MOBILE PERSUASISE APPLICATION FOR RESPONSIBLE ALCOHOL USE: DRIVERS AND IMPACT OF SOCIAL INFLUENCE STRATEGIES
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Alcohol consumption has been accepted as a norm in our society, its excessive consumption comes with serious health and financial risk and if not treated early can sometimes lead to death. For young adults, binge drinking – taking huge quantity of alcohol in a short period of time – is becoming increasingly popular largely due to social influence from their peers and has been identified as a public health concern for middle school adolescents. Hence there is need for studies that identifies interventions and how such interventions can be best delivered. This research investigated the use of persuasive technology as an intervention mechanism for reducing alcohol risk. Persuasive technology is the use of computer to motivate behaviour change without the use of force. This research examines the drivers influencing user acceptance of a mobile application to deliver persuasive intervention to discourage irresponsible alcohol use and also investigated the effect of two social influence strategies (comparison and competition) of persuasive technology in motivating a healthy and responsible alcohol use behaviour. To achieve this, I developed two versions of a cross-platform mobile application (Control Version and Social Version) implementing a tool for measuring self-reported alcohol consumption, based on AUDIT (Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test, a standard tool for screening for excessive drinking). The control version of the app deploys the following strategies: self-monitoring, goal setting, feedback, reward, reminder, and simulation. The intervention version contains all the strategies in the control version and in addition, two social influence strategies – comparison and competition. In a 30-days long study with volunteers using the app daily (n=42), we first used the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) tool to find out the drivers for user intention to use the mobile persuasive application for responsible alcohol use. The results showed that aesthetically pleasing user interface and user experience and perceived usefulness are the main drivers of intention to use. We also measured the AUDIT Score of the participants before and after 30 days of using the application, comparing the AUDIT scores of the user groups assigned to the two versions of the application. The results show that in the control version group, there was no significant difference in the AUDIT scores before and after the intervention, while in the group using the social version there was a significant improvement (decrease in the AUDIT score) after using the application.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
CommitteeDeters, Ralph; Stakhanova, Natalia; Koole, Marguerite; Ogenchuk, Marcella
Copyright DateDecember 2020
Alcohol use disorder, Persuasive mobile application, Social influence strate-gy