Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 621–630 | Cite as

Self-determined nudging: a system concept for human–machine interaction

  • G. WeßelEmail author
  • E. Altendorf
  • M. Schwalm
  • Y. Canpolat
  • C. Burghardt
  • F. Flemisch
Original Article


Humans sometimes struggle when making decisions, because what they want to do in a specific moment can differ from what they feel they should do in general. This phenomenon can also be found in situations of human–machine interaction. In order to support humans in making decisions about their behavior, a new form of support is proposed, which is especially suitable for human–machine interaction: self-determined decision-making with nudging methods (or shortly: self-determined nudging). In this concept, firstly the aspirations of the human are assessed and then supporting mechanisms are offered to guide humans towards their self-set goals. With this procedure, machines can for example support humans in driving safely or economically, help them refraining from scheduling other appointments in their gym-timeslots or push them towards going to bed on time. While originally nudging is based on libertarian paternalism, the concept of self-determined nudging enables the person to decide which goals to get nudged towards. By different examples, it is shown that nudging ideas are already present in numerous technical applications. Then, it is demonstrated how the aspect of self-determination can enrich these approaches. Moreover, already existing as well as potential new implementations of self-determined nudging in the automotive domain are described. As an outlook, the set-up of a study on automated driving is presented.


Human–machine interaction Human–machine cooperation Behavior change Behavioral economics Nudging Driver behavior 



The research conducted was partly funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) within the projects “Arbitration of cooperative movement for highly-automated human machine systems” respectively “Systemergonomics for cooperative interacting vehicles: transparency of automation behavior and intervention possibilities of the human during normal operation, at system limits and during system failure” and partly by RWTH Aachen University.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Industrial Engineering and ErgonomicsRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  2. 2.Institute for Automotive EngineeringRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany

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