• Figure 3.
For example, the losses that follow
dietary lapses can be made tangible
with precise language and evocative
images. Such a message is shown
in Figure 3 on the Intel-GE Care
Innovations Guide, which tracks
vital signs and self-reported behaviors and alerts patients and clinicians to potential problems. A challenge is to present potential losses
as palpable, immediate consequences instead of abstract, distant risks.
Loss aversion can also be used
playfully. Several applications that
invite people to share their health
goals with friends use loss as a
game mechanic. In Stickk.com,
friends bet on their ability to fol-
low through on a goal. Financial
loss—sometimes donations to a
cause or political party selected by a
friend—follows failures. A Facebook
application called “With a Little Help
from My Friends” (a collaboration
between the author and Cognitive
Media shown in Figure 4) operates
on the same principle but uses
social capital as the motivational
structure . Failure to follow through
on a goal is reflected in the fading of
friends’ faces and blocking of posts.
The social dynamics of these apps
can be used for support, role model-
ing, or as an incentive structure.
May + June 2012