Contact
smunson at uw dot edu
423B Sieg Hall
Campus Box 352315

Seattle, WA 98195
Logistics

W13, Tues/Thu 2:30-4:20p
PAR 322

Office hours: by appointment, given the size of the class, but I'm happy to set up a meeting. Email or catch me in class.

Canvas site
HCDE 548 — Advanced Topics in HCDE:
Nudges in Sociotechnical Systems

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 HCDE 548, we will discuss several social influence theories, ways of building such influence into systems, and ways of evaluating such systems — including results of prior studies and planning our own.

This is a research seminar. Assignments will consist primarily of weekly, shared reading responses, sketches for proposed studies, and a final detailed research proposal (in the form of either a grant application or a paper complete except, possibly, for the results section). I encourage students to develop these research sketches into actual studies during and after the quarter.

Students outside of HCDE are strongly encouraged to participate (you'll need an add code, please contact me or Gian Bruno). I will be approaching this topic from an HCI perspective, but your responses, research questions, and proposals may consider a broad range of sociotechnical systems. If you have questions, please ask.

Assignments

  • Readings. Nudges and persuasive systems have their roots in or can often be described by theory, whether or not the designer knows it. By knowing theories of social influence, and some example implementations in sociotechnical systems, you will be better able to design and evaluate your own systems and to understand how systems you and others build intentionally and unintentionally influence.

  • Reactions to readings. Each class, with class 2, you will submit a short reaction to the week's readings. It should consist of at least two parts (possibly divided over two due dates): a brief summary of main themes that stood out to you in the readings as well as remaining questions you have, and then a description of one or more research project ideas that follow from the readings (e.g., replication in other contexts, extensions, instantiations of ideas in theory, or complete tangents). You get some opt-outs (2), since we're all busy.

  • Research proposal sketch (3x): Three times during the quarter, you should write a short research project proposal that includes a brief introduction, connections to related work, study design (including planned analysis), and expected outcomes. Due dates are flexible, but you must have a new one by each peer review date and a total of three by the end of the quarter.

  • Peer review (2x): Twice during the quarter you will review a classmate's research sketch. These are scheduled to correspond with days that we do not have class but you may complete it at any time within that week. Review it as though you are reviewng an informal grant proposal: would you fund/support doing this research.

  • Final presentaton: On the last day of class, you will present either your mock paper (rough is okay), your third research sketch, or something related to the research sketches about which you hope to get feedback.

  • Mock paper (final assignment): Take one of your research project sketches (or a variant) and develop it into a mock paper for a conference or journal appropriate for your field. It should include the intro, related work, study design, discussion, and conclusion sections. You do not need to have results (since that would require actually running the study), but if you do not have results, your discussion and conclusion should be written for different possible outcomes.

Grading

  • Participation (30%), including in class and online.
  • Research proposal sketches (30%). 10% each, but this changes if you collaborate with others on one or more (talk with me).
  • Peer review (15%).
  • Final presentaton (5%).
  • Mock paper (25%)

Schedule

  1. Tuesday, 8 January: Introduction: What is social influence? What is persuasive technology? (Canvas discussion)

    HW: A short description of your experience with persuasion or influence in a technical or non technical system, posted to course website.

    Readings:

    • Thaler & Sunstein. Nudge. Intro.
    • Cialdini, Influence. Ch 1.

  2. Thursday, 10 January: Introduction 2 (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  3. Tuesday, 15 January — Social Software (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  4. Thursday, 17 January — Individual Differences & Tailoring (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  5. Social Information
  6. Tuesday, 21 January — Social Proof (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  7. Thursday, 24 January — Social Norms (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  8. Tuesday, 28 January — Social Comparison I (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  9. Thursday, 31 January — Social Comparison II (Canvas Discussion)

    Readings:

  10. Other tactics and overall interaction effects
  11. Tuesday, 5 February — No class (Sean away)

    Peer review day.

  12. Thursday, 7 February — Reciprocity & Reputation (Canvas Discussion)

    Readings:

  13. Tuesday, 12 February — Social Facilitation (Canvas Discussion)

    Readings

  14. Thursday, 14 February — Commitment & Consistency (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

    • Influence, ch 3. (On Canvas)
    • Sherman, SJ. (1980). On the self-erasing nature of errors of prediction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 39(2): 211-221. (UW Library Link)
    • Optional: Schelling, T. (1984). Self Command in Practice, Policy, and in a Theory of Rational Choice. The American Economic Review 74(2): 1-11. (on Canvas)
    • Also think back to Deutsch & Gerard.

  15. Tuesday, 19 February — Goals & Targets (Canvas Discussion)

    Readings

  16. Thursday, 21 February — Self-efficacy (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  17. Tuesday, 26 February — No class (CSCW)

    Peer review day.

  18. Thursday, 28 February — Similarity & Liking (Canvas discussion)

    Readings:

  19. Tuesday, 5 March — Groups & Group membership (Canvas Discussion)

    Readings:

  20. Thursday, 7 March — Games & Gamification

    Readings:

  21. Tuesday, 12 March — Affordances & Limits of Technology

    Readings:

  22. Thursday, 14 March — Presentations

    15 minute presentation of your final research sketch (or full writeup) plus Q&A. You will also be assigned to be the discussant for a peer's presentation.

  23. Final writeup: Due 20 March

    Take one of your research project sketches (or a variant) and develop it into a mock paper for a conference or journal appropriate for your field. It should include the intro, related work, study design, discussion, and conclusion sections. You do not need to have results (since that would require actually running the study), but if you do not have results, your discussion and conclusion should be written for different possible outcomes.

Thanks to

Erin Krupka and Paul Resnick.