herring, 2004, 26-27) – Everyone wants to be healthier, but most don’t have enough time for it, so the [Samsung] S5 can now do it for you.
  3. 3. Technology and behaviour change
  4. 4. Tools and Behaviour • First tool use around 3 million years ago. • Early tools transformed abilities (e.g. to remove flesh from animals) • May have heralded evolution of energy hungry brain
  5. 5. Tools, Technology and Behaviour
  6. 6. Affordances • A quality of the object • An ‘action possibility’ • A ‘perceived’ affordance - relational
  7. 7. Assemblage • Shove & Southerton, 2000 • Impact (and use) a combination of technological, cultural and social factors
  8. 8. Persuasive technology • B J Fogg
  9. 9. E-A-S-T framework
  10. 10. Extension • Based on McLuhan’s definition of media • Technology and tools… • Make things faster, easier, more efficient. • Remove barriers to completing an action – ease of completion • Makes new actions possible • Changes the reward structure
  11. 11. Extension
  12. 12. Amplification
  13. 13. Shaping
  14. 14. Shaping via constraints
  15. 15. Shaping: Rewards
  16. 16. But…..Determinism != Designability
  17. 17. Behavioural Design vs. Unpredictability… • The Frankenstein Syndrome: One creates a machine for a particular and limited purpose. But once the machine is built, we discover, always to our surprise - that it has ideas of its own; that it is quite capable not only of changing our habits but... of changing our habits of mind (Postman 1983, p. 23) • Lao Tzu 6th Century BC, "Those who have knowledge, don't predict. Those who predict, don't have knowledge”
  18. 18. Telephone • Dismissed as an ‘electrical toy’ • Seen as a broadcast device... – “dancing party...with no need for a musician” (Nature, 1876) – Telephone newspapers • Social chat discouraged – 30% of telephone use ‘unnecessary idle gossip’ (1909)
  19. 19. • …in order to make money out of those users and satisfy the denizens of Wall Street, it has to become ever more intrusive and manipulative. It's condemned, in other words, to intrusive overstretch. Which is why, in the end, it will become a footnote in the history of the internet. • John Naughton, Guardian, 27th January 2013
  20. 20. Health gadgets and behaviour
  21. 21. Health wearables and behaviour capturecapture analyseanalyse Self-monitoringSelf-monitoring motivationmotivation shareshare comparisoncomparison Social proofSocial proof Ease / simplicity Ease / simplicity kairoskairos Social actors Social actors consistencyconsistency Biases / nudges Biases / nudges
  22. 22. So…There’s another side to behavioural design and determinism The inherent unpredictability of human behaviour and adoption of technology B = f (P, E)
  23. 23. Thanks Adam.Joinson@uwe.ac.uk @joinson (Twitter) Adam.Joinson@uwe.ac.uk @joinson (Twitter)

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