Persuasive Backfiring: When Behavior Change Interventions Trigger Unintended Negative Outcomes
Author(s)Cugelman, Brian; Stibe, Agnis
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Numerous scholars study how to design evidence-based interventions that can improve the lives of individuals, in a way that also brings social benefits. However, within the behavioral sciences in general, and the persuasive technology field specifically, scholars rarely focus-on, or report the negative outcomes of behavior change interventions, and possibly fewer report a special type of negative outcome, a backfire. This paper has been authored to start a wider discussion within the scientific community on intervention backfiring. Within this paper, we provide tools to aid academics in the study of persuasive backfiring, present a taxonomy of backfiring causes, and provide an analytical framework containing the intention-outcome and likelihood-severity matrices. To increase knowledge on how to mitigate the negative impact of intervention backfiring, we discuss research and practitioner implications.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Media Laboratory
Springer International Publishing
Stibe, Agnis and Cugelman, Brian. “Persuasive Backfiring: When Behavior Change Interventions Trigger Unintended Negative Outcomes.” Lecture Notes in Computer Science (2016): 65–77. © 2016 Springer International Publishing
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