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Dr. Annamina Rieder

Wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin
Müller-Friedberg-Strasse 8
9000 St. Gallen
+41 71 224 2778


  • Persuasive Technology
  • Digital Nudging
  • Health Information Systems
  • Wearable Technology
  • User Behavior
  • Forschungsgebiete

  • Digital Health
  • Information Technology Use
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Green Transformation
  • Publikationen

    An unhealthy lifestyle is one of the key factors of mortality in modern society. Persuasive technologies, information systems that aim to change users behaviors and attitudes in a predefined way, are increasingly used for health promotion to encourage a physically active lifestyle and healthful nutrition to prevent diseases of affluence. Persuasive technologies for health come in different shapes, though, recent advances in mobile and sensor technologies have given rise to wearable self-tracking devices that have shortly reached high penetration in mainstream markets. While high hopes lie on persuasive technologies to improve personal and public health outcomes and empirical evidence for their effectiveness exists, concerns regarding their capacity to sustainably induce changes in health behaviors are growing. Despite the rich body of literature on the adoption of persuasive technology, gaps in knowledge exist with regard to users post-adoptive use experiences and behaviors, the processes along which persuasive technologies generate cognitive-affective and behavioral outcomes, and how persuasive technologies can impel such processes in a targeted way. This cumulative dissertation addresses these gaps and seeks to gain an understanding of post-adoptive use processes, to explain the occurrence of adverse experiences and their effects on users, to explain the outcomes of persuasive technology use, and to generate design knowledge to develop persuasive technologies to achieve long-term changes in health-promoting behaviors. These research objectives are achieved through eight research papers using different research approaches to shed light at different aspects concerning the post-adoptive use, the behavioral outcomes, and the design of persuasive technologies, by applying qualitative and quantitative research methods, and following the design science research paradigm. The dissertation makes several primary contributions to persuasive technology research: First, users habit formation processes and adverse experiences are highlighted. Second, the outcomes of persuasive technology use are outlined and mechanism-level explanations for why some users arrive at behavioral outcomes while others do not are provided. Third, by presenting a design artifact, design knowledge for the development of adaptive persuasive technologies for health promotion is generated. Moreover, the findings have important implications for practitioners, in particular, providers of persuasive technology and system designers.

    Wearables are used to help motivate individuals to trade their unhealthful behaviors for beneficial ones, thereby preventing the diseases of affluence, which are caused by a sedentary lifestyle. However, inconclusive study results regarding the effectiveness of wearables raise questions about the outcomes of using wearables. Research on the topic paints an ambiguous picture regarding the support wearables offer users in performing beneficial health-related behaviors, leaving the underlying mechanisms of wearable use and its outcomes unexplained. We seek to fill this gap in the literature by means of a critical realist study based on thirty narrative interviews with long-term users of wearables. By identifying seven generative mechanisms that drive users’ interactions with wearables and the subsequent cognitive and behavioral outcomes of that use, we answer the research question concerning how and why users’ interactions with wearables can facilitate positive behavioral and cognitive outcomes. The study makes several contributions to theory and practice.

    Physical inactivity is a global public health problem that poses health risks to individuals and imposes financial burdens on already strained healthcare systems. Wearables that promote regular physical activity and a healthy diet bear great potential to meet these challenges and are increasingly integrated into the healthcare system. However, extant research shows ambivalent results regarding the effectiveness of wearables in improving users’ health behavior. Specifically important is understanding users’ systematic behavior change through wearables. Constructive digitalization of the healthcare system requires a deeper understanding of why some users change their behavior and others do not. Based on self-leadership theory and our analysis of narrative interviews with 50 long-term wearable users, we identify four wearable use patterns that bring about different behav- ioral outcomes: following, ignoring, combining, and self-leading. Our study contributes to self-leadership theory and research on individual health information systems and has practical implications for wearable and healthcare providers.

    Wearables provide great opportunities for improving personal health, but research challenges their capacity to evoke behavioral change effectively. Realizing the full potential of wearables requires a better understanding of users’ behavior change processes. Based on self-efficacy theory, we investigate how wearables influence users’ perceptions of their self-efficacy and subsequent health behavior. Using narrative interviews with twenty-five long-term wearable users, we show that wearables can have both positive and negative effects on users’ perceptions of their self-efficacy and that these perceptions are subject to internal and external contexts, which can positively or negatively affect users’ compliance. We also find that the internal context may have a compounding or neutralizing effect on self-efficacy, despite an adverse external context. Our study shows the contextual and transient nature of self-efficacy, thus contributing to self-efficacy theory and research on wearables and offering practical design implications.

    The use of persuasive technologies to improve users’ personal health outcomes are becoming increasingly pervasive in the health context. While early research on persuasive technologies highlighted the technology’s individual and societal potential, recent empirical evidence has hinted about the adverse effects of their use. However, little is known about the causes of, experiences with, and coping reactions to these adverse effects. To fill this gap, we conduct an exploratory study of wearable technologies’ adverse effects on users based on twenty-five narrative interviews. Employing a technostress lens, we find two distinct patterns–control stress and validation stress–that show that users experience these adverse effects by revolving through a circular process of technostress and relying on various mechanisms to cope with it. We describe contributions to the literature and implications for research and practice.

