M.A. Clinical Psychology
College of Science & Mathematics
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Contingency Management, gamification
Motivation (Psychology)--Methodology; Health behavior
Many adults and youth in the United States engage in multiple high risk health behaviors. Research has historically suggested that if these behaviors can be changed, major health conditions could be changed at both the individual and population levels. Contingency Management is a well-validated method of changing health behaviors, however the costs associated with CM prevent it from being widely available. Smartphone applications are becoming increasingly popular in the healthcare sector, and most American have a smartphone with apps they find enjoyable and distracting. A potential avenue for CM dissemination is the development of a smartphone program that utilizes the pre-established reward value of smartphone apps as a tool for change. The following study is exploratory research designed to assess the acceptability of this concept, called Re-Connect. This concept proposes to block apps users spend large amounts of time on, with unlocking access to those apps made contingent upon meeting the user's health goals. Out of the sample surveyed (N = 146) 63.01% reported that they would be likely to use Re-Connect, and 67.81% reported that they would be likely to recommend it. Participants also rated their likelihood of use across three pairs of feature variants: Re-Connect sets goals vs. user sets goals, Re-Connect chooses apps vs. user chooses apps, and unlocking apps for a period of time vs. the entire day. Participants favored more personal control for both goal setting and app choice and found unlocking for the day to be more acceptable than for a specified period of time.
Upton, Caitlyn R., "Evaluating the social acceptability of an application-blocking-based contingency management intervention" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 2828.