Technology Adds New Principles to Persuasive Psychology: Evidence from Health Education

  • Arie Dijkstra
Conference paper

DOI: 10.1007/11755494_4

Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3962)
Cite this paper as:
Dijkstra A. (2006) Technology Adds New Principles to Persuasive Psychology: Evidence from Health Education. In: IJsselsteijn W.A., de Kort Y.A.W., Midden C., Eggen B., van den Hoven E. (eds) Persuasive Technology. PERSUASIVE 2006. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 3962. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg


Computer-technology has led to the use of new principles of persuasion. These new principles constitute the unique working mechanisms of persuasion by means of computer. In the present study, three tailored messages that each contained one potential working mechanism – personalization, adaptation or feedback – were compared with a standard information condition. Two hundred and two students who smoked tobacco daily were randomly divided over four conditions. After the computer pre-test questionnaire, they read the information in their condition and filled in the immediate post-test. After 4 months, they were sent a follow-up questionnaire assessing their quitting activity. The data show that personalization (44.5%) and feedback (48.7%) but not adaptation (28.6%) led to significantly more quitting activity after 4 months than did the standard information (22.9%). Moreover, the effect of condition on quitting activity was mediated by individuals’ evaluations of the extent to which the information took into account personal characteristics.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arie Dijkstra
    • 1
  1. 1.Social and Organizational PsychologyUniversity of GroningenGroningenThe Netherlands

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