University of Oulu

Gamified BCSS for healthier food choices : case implicity

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Author: Manninen, Iikka1
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, 2.3 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Oulu : I. Manninen, 2018
Publish Date: 2018-06-04
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Tikka, Piiastiina
Reviewer: Oinas-Kukkonen, Harri
Tikka, Piiastiina
The main aim of this thesis was to design a persuasive and gamified version of the implicit association test. The goal of the mobile application is to help people adopt healthier eating habits. Poor diet is a major factor in many diseases and contributes negatively to life quality. Additionally, healthcare systems and employers are also affected in the form of production losses and treatment costs. The underlying research aim is to utilize the artefact to investigate whether exposing a user to possible cognitive dissonances in thinking can lead to reflection. Reflection in turn can lead to reduction of dissonances and in turn, behaviour change. Additionally, the application allows the user to rehearse responses towards different types of foods, which is accomplished by associating healthy foods with positive words and unhealthy foods with negative words. The purpose of Persuasive Systems Design (PSD) model, the main design framework used in this thesis, is to design behaviour change support systems. Behaviour Change Support Systems (BCSSs) are systems that aim to change behaviour and attitude without the use of any unethical means. Implicit association test (IAT) is a tool in the field of social psychology that is used measure implicit attitudes towards different concepts. Gamification can be defined as the use of game elements and mechanics in non-game contexts. The development process started with an analysis done with PSD model. Following it, mock-ups and a prototype based on the PSD model analysis and the original version of the IAT were created. After that, gamification features were designed by using a gamification framework. The original IAT was a strong influence in determining what types of persuasive and gamification features would be present in the application. Design science research guidelines were utilized as a checklist throughout research. The artefact and its persuasiveness were evaluated with a perceived persuasiveness questionnaire. The results showed slightly positive responses on the constructs of Primary Task Support (support for carrying out primary task), Dialogue Support (feedback), Perceived Credibility and Design Aesthetics. Perceived Persuasiveness responses were slightly negative. The reward feature that included unlocking different food icons and their health information was especially well received. This thesis contributed a detailed description of the development process of a BCSS. During the development process it was shown that the PSD model and the gamification framework could be used together without conflicts to design an artefact. The research on the artefact’s effectiveness in causing behaviour change is left for further study.
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