Kindness is contagious: Study into exploring engagement and adapting persuasive games for wellbeing

Ana Ciocarlan*, Judith Masthoff, Nir Oren

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingPublished conference contribution

17 Citations (Scopus)


Intentional engagement in positive activities, such as practicing kindness, showing generosity or expressing gratitude, can help people increase their happiness levels and improve their wellbeing. In this paper we explore how a gamified digital behaviour change intervention can be adapted to encourage people of different personality types to engage in simple acts of kindness. Participants were assigned 5 daily activities for 7 days, and asked to complete as many as possible by the end of each day. Participants received different persuasive notifications every day to encourage them to complete a higher number of activities. We investigated how participation levels are influenced by different personality types, different persuasive message types and different categories of activities. Furthermore, we analysed the influence of the intervention on participant behaviour and the effect on behavioural intention, by comparing pre-intention and post-intention to perform different kinds of positive activities. The findings from this study have implications for future work on personalising persuasive interventions to improve wellbeing and prevent mental health problems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationUMAP 2018 - Proceedings of the 26th Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages9
ISBN (Electronic)9781450355896
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jul 2018
Event26th ACM International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization, UMAP 2018 - Singapore, Singapore
Duration: 8 Jul 201811 Jul 2018 (Link to Official website)


Conference26th ACM International Conference on User Modeling, Adaptation and Personalization, UMAP 2018
Internet address


  • Adaptation
  • Engagement
  • Kindness
  • Personality
  • Persuasive Games
  • Persuasive Technology
  • Wellbeing

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