Wirtschafts- und Organisationspsychologie




Psychologie der Selbstverbesserung und motivationale Produkte/ Psychology of Self Improvement and Motivational Products

People strive for self improvement in many areas: more healthy nutrition, doing more sports, or integrating mindfulness in daily life. Psychology has a great deal of knowledge about motivation and change processes. But not only coaches and therapists also designers of interactive products have become designers of change processes: technology such as websites, smartphone apps and fitness-gadgets represent new starting point for changing oneself. While this offers a branch of new possibilities (e.g., tracking behavior, memory functions) the psychological perspective is often not considered sufficiently. Especially in the sensible domain of behavior change, it is not enough to create possibilities and leave it to the user to make sense of it. Data has to be processed in a way which provides helpful and motivating insights. Like in a therapeutic dialogue, there have to be deliberate decisions about the way of communication, e.g., the kind of feedback and recommendations. My research with Matthias Laschke, Marc Hassenzahl and colleagues focused on design principles for an aesthetic of friction and so-called pleasurable troublemakers (pleasurabletroublemakers.com). Current studies focus on the perceived style of communication between user and technologies for self improvement and psychological based design recommendations.

Further reading

  • Diefenbach, S. & Müssig, A. (2018). Counterproductive effects of gamification: An analysis on the example of the gamified task manager Habitica. International Journal of Human-Computer Studies. doi: 10.1016/j.ijhcs.2018.09.004 [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. (2018). The potential and challenges of digital well-being interventions: Positive technology design in light of the bitter-sweet ambivalence of change. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 331. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00331 [Link]
  • Diefenbach, S. (2018). Positive Technology – a powerful partnership between positive psychology and interactive technology. A discussion of potential and challenges. Journal of Positive Psychology and Wellbeing, 2 (1), 1-22. http://journalppw.com/index.php/JPPW/article/view/19/27 [Link]
  • Niess, J. & Diefenbach, S. (2015). "Mein Coach für Wohlbefinden und Gesundheit". User Experience von E-Health-Technologien. Workshop UX in Health Design.
  • Diefenbach, S., Hassenzahl, M. & Laschke, M. (2014). Die Psychologie der Selbstverbesserung – Ansatzpunkte durch interaktive Produkte. 49. Kongress der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Psychologie. Lengerich: Pabst.
  • Laschke, M., Diefenbach, S. & Hassenzahl, M. (2014). Raus aus der Komfortzone: Smarter als Smart Technologies. factory. Magazin für nachhaltiges Wirtschaften 3/2014, 42-47. [Link]
  • Laschke, M., Diefenbach, S., Schneider, T. & Hassenzahl, M. (2014). Keymoment: Initiating Behavior Change through Friendly Friction. In Proceedings of the NordiCHI 2014 Nordic Conference on Human-Computer Interaction (pp. 853-858). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
  • Kehr, F., Hassenzahl, M., Laschke, M. & Diefenbach, S. (2012). A transformational product to improve self-control strength: the Chocolate Machine. In Proceedings of the CHI 2012 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems (pp. 689-694). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
  • Laschke, M., Hassenzahl, M., Diefenbach, S. & Tippkämper, M. (2011). With a Little Help from a Friend: A Shower Calendar to Save Water. In Proceedings of the CHI 2011 Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. Extended abstracts (pp. 633–646). New York: ACM Press. [Link]
  • Laschke, M., Hassenzahl, M. & Diefenbach, S. (2011). Things with attitude: Transformational Products. Create11 Conference (pp. 1-2). [Link]