Guest Lecture on Studying and Designing Motivators for Prosocial Computing by Gary Hsieh

Monday, February 11, 2013

Studying & Designing Motivators for Prosocial Computing

Gary HsiehSpeaker: Gary Hsieh, Assistant Professor, Michigan State University

9:30 AM, Thursday, February 14, 2013
Allen Auditorium, Allen Library
University of Washington, Seattle campus


Information and communication technologies hold great promise in promoting and empowering prosocial actions, such as sharing, donating, cooperating, and volunteering. Unfortunately, while continued advances in technologies can lower barriers and increase the efficacy of prosocial behaviors, the fundamental challenge of motivation persists—people still need to have the desire to use these technologies for prosocial purposes.

In this talk, Gary will present both past and current projects on the study and design of technology-mediated motivators to support prosocial behaviors. He will start by presenting his research on designing incentives to encourage online information and content sharing. Gary will then describe his study of moral balancing and consistency effects in slacktivism, or low-cost online activism. Finally, Mr. Hsieh will conclude with his ongoing work to infer individuals' motivations and develop tailored motivators to more effectively encourage prosocial behaviors.

About the Speaker

Gary Hsieh is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Telecommunication, Information Studies, and Media at Michigan State University. He is also an adjunct faculty in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, and is affiliated with the Health and Risk Communication Center at Michigan State University. His research focus is on studying, designing and developing technologies to enable people to interact in ways that are efficient and welfare-improving. He has conducted research at a number of industry research labs, including Microsoft, IBM, Intel and Fuji-Xerox. He received his Ph.D. from the Human-Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University and his B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at University of California, Berkeley. He is a recipient of the NSF Career Award. More information: