Persuasive Technology Considered Harmful? An Exploration of Design Concerns through the TV Companion

  • Wolfgang Reitberger
  • Florian Güldenpfennig
  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7284)


Persuasive Technology has great potential to positively influence users in a wide variety of areas such as health, well-being and environmental sustainability. However, concerns have been raised regarding issues such as surveillance, lack of autonomy and coercion that might be involved with the application of such technologies. This paper articulates a set of design concerns around these themes and presents a study of the TV Companion, an instance of a behavior change system that takes into account these concerns. The TV Companion is an application aimed to address the societal issue of prolonged TV consumption with its related potential negative effects and aims to foster more reflective TV viewing among children and their parents. To explore the application of these design approaches in a real world setting we report the findings of a field study of the TV companion in three families with pre-school children and reflect on how the design concerns shaped the experience and use of the TV companion.


design concerns autonomy surveillance coercion TV viewing families prototype field study 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wolfgang Reitberger
    • 1
  • Florian Güldenpfennig
    • 1
  • Geraldine Fitzpatrick
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute for Design & Assessment of TechnologyVienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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