University of Oulu

Kirsi Halttu & Harri Oinas-Kukkonen (2017) Persuading to Reflect: Role of Reflection and Insight in Persuasive Systems Design for Physical Health, Human–Computer Interaction, 32:5-6, 381-412, DOI: 10.1080/07370024.2017.1283227

Persuading to reflect : role of reflection and insight in persuasive systems design for physical health

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Author: Halttu, Kirsi1; Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2017
Publish Date: 2018-04-03


Mobile applications and self-tracking devices help us to maintain health and support our goals in changing our behaviors. Most of these tools aim to increase our self-knowledge by providing information upon which to reflect. However, merely spending time reflecting does not always lead to insightful outcomes. In this study surveying users of mobile health and fitness applications (N = 147), we have used structural equation modeling to explore the need for and roles of reflection and insight in the persuasive systems design model. The findings suggest that both dialogue support and primary task support features influence the need for reflection, paving the way to personal insight. The perceived credibility of the system played different roles for women and men and seemed to originate from different sources. In addition, we found significant roles for the attitude and unobtrusiveness of the system. This article contributes to positioning the reflective capabilities of a system in the design framework of persuasive systems and makes preliminary suggestions regarding how to transform the need for reflection into insights. It also exemplifies how to evaluate behavior change technologies by assessing the psychological outcomes of the intervention.

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Series: Human-computer interaction
ISSN: 0737-0024
ISSN-E: 1532-7051
ISSN-L: 0737-0024
Volume: 32
Issue: 5-6
Pages: 381 - 412
DOI: 10.1080/07370024.2017.1283227
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 213 Electronic, automation and communications engineering, electronics
Funding: This research has been partly supported by a grant from Tekes, the Finnish Funding Agency for Innovation, as part of the Digital Health Revolution program. This multidisciplinary program is coordinated and managed by the Center for Health and Technology, University of Oulu, Finland.
Copyright information: © 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Human-computer interaction : a journal of theoretical, empirical, and methodological issues of user psychology and of system design on April 3rd 2017, available online: