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Changing Environmental Behaviors through Smartphone-based Augmented Experiences
The use of persuasive technologies can induce changes in attitudes or behaviours, even in individuals that other strategies of persuasion can not reach effectively. In addition, this type of technology can be applied in numerous areas such as health, education, finance, e-business, among others. Although persuasion can be seen as something negative, being used to serve the interests of the persuader rather than the interests of the persuaded, this work aims to achieve a common and shared goal: to change people's behaviour towards the environment. A significant part of the population is still not aware of the sustainability problems that our planet is facing, so it is important to inform people about the theme while persuading them to change their behaviour and acquire pro- environmental attitudes. In this dissertation, work was conducted to alert citizens to this issue in a fun and immersive way using mobile devices, more specifically smartphones, and augmented reality technology that was used to create an environmental scanner. This scanner provided the user with informative insight about the surrounding environment, while highlighting the environmental threats. In addition to augmented reality, pro-environmental actions were positively reinforced using a reward system and a virtual character that interacted and motivated the user. A form of rapid spread through social networks was also created, allowing the persuasive effect to quickly reach a large number of users. Finally was performed a study to assess the success of the work done in changing behaviour towards environmental issues, and to study the influence of augmented reality and positive reinforcement in the changing of behaviours and acquisition of pro-environmental attitudes.
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