Measuring and generating social influence using mobile telephony
Author(s)Ip, Cory May
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
Alex (Sandy) Pentland.
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In recent years, mobile telephony and manufactured social influence have received attention as tools for eliciting behavior change. This paper describes an experimental approach to studying the effect of these tools in combination. We demonstrate that mobile telephony can be used to generate social influence and elicit behavior change in support of a specified goal. A longitudinal experiment is conducted in a free-living environment, using mobile telephony to track and attempt to influence the activity level of a pool of 97 subjects over 62 days. Subjects receiving feedback about others' performance show a significantly greater increase in activity level than subjects receiving feedback about their own performance only, demonstrating that social influence enhances the persuasive capability of mobile telephony. A significant effect is observed of a subject's pre-existing closeness to the others whose performance he sees. Evidence is also seen that generated social ties lead to a more significant and sustained increase in activity level than existing social ties.
Thesis (S.M. in Technology and Policy)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Engineering Systems Division, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 63-68).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Engineering Systems Division.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Technology and Policy Program.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Engineering Systems Division., Technology and Policy Program.