Archived Projects

Over time the Persuasive Tech Lab has worked on many projects. We have selected several of our more popular, past projects to include in this section. These projects have completed or wound down and are no longer a main focus. You may still find some relevant resources related to these projects at the links below.

Please note we are no longer maintaining the websites associated with these projects and there may be outdated links and information.

Persuasive Online Video

Online video is a powerful way to persuade people. The 2008 elections in the U.S. gave a vivid demostration of how YouTube and similar sites could engage people with a persuasive message. In our lab we have studied the elements of persuasive video. Our work, which includes real-world interventions, has shown dramatic results. We expect this area to keep growing especially as we see the emergence of better tools for creating, distributing, and measuring online video.

To create insight on this topic, BJ Fogg organized a Stanford conference to bring experts together. He later created a new course called “Persuasive Online Video,” which was taught in Spring of 2009 with Enrique Allen.


Stanford Captology students created over 150 short videos to demonstrate how captology works online. The clips created for CaptologyTV showed how web services, such as LinkedIn and Facebook, are designed to motivate and persuade users. With CaptologyTV students showed how persuasive technology works in popular web sites.

As we created CaptologyTV, we starting seeing patterns of persuasion in the examples. So we dug deeper and synthesized a framework for online persuasion. Our lab published a peer-reviewed paper that summarizes the patterns of persuasion used by virtually every successful Web 2.0 company. We call this process the “Behavior Chain.”

Stanford Web Credibility Project

The Persuasive Tech Lab did early research on the factors that affect the credibility of websites. Since our investigations in the 1990s, we’ve found that online credibility has morphed. With the rise of Web 2.0 services, the focus of credibility evaluations extend beyond the page to the people represented. In other words, Credibiltity 2.0 has become more like reputation, or perceived reputation.

The researchers compiled 10 guidelines for building the credibility of a web site. These guidelines are based on three years of research that included over 4,500 people. It is still a popular resource today.

Persuasive Visual Stories for Small Screens

Building on our previous research about computers using the power of narratives, we’re investigating how to tell visual stories in a way anyone can understand, regardless of language or literacy. But that’s not all . . . we also want to deliver these stories via mobile phones, the most personal (and persuasive) of all interactive technologies. Previous steps in this research were funded by Stanford Media-X and the National Science Foundation.