Raoul Nuijten holds a Ph.D. position within the Information System’s Department at the School of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences. His research focusses on increasing the impact and reach of health promotion and lifestyle interventions, particularly through application of persuasive technologies.
Evaluation of the impact of extrinsic rewards on user engagement in a health promotion context
Despite the many mHealth solutions available, it remains unclear what their success factors are. Specifically, there has been controversy on the effectiveness of extrinsic rewards. This study evaluates two design elements of an mHealth solution – i.e. social proof and tangible rewards – and their impact on user engagement. During a four-week campaign, a sample of 143 university staff members engaged in a health promotion campaign. Participants were randomly distributed over one of three treatment groups. It was found that the introduction of a sufficiently meaningful, unexpected, and customized extrinsic reward can engage participants sig- nificantly more in a health promotion context.