University of Oulu

An argumentation-based design rationale approach to reflective design of persuasive systems

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Author: Haghighatkhah, Alireza1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 2.8 MB)
Pages: 74
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : A. Haghighatkhah, 2014
Publish Date: 2014-01-17
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri
Reviewer: Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri
Yetim, Fahri
Technology has significantly influenced human lifestyle, industrial sector, businesses and the way people interact with each other. Evidently, information technology is no longer a neutral tool. Intentionally or otherwise, system designers and developers influence our attitudes and/or behaviors for varying motives including promotion of socially valued activities. However, promoting moral values using technologies raises several ethical concerns. For example, what might be ethical for one person could be completely unethical from the other. Moral justification of persuasive systems requires involving all stakeholders in a rationale and open argumentation process. The moral issues are difficult to perceive and comprehend and more importantly, the entire process involves different stakeholders with conflicting viewpoints. Therefore, it is challenging to find an optimal solution to satisfy all stakeholders and argumentation process encompasses both cognitive and social complexities. In an attempt to address the problem; this study outlines an argumentation-based design rationale application. The proposed solution is to mitigate social and cognitive complexities pertaining to moral justification process. The main aim of this thesis is to study construction and evaluation of the said solution in order to facilitate reflective design and evaluation of persuasive information systems. This study follows formal problem-centric approach and was conducted by applying Design Science Research (DSR) methodology. We carried out an experiment to examine socio-technical aspects of the designed artifact focusing on system usefulness and its effect on the problem context. System usefulness of the artifact was studied by analyzing perceived usefulness and usability of the solution from participants’ opinions. The intended implication of this study was to examine that argumentation-based design rationale could potentially decrease complexity of argumentation process. Likewise, it could lead to improved communication and reasoning between stakeholders. These aspects do not guarantee design and development of information systems that are morally justifiable by all standards. However, it is suggested that there are certain prerequisites that are needed for moral justification of persuasive information systems. From a practical perspective, we developed and evaluated a discourse-supported application that effectively establishes rationale and autonomous communication process. Theoretically, we acknowledge that three major aspects of argumentation-based design rationale applications including communication, reasoning and problem comprehension capabilities have a significant influence on mitigating social and cognitive complexities of ethical reflection relating to persuasive information systems.
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