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Free will and choosing your own adventure

This page from a real or parody choose-your-own-adventure book turned up on Boing Boing. Click the image to see it larger. Please learn it well, as it is now the basis from which I will continue my research into the future of persuasion. (I'm kidding... kinda.)

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From torture to persuasion

Not only are torture techniques like waterboarding, sleep deprivation, and forced stress positions evil, they don't work very well for interrogation. Former IFTF researcher and boardmember Jacques Vallee talked about that on Boing Boing last year in his provocative essay, "Waterboarding's curious corollaries." This week's New Scientist also considers the efficacy of torture and "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" (CIDT).

Rushkoff on persuasion, coercion, and why we listen to what *they* say

As part of my research on the Future of Advertising, I'll be interviewing Douglas Rushkoff, professor and author of Media Virus, Coercion, Life Inc. and other books about culture, technology, and the mediascape. Several years ago, Douglas wrote and narrated The Persuaders, a PBS Frontline documentary about new, and often controversial, methods marketers and advertisers use to push us to specific behaviors (such as buying new sneakers or choosing one brand of soda over another).

Neuromarketing and soup labels

Several weeks ago, I posted about a possible resurgence in neuromarketing, using brain imaging and other physiological monitoring to directly measure consumer preference and the effectiveness of advertisements. Now, Campbell's Soup boasts that they've used biometrics, such as measurements of galvanic skin response (moisture) and heart rate, to get a bead on consumer response to various designs.

Bus shelter ad with built-in scale

Fitnessfirst

Submit Now: 2003 interview with persuasive designer Andrew Chak

In the heady Web 1.0 days, usability and "stickiness" were the metrics of success on the Web. That's still true, but in the current always-on age of information overload (and you ain't seen nothin' yet), attention isn't nearly enough. The real goal is engagement. Action. In the course of our research on a topic, we always make it a point to look back while we look ahead. Almost ten years ago, information architect Andrew Chak was already pushing the "persuasive design" meme in his practice. He wrote the fantastically-titled how-to book, Submit Now: Designing Persuasive Web Sites.

Marketers playing head games

London-based firm Mindmetic's Web site reads like the description of an imaginary evil company in a Philip K. Dick science fiction novel: "Mind reading technology!" "Predicting pre-conscious emotional response!" "Revolutionizing market research by revealing true emotions!" While the claims are bold, the company is banking that neuromarketing will become big business.

Smart dinner plate urges you to slow down

The best kind of feedback occurs in the context of the activity that you're seeking feedback about. That's how a control system works -- real-time feedback on how a system is performing allows the operator to adjust and optimize. That's the beauty of smart power outlets like Kill A Watt that measures the actual cost to you of operating the appliance plugged into it.

Mining reality for persuasive feedback

Nadav Aharony, an MIT Media Lab graduate student, studies how that data that's passively collected by mobile devices can be used to predict the user's behavior. According to Aharony, the "reality mining" research in the Human Dynamics Lab where he works is leading to a "a new kind of microscope - a means of making the social sciences more precise." "People are a lot more programmed than you think," he says.

New on IFTF.org: IFTF Workshop Listings

IFTF has just posted a menu of workshops based on our most recent research, facilitated by IFTF staff. In today's volatile, uncertain world, it seems impossibly difficult to forecast the future. Yet now is also the time when forecasting can be most valuable. It's a time when looking long can give you perspective, when thinking about the future can help you turn ambiguity about where you are into clarity about where you're going. IFTF's workshops can help your organization apply foresight and insight to create solid action plans.

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