334 - Persuasion and Social Influence
Social Influence is one of the most pervasive and powerful mechanisms for behavior change whether you are an informatics professional who is building up your design tool-box, designing a new information system or managing a team. In this course we will learn why and under what conditions an individual's thoughts and actions can be influenced by those around them.
The primary goal of this course is to introduce you to some of the theories and key research findings in the field of persuