Preferences and Nudges in Sociotechnical Systems

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Join the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) on Tuesday, February 28, for a guest lecture by Sean Munson.

Title: "Preferences & Nudges in Sociotechnical Systems"
Speaker: Sean Munson, PhD Candidate, University of Michigan
Date: Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Time: 10:30-11:30 AM
Location: Electrical Engineering Building (EEB), Room 403, UW Seattle campus

Every day, millions of people make decisions in digital environments or supported by software tools. Designers of sociotechnical systems influence the choices people make, both intentionally and inadvertently, with their design decisions.

In this talk, I will discuss my research on individual preferences and systems designed to nudge people to be their better selves. I will present, in detail, a study of people’s preferences for political opinion information and efforts to nudge those preferences; this study has shown the importance of individual differences in selective exposure theory. I will then give an overview of my current research platforms, designed to help people live healthier and happier lives, and my research questions and expected contributions.

About the speaker
Sean Munson is a PhD candidate at the University of Michigan's School of Information, where he studies the use software to support positive behavior changes. His work primarily focuses on the domains of political news and opinion access and health and wellness. He is an Intel PhD fellow. Sean completed his BS in Engineering with a concentration in Systems Design at Olin College in 2006. At Olin, he was one of 30 students who spent a year developing the new college’s curriculum and student life programs before becoming part of the first-ever class. He has been a political blogger and, while working at Boeing, designed concepts for future passenger airplane interiors. More at