Personalization and Behaviour Change


Personalization and Behaviour Change, Special issue of Journal of Personalization Research, Judith Masthoff, Jaap Ham and Floriana Grasso; Deadline 1 Dec 2012

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Special Issue on Personalization and Behaviour Change

User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction:
The Journal of Personalization Research (UMUAI)

  • Extended abstract submission deadline: December 1, 2012
  • Paper submission deadline (for accepted abstracts): April 15, 2013

UMUAI Web site:

Special Issue Web site:


Digital behaviour intervention is a growing area of research which investigates how interactive systems can encourage and support people to change their behaviour. Personalization plays an important role in this, as the most effective persuasive and motivational strategies are likely to depend on user characteristics such as the user’s personality, affective state, existing attitudes, behaviours, knowledge, and goals. Example application areas include health care (e.g., encouraging people to eat more healthily and exercise more), education (e.g., motivating learners to study more), environment (e.g., encouraging people to use less energy and more public transport), and collaborative content development (e.g., incentivising people to annotate resources).

Recently, three research areas separately and from different perspectives have started to focus on personalization and behavior change, by developing complex cognitive models of rational and extra-rational features, involving emotions, persuasion, motivation and argumentation. The first, stemming from a seminal work by B.J. Fogg (2006), is now widely known as Persuasive Technology. Persuasive Technology focuses on interactive technology that can motivate and influence the user. The second research field is Affective Computing. Originating from the seminal work by R. Picard (1997), Affective Computing is interested in the use, understanding and modelling of emotions and affect in computer systems. Finally, Argument and Computation (Simari, Reed, Rahwan & Grasso, 2011) has also emerged in the past decade as a research strand interested in computational models and theories of argumentation and persuasion coming from Philosophy and Artificial Intelligence.

This special issue focuses on how adaptive and personalised systems can motivate people, for instance to improve health, or to use sustainable resources, or to achieve goals or specific skills, by using persuasion and argumentation techniques and/or techniques involving the affective and emotional sphere.

The topics of interest for the special issue include (but are not limited to):

  • User models for persuasive and motivational systems (e.g., modeling user engagement, personality and affective states, integrating affective and non-affective aspects)
  • Tailored argumentation in persuasive and motivational systems (e.g., persuasive discourse processing; rhetoric and affect; computational models of argumentation tailored to a specific user)
  • Theoretical frameworks of personalized persuasive and motivational systems (e.g., relationships between individual differences and persuasive strategies)
  • Evaluated applications of personalized behaviour change and motivational strategies(e.g., in intelligent tutoring, health promotion, sustainable transport, sustainable energy, collaborative content development)
  • Ethical issues of personalized digital behaviour interventions
  • User-centred design and evaluation methodologies of personalized digital behaviour interventions


Prospective authors must first submit an extended abstract (no more than 4 single-spaced pages, formatted with 12pt font and 1 inch margins) via EasyChair


to the special issue editors.

All submitted abstracts will receive an initial screening by the special issue editors. Abstracts that do not pass this initial screening (i.e., the abstracts that are deemed not to have a reasonable chance of acceptance) will not be considered further. The authors of abstracts that pass the initial screening will be invited to submit the full version of the paper.

Formatting guidelines and submission instructions for full papers can be found at

UMUAI is an archival journal that publishes mature and substantial research results on the (dynamic) adaptation of computer systems to their human users, and the role that a model of the system about the user plays in this context. Many articles in UMUAI are quite comprehensive and describe the results of several years of work. Consequently, UMUAI gives "unlimited" space to authors (as long as what they write is important). Authors whose paper exceeds 40 pages in journal format (including illustrations and references) are however requested to supply a short justification upon submission that explains why a briefer discussion of their research results would not be advisable.

Full papers should be submitted through EasyChair



  • Submission of Title and Abstract: Dec 1st, 2012
  • Notification of suitability of abstract: Dec 22nd, 2012
  • Full Paper Submission: April 15th, 2013
  • First round of review notifications: July 15th, 2013
  • Revisions of papers due: October 15th, 2013
  • Final notifications due: January 15th, 2014
  • Final papers due: February 15th, 2014
  • Publication of special issue: April 15th, 2014


Judith Masthoff, University of Aberdeen
email: j.masthoff(AT)

Jaap Ham, Eindhoven University of Technology
email: j.r.c.ham(AT)

Floriana Grasso, University of Liverpool
email: floriana(AT)

If you have any questions do not hesitate to ask the guest editors.

Alfred Kobsa, Editor
User Modeling and User-Adapted Interaction:
The Journal of Personalization Research

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