Captology: A Critical Review

  • Bernardine M. C. Atkinson
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 3962)


This critical review of B.J. Fogg’s book Persuasive Technology regards captology as an eclectic and formative work. It summarises two other reviewers’ work and identifies several new strengths. It scrutinises Fogg’s functional triad – computers functioning as tools, media and social actors – and some categorical changes are recommended. It investigates further Johnson’s concerns about specific ethical omissions, nominating a new term, compusuasion, for the resultant but unintended, exogenous behaviour/attitude change effects of captological design. The review commences to more carefully define what constitutes persuasion and draws attention to the distinction between persuasion techniques in general and the behavioural changes that result from advocacy and education. The reviewer concludes that a fundamental ethic be that the designer’s intent be exposed at the commencement of the user’s engagement with the program and proffers the idea of persuasion resulting in a new conviction, induced by others, as a helpful definition of persuasion.


Social Presence Interactive Technology Sensory Medium Persuasive Technology Computing Product 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bernardine M. C. Atkinson
    • 1
  1. 1.School for Environmental Research, Institute of Advanced StudiesCharles Darwin UniversityDarwin, Northern TerritoryAustralia

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