Cognitive Biases for the Design of Persuasive Technologies: Uses, Abuses and Ethical Concerns

ACM Distinguished Speakers - Lecture Series (2021)
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In the last decades Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) has started to focus attention on “persuasive technologies” having the goal of changing users’ behavior and attitudes according to a predefined direction. In this talk we show how some of the techniques employed in such technologies trigger some well known cognitive biases by adopting a strategy relying on logical fallacies (i.e. forms of reasoning which are logically invalid but psychologically persuasive). In particular, we will show how the mechanisms reducible to logical fallacies are used to design web and mobile interfaces in domains ranging from the e-commerce to the jihadist propaganda. The final part of the talk will be devoted to point out the potential ethical dangers related to the misuse of these techniques in the design of persuasive technologies.

Author's Profile

Antonio Lieto
University of Turin


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