Personal informatics, self-insight and behavior change: a critical review of current literature

E.T. van Dijk, J.H.D.M. Westerink, F. Beute, W.A. IJsselsteijn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

53 Citations (Scopus)
295 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Personal Informatics (PI) systems allow users to collect and review personally relevant information. The purpose commonly envisioned for these systems is that they provide users with actionable, data-driven self-insight to help them change their behavioral patterns for the better. Here, we review relevant theory as well as empirical evidence for this ‘Self-Improvement Hypothesis’. From a corpus of 6568 only 24 studies met the selection criteria of being a peer-reviewed empirical study reporting on actionable, data-driven insights from PI data, using a ‘clean’ PI system with no other intervention techniques (e.g. additional coaching) on a non-clinical population. First results are promising—many of the selected articles report users gaining actionable insights—but we do note a number of methodological issues that make these results difficult to interpret. We conclude that more work is needed to investigate the Self-Improvement Hypothesis and provide a set of recommendations for future work.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-296
Number of pages29
JournalHuman-Computer Interaction
Volume32
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2017

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