Strategies for design interventions that promote prosocial behavior for littering

Tosun, Mert
Humanity is confronted with social problems such as pollution, resource depletion, obesity, global warming, etc. In order to overcome these problems, people should act for the benefit of the society. The field of industrial design has the potential to promote prosocial behavior as products are proved to be capable of influencing user behavior. Existing literature suggests methods and toolkits for behavior change through design. However, effectiveness of the strategies proposed with these toolkits and methods are not thoroughly examined from the user’s perspective. This study explores how design interventions that promote prosocial behavior are perceived by the user, with the aim of discussing and proposing strategies for designing interventions to reduce littering behavior. For this purpose, interviews were conducted with users based on the personal construct theory. Nine existing products that are aimed to change littering behavior are evaluated by 15 participants using the triadic elicitation technique. Through examining the results of the interviews, the study revealed design related dimensions, grouped under three categories. The first group of dimensions were called ‘fundamentals’ which indicate imperative requirements for a product to have a persuasive impact. Secondly, the study revealed approaches that can be used for persuasion purposes called ‘strategies’. Lastly, the study discovered sensitive issues that may affect users’ perception and overall experience called ‘considerations’. This thesis will serve as a guide for designers who are briefed with solving a social problem.


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Citation Formats
M. Tosun, “Strategies for design interventions that promote prosocial behavior for littering,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2017.