What is Captology?

Captology is the study of computers as persuasive technologies. This includes the design, research, ethics and analysis of interactive computing products (computers, mobile phones, websites, wireless technologies, mobile applications, video games, etc.) created for the purpose of changing people’s attitudes or behaviors. BJ Fogg derived the term captology in 1996 from an acronym: Computers As Persuasive Technologies = CAPT.

BJ Fogg speaking about Captology

Where Persuasion and Computers Intersect

The field of captology and persuasive technology is growing quickly. Every day more computing products, including websites and mobile apps, are designed to change what people think and do.

As we see it today, captology isn’t just persuasive web sites or video games to change behaviors. Captology is a way of thinking clearly about target behaviors and how to achieve those goals using technology. Captology is a method with related tools for solving problems. Our frameworks and theories are all about helping people understand and measure what matters.

Captology Resources

People often ask how they can learn more about captology. Here are some things we suggest.

We’ve also created some books related to captology:

Related Resources

  • Article: Thoughts on Persuasive Technology

    by BJ Fogg, Ph.D. Director, Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University The world of technology has changed dramatically in twenty years. In 1993, I went to Stanford University to study how to automate persuasion. A...

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  • Article: New Rules of Persuasion

    This article written for the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) summarizes how to design for persuasion using today’s tools. The world of persuasion has changed rapidly over t...

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  • Paper: Motivating, Influencing, and Persuading Users

    This paper (part of "The human-computer interaction handbook: fundamentals, evolving technologies and emerging applications") introduces the concept of captology - the study of computers as persuasive technology. Downlo...

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