Much existing work aims to understand how to change human behavior through product-design interventions. Given the diversity of individuals and their motivations, solutions that address different motives are surprisingly rare. We aim to develop and validate a framework that clearly identifies and targets different types of behavioral motives in users. We present a behavior model comprising egoistic, sociocultural and altruistic motives, and apply the model to sustainable behavior. We confirmed the explanatory power of the behavior model by categorizing user comments about an international environmental agreement from multiple news sources.

We next developed concepts, each intended to target a single motive type, and elicited evaluations from online respondents who self-assessed their motivation type after evaluating the concepts. We present and discuss correlation results between motive types and preference for products that target these types for two iterations of the experiment. Deviations from our expected results are mainly due to unexpected perceptions, both positive and negative, of our concepts. Despite this, the main value of this work lies in the explicit consideration of a manageable number of different types of motives. A proposed design tool incorporates the three types of motives from the model with the different levels of persuasion others have proposed to change user behavior.

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