How Computational Persuasion Can Influence Behavior

How Computational Persuasion Can Influence Behavior

Posted by in Science & Technology, Social & Psychology

Normally, individuals do convince others about something. Physicians can influence their patients to take their medications or change their lifestyle. Marketers and sales agent usually talk people into buying their product. They encourage prospective customers to experience their quality goods and make them believe in that product. Persuasion is crucial to humanity. Not only has it boosted sales, it has helped to maintain order. Also, it can ensure the safety of the public. As a result of the increase in cybercrime, online safety experts are encouraging internet users to avoid releasing many personal data on social media.

With the advancement in computer-based technology, the act of persuasion is employed in effecting positive changes in human behaviors. The automated persuasion system (APS) can influence the action and belief of a user or persuade. The system uses convincing arguments to encourage an individual to change his/her behavior. The formal models or framework of these arguments and the user model of the system are known as computational persuasion. The application of this system in health care, non-governmental organizations and government agencies is essential for behavior change.

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Influencing the belief of an individual is the primary purpose of persuasion. The persuader can achieve this by interacting with the individual. The personality of the person convincing the other individual is crucial. The persuader must be knowledgeable and have excellent expertise. If you want to persuade an individual, you have to be careful of your choice of words. Be humorous to attract the person’s attention. It is ideal to use irony and metaphors in expressing your claims.

Rendering help or even small favor to people can make it easy to influence their behavior. An individual is likely to believe in your claims if you had previously given support to that person. Evidence to prove your claims are essential as people are more convinced by what they see than what they hear.

Presenting both emotional and rational arguments are helpful in persuasion. Point out the outcome of your claims to the person. If a patient takes his medications according to doctor’s prescription, he will get cured. Also, know the personality of the person you want to influence as it is crucial for a successful persuasion. Before you talk an individual into believing in your views, you have to choose arguments that will convince the person.

Computational persuasion involves the creation of methods which computers can use to persuade human beings. These models have proved to be efficient in changing people’s behavior. They are based on arguments relating to different aspects of human life. These models are grouped into four levels.

Dialogue Level

This level involves interactive activities such as debate, discussion, negotiation, and persuasion. The dialogue approach is a common method of influencing the behavior of others. The two parties involved in a dialogical argument exchange their views until they reach a conclusion.

Dialectical Level

Dialectics involves the examination of claims made during an argument to find a solution that will favor the two parties. There is no method for constructing these arguments.

Logical Level

Unlike the dialectics, this level has methods of developing arguments from knowledge. Based on available models arguments and counter arguments are created.

Rhetorical Level

The rhetoric devices are can affect the nature of the arguments. The audience is made to believe the persuader through the use of rewards and threats, the values of the audience and expertise of the supporters.

Computational persuasion has some limitations that need to be addressed. The domain knowledge required for developing arguments related to changing behaviors are not formalized. People that do not contribute much to the persuasion system are not considered. User models that take into account the preferences and beliefs of an individual are not available. There is a need for the creation of strategies that will successfully convince the user.

It is ideal to influence people with unhealthy or dangerous behaviors. These individuals can constitute a nuisance to those around them and the society. Behaviors such as smoking, gambling, chronic borrowing, trolling vandalism and others need to be changed. Various methods are available for convincing individuals living an unhealthy lifestyle. The application of the persuasion system has benefitted the society.

Advertising, counseling, and information resources are some of the approaches you can use to change a person’s behavior. However, such as social pressure, social norms, agenda, and emotional issues can affect these approaches. With computer-based persuasion technology, people can adopt positive changes in their lifestyle.

The automated persuasion system will be easily accessible if it is run as an application on a smartphone or desktop. However, the app will experience some hitches which will affect the efficiency of the system. Some of these limitations include,

  • The need to develop short dialogue that can keep the discussion,
  • Availability of domains that will create arguments,
  • The development of concise dialogue, and
  • Selection of arguments that can affect an individual positively.

The persuasion system can determine the users’ intentions, preferences, and beliefs during dialogue. Also, this system should be able to detect doubts which are shown as counter arguments. Consequently, it can help to establish a winning position during arguments. Also, arguments can be generated automatically for each domain. However, some factors are required for the application of persuasion system in influencing behaviors. An individual’s preferences and belief as well as his behavioral goals, actions and states can affect the use of the system.

Through the application of computational persuasion, the society will get rid of dangerous behaviors.