    Wearables gelten als Hoffnungsträger der heutigen Zeit: Sie sollen die individuelle Gesundheit von Nutzern verbessern, dadurch die Gesundheitskosten senken und die gesellschaftliche Wohlfahrt erhöhen. Doch wie steht es wirklich um die Potenziale von Wearables? Dieser Beitrag gibt Einblick in Nutzung und Auswirkungen von Wearables und zeigt Implikationen für den Einsatz im betrieblichen Gesundheitsmanagement auf.

    Digitale Nudges nutzen psychologische Prinzipien, um Nutzerverhalten im digitalen Raum zu beeinflussen. Um als Unternehmen wirksame digitale Nudges zu entwickeln, ist ein systematisches Vorgehen notwendig. Zu diesem Zweck wird in diesem Artikel die Digital Nudge Design-Methode vorgestellt, die das Entwickeln von digitalen Nudges in vier Phasen unterstützt. Die in den einzelnen Phasen angewendeten Techniken und Prozessschritte werden am Beispiel der Hero AG illustriert, die jüngst mit der Methode eigene digitale Nudges zur Nutzungsintensivierung einer Business Intelligence-Software entwickelt hat.

    Wearable Activity Trackers (WATs) are often ascribed the ability to reduce health risks by promoting physical activity and healthful eating habits. However, research has shown that their use does not always lead to behavior changes. Using the affordance lens, this study investigates how WATs’ material features facilitate behavioral outcomes, as users interpret WATs in light of their personal health-related goals. Using narrative interviews with twenty-five WAT users, we found two catego-ries of affordances—learning affordances and behavior-focused affordances—leading to three behavioral outcomes: behavior change, compliance change, and remaining with the status quo. Moreover, we identified four types of users (based on their goal configurations) that actualized different affordances and showed different behavioral outcomes. While some types of users fundamentally changed their daily routines as a result of using WATs, others simply complied with technology cues or did not change their behavior at all. Our results have several implications for re-search on WATs and WATs’ design.

    Wearables have the potential to optimize health-related behaviors like physical activity and nutritional intake and to improve individual health outcomes. However, researchers are still doubtful about wearables’ capacity to induce behavior change in users. Research that has built on self-efficacy theory has shown that using wearables can influence the users’ perceptions of self-efficacy and behavioral responses both positively and negatively, indicating that there is little stability over time. This study will investigate the factors that cause instability in users’ situational perceptions of self-efficacy and behavioral reactions. We plan to conduct a longitudinal, quasi-experimental field study with wearable users who self-report in weekly intervals on action-related restrictiveness, contextual restrictiveness, personal restrictiveness, situational self-efficacy, and their behavioral responses over eight weeks. Preliminary results from a pilot study with a reduced sample showed promising results. We will contribute to self-efficacy research by clarifying the factors that cause variations in behavioral responses and finding quantitative support for a situationally varying construct of self-efficacy. We will contribute to practice by deriving implications for the design of wearable devices.

    Although Behavior Change Support Systems (BCSS) are gaining ground in the field of health in-terventions, we lack an empirically grounded understanding of how the behavior change tech-niques (BCTs) that are implemented in BCSS influence behavioral outcomes. Based on the self-efficacy theory, we conduct narrative interviews to investigate the process along which BCTs ap-plied in wearable activity trackers (WATs) influence users’ perceived self-efficacy and behaviors. We find three patterns that show how WATs’ BCTs feed certain information sources on which users build their self-efficacy beliefs. We identify a positive path (i.e., high self-efficacy, leading to com-pliant behavior) and a negative path (i.e., low self-efficacy, leading to non-compliant behavior) for each of these patterns. Our findings indicate that, under certain circumstances and/or at a cer-tain level of task difficulty, BCTs inflict adverse effects on users’ perceptions of their self-efficacy and their subsequent behavioral responses. Our results provide insights for theory and practice into how BCSS affect perceptions of self-efficacy and behavior change.



    • PhD in Management of the University of St.Gallen (2018-2021; summa cum laude)
    • M.A. in Business Innovation of the University of St.Gallen (2016-2018)
    • B.A. in Business Administration of the University of St.Gallen (2013-2016)


    Master in Business Innovation

    • IC: Digital Nudging (elective)
    • IC: User Behavior (elective)

    Executive MBA in Business Engineering

    • Digital Nudging


    Accepted to 2020 ECIS Doctoral Consortium 

    Accepted to 2019 ICIS Doctoral Consortium  


    Association for Information Systems

    HSG Alumni


    • Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
    • East Carolina University, USA
    • University of Oulu, Finland
    • University of Louisville, KY, USA