Design for behavioral change


About this course

This course aims to equip Master students with the knowledge and skills that pertain to the design of technologies that can help people change behaviours without coercion, manipulation or deceit; it primarily deals with changing behaviour but also with attitude change as the two are closely related.

The course is very much oriented towards informing the design of interactive technologies with theories deriving from the fields of health and social psychology, communication and behavioural economics. The module will cover the following topics:

  • A structured approach to analysing behaviour change and designing intervention (the Behaviour Change Wheel)
  • 5 theories of behaviour change
  • 4 design frameworks for designing behaviour change support systems
  • Evaluation of behaviour change
  • Ethics of behaviour change

The course follows a two-pronged learning approach:

  • Familiarizing students with theories through lectures and self-study.
  • Learning to apply such theories to design through hands on workshops and a design case.

The former is primarily individual work and is assessed individually. The latter is teamwork, and is assessed as a group, though individual grades are given for the attitude/approach and reflections on the team project/ course results. A course reader is provided that is based on related literature and textbooks.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module, the participant:

  • Is aware and able to explain core behaviour change and persuasion theories (20% individual based on the mid-term test).
  • Is able to relate and apply behaviour change theories to the design and evaluation of systems (20% based on team work).
  • Is able to relate and apply frameworks of mechanisms and principles for exploiting persuasive influence in design (30% based on team work).
  • Is able to explain and apply in design the ethics of influencing behaviour and designing persuasive environments and technologies (10% based on team work).
  • Is able to set goals for, plan and motivate the evaluation of a persuasive environment and draw useful inferences from evaluating early stage prototypes (20% based on team work).
  • Shows a positive attitude and reflects effectively on informing the design of behaviour change support technology with related theories and methods (10% individual, based on individual reflection and individual’s participation during the whole cours

Required prior knowledge

You must meet the following requirements

Link to more information

If anything remains unclear, please check the FAQ of TU Eindhoven.


  • Start date

    2 September 2024

    • Ends
      27 October 2024
    • Term *
      Block GS1
    • Location
    • Instruction language
    • Register between
      15 Jun, 00:00 - 25 Aug 2024
These offerings are valid for students of Utrecht University