Vakgroep Psychologie, Gezondheid & Technologie

Title: Lifestyle change and persuasion in health-promoting mobile applications

Additional information:
Type of assignment: BA
In– of external?: Internal
Maximum number of students: 1
Collecting own data? Yes
Type of study: Quantitative
EC: 15 ECs     

Assignment description:
Modern society enables people to go about their daily life with only minor physical effort while being within reach of food constantly. While this creates a comfortable environment, there is also a downside: The adoption of a sedentary lifestyle in combination with unhealthy eating habits has been identified as one of the main causes of physical and mental health problems. As a reaction to these problems, the use of smartphone applications that promote a healthy lifestyle has become increasingly popular. These apps are persuasive in nature, which means they are designed to alter behaviour or attitude using various persuasive strategies.

Recent years have witnessed an increasing number of such apps, which treat users as a homogenous group by adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. However, research has shown that this is a bad approach because a motivational approach that works for one individual may actually demotivate behaviour in others. Although the behaviour change process is a dynamic journey with different motivational needs across its different stages, research reveals only little information about which persuasive strategy is most effective for which specific stage of change.

The goal of this assignment is therefore to gain more insight in the relationship between perceptions on different persuasive strategies, that are commonly employed in health-promoting mobile applications and individual stages of change (cross-sectional study). You can choose one of different health behaviours after interest, such as (e.g.) increasing physical activity, eating healthier or reducing tobacco consumption.

Who are we looking for?
Students that are interested in health behaviour, mHealth, persuasive principles and survey research.

Supervisor: Christian Wrede (