26 May 2009

Hi-tech aims to improve lifestyle

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Activity feedback
BBC technology correspondent Mark Ward reports on a research project that uses Facebook, mobile phones, and energy meters to nudge people into living healthier lives.

“The three-year project will see how people react when data is fed back to them about their energy use and activity levels.

While it has been established that such feedback can alter behaviour, the researchers want to unpick the mechanisms of such change.

The research, called the Charm Project, builds on the work of academics Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein which implies that the way people are told about poor lifestyle choices influences how they react.

Instead of simply telling people to stop, it has been shown that it is more effective to reveal how one person’s behaviour ranks against their peers.”

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