The influence of repeated interactions on the persuasiveness of simulation A case study on smoking reduction

Kenny K.N. Chow

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Mental or computer simulation of cause and effect of certain behaviors is a recognized approach to changing one's attitude or triggering an action. Meanwhile, psychology research results suggest that frequency of simulation may affect the corresponding persuasiveness. This paper argues that with always-on sensing and data-driven visualization technologies, interactive tangible systems can be designed to simulate hypothetical outcomes of real-life behaviors in everyday contexts, which repeatedly stimulate users' imagination of behavioral consequences and thereby behavioral intentions. To investigate the effect, a working prototype of Incingarette, including a smart ashtray in connection with a digital picture frame, was built. When the ashtray is used for smoking, the digital picture is incrementally covered by virtual dust. Field trials involved participants in five daily smoking sessions. Post-session surveys show increasingly stronger perceived causality between smoking and the simulated outcomes, increasingly more vivid mental imagery of consequences, and increasingly intense intention to reduce smoking. Results suggest that repeatedly presenting simulated outcomes cognitively linked to real-life behaviors can increase behavioral intentions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-395
Number of pages23
JournalInteraction Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 31 Dec 2021


  • behavior change
  • blended causality
  • computer simulation
  • embodied cognition
  • interactive tangible systems
  • mental simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Human-Computer Interaction


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