University of Oulu

Kirsi Halttu & Harri Oinas-Kukkonen (2021) Susceptibility to social influence strategies and persuasive system design: exploring the relationship, Behaviour & Information Technology, DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2021.1945685

Susceptibility to social influence strategies and persuasive system design : exploring the relationship

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Author: Halttu, Kirsi1; Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri1
Organizations: 1Oulu Advanced Research on Services and Information Systems, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.1 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Informa, 2021
Publish Date: 2021-11-22


Cialdini’s six principles of influence are commercially used but less common to encourage healthy behaviors. This study examines how these influence strategies relate to the persuasive systems design (PSD) model constructs implemented in commercial mobile fitness applications. Our research questions address whether susceptibility to influence strategies strengthen the relationships between persuasive constructs and, if so, which strategies and software features are promising to leverage the persuasive effects of systems designed to change health behaviors. This study presents results from a survey of system users (N=147) and their self-reported susceptibility to the six principles. All PSD model constructs showed significantly unequal distribution for some influence strategy, indicating that susceptibility to these strategies affects how users evaluate systems. The commitment principle correlated positively with all persuasive constructs, while reciprocation, scarcity and liking all significantly affected system evaluations. Susceptibility to influence strategies also moderated the relationships between PSD model constructs, but the moderation was often negative with small effect sizes. Our preliminary results indicate that practitioners could benefit from utilizing these influence strategies, especially susceptibility to commitment and reciprocation, which are stable and often high. However, the interaction between these strategies and persuasive systems is not straightforward and would benefit from further research.

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Series: Behaviour & information technology
ISSN: 0144-929X
ISSN-E: 1362-3001
ISSN-L: 0144-929X
DOI: 10.1080/0144929X.2021.1945685
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.