Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 18, Issue 7, pp 1667–1676 | Cite as

Social interaction and reflection for behaviour change

  • Bernd PlodererEmail author
  • Wolfgang Reitberger
  • Harri Oinas-Kukkonen
  • Julia van Gemert-Pijnen


This article introduces the theme issue on social interaction and reflection for behaviour change. A large body of research exists on systems designed to help users in changing their behaviours, for instance, to exercise more regularly or to reduce energy consumption. Increasingly, these systems focus on multiple users, often to encourage open-ended reflection rather than prescribing a particular course of action. As background for this theme issue, this article presents a literature review on behaviour change support systems that focus on social interaction and reflection. The review highlights five key approaches amongst these systems: social traces, social support, collective use, reflection-in-action, and reflection-on-action. Each approach offers unique benefits, but also challenges for the design of behaviour change support systems. We highlight how the articles in this theme issue contribute to our current understanding of these five approaches, and beyond that, set out some broad directions for future work.


Persuasive technology Behaviour change Behaviour change support systems Social interaction Social support Reflection 



This theme issue is the outcome of the First International Workshop on Behaviour Change Support Systems (BCSS) held at the Eighth International Conference on Persuasive Technology held in Sydney, Australia in April 2013. The editors would like to thank their co-convener Sitwat Langrial and the participants of this workshop for their assistance with this theme issue. We would like to thank our supportive expert reviewers: Nilufar Baghaei, Annemarie Braakman, Shanton Chang, Rik Crutzen, Brian Cugelman, Sebastian Deterding, Marc Fabri, Eva Ganglbauer, Florian Güldenpfennig, Giulio Jacucci, Pasi Karppinen, Saskia Kelders, Rilla Khaled, Olga Kulyk, Tuck Leong, Geke Ludden, Marianna Obrist, Hans Ossebaard, Wally Smith, Terje Solvoll, Wolfgang Spreicer, Agnis Stibe, Kristian Torning, Roos van der Vaart, Greg Wadley, and Jobke Wentzel. This research was supported by the Cancer Council Victoria and the Australian Research Council (ARC), grant LP110100046. This research was part of the OASIS research group of Martti Ahtisaari Institute, University of Oulu. This study was supported by the SalWe Research Program for Mind and Body (Tekes—The Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation grant 1104/10).


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernd Ploderer
    • 1
    Email author
  • Wolfgang Reitberger
    • 2
  • Harri Oinas-Kukkonen
    • 3
  • Julia van Gemert-Pijnen
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Computing and Information SystemsThe University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia
  2. 2.Institute for Design and Assessment of TechnologyVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria
  3. 3.Department of Information Processing ScienceUniversity of OuluOuluFinland
  4. 4.Department of Psychology, Health and TechnologyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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