Sean Munson

Hello! I'm really looking forward to my visit. I've put together some references and information about the work I cover in my talk, as well as my contact information. Thanks for your hospitality and taking the time to introduce me to your community!

Preferences & Nudges in Sociotechnical Systems

Wednesday, 18 April 2012, 10:30-11:30a
DLC 170, CU Boulder

Every day, millions of people make decisions in digital environments or supported by software tools. Designers of sociotechnical systems influence the choices people make, both intentionally and inadvertently, with their design decisions.

In this talk, I will discuss my research on individual preferences and systems designed to nudge people to be their better selves. I will present, in detail, a study of people's preferences for political opinion information and efforts to nudge those preferences (pdf); this study has shown the importance of individual differences in selective exposure theory. I will then give an overview of my current research platforms, designed to help people live healthier and happier lives, and my research questions and expected contributions.

Talk references · Slides (26MB PDF)

Bio Sean is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan's School of Information, where he studies the use of software to support positive behavior changes. He is an Intel PhD fellow. Sean completed his BS in Engineering at Olin College in 2006, where he was one of 30 students who spent a year developing the new college before becoming part of the first-ever class. He has been a political blogger and, while working at Boeing, designed concepts for future passenger airplane interiors. Sean will join the University of Washington's Department of Human Centered Design and Engineering in Fall 2012 as an assistant professor.
smunson at uw dot edu
423B Sieg Hall
Campus Box 352315

Seattle, WA 98195
Work referenced in my talk
Exposure to Diverse Political Opinions (BALANCE)

Aggregators such as Digg, Reddit, and Google News rely on ratings and links to select and present subsets of the large quantity of news and opinion items generated each day. This work requires understanding people's preferences for diversity (CHI 2010) and where diverse interactions may already occur online (e.g., ICWSM 2011), as well as developing methods of selecting diverse sets of items (ICWSM 2009), and presentation techniques to make these sets appealing (CHI 2010). This project will provide a better understanding of alternative notions of what it means for a set of items to be diverse, the range of reactions that different people have to varying levels and presentations of diversity, and of the outcomes of exposure to diverse political views. Funded by NSF award #IIS-0916099 and a Yahoo! Key Technical Challenges grant.

Health & Wellness (Swellness)

I am building and deploying a series of applications designed to support various aspects of wellness. This work will identify ways to build applications that effectively support health behavior change and will also contribute to our understanding of theories about influence and persuasion and their interactions with indvidual differences and preferences. Published work includes a study of how people use Facebook and Online Health Communities to support health goals (CSCW 2011) and a study of a social version of a positive psycholog exercise (Persuasive 2010). This project is funded by Intel and the University of Michigan Rackham Graduate School.

Research platforms: 3GT · Commitments · Steps (currently mid-overhaul!)