Mobile application to encourage change in favor of the environment: A quantitative study of the persuasive effect of a gamified app on cognitive and psycho-social variables

University essay from Lunds universitet/Graduate School

Abstract: Human-induced climate change continues to have a disproportionate negative impact on people and the planet. The human dimension must be included to make a change to reduce the environmental challenges we are facing. As mobile digital technologies have developed, the use of gamification has emerged as a way to promote pro-environmental behavior. As the field is relatively new, the research on the topic is limited. By investigating the immediate impacts of a gamified mobile application intervention on cognitive and psycho-social variables that relates to responsible pro-environmental behavior as well as the interventions’ persuasive effectiveness, this thesis contributes to this research gap. By analyzing data conducted through panel surveys, including a pre- and post-survey of the intervention, this thesis finds the tendency that people with low perceptions on the cognitive and psycho-social variables before the intervention are more likely to showcase an increased impact after the intervention than people who had high perceptions prior. Furthermore, the observed increased impact after the intervention is greater than the decreased impact throughout the variables. The most effective parts of the gamified intervention was in terms of raising peoples’ awareness of the impact of their actions, their sense of pride in their own efforts which further suggests a stronger sense of responsibility for their actions, and finally in terms of persuading people to take easy actions such as discussing sustainability at work.

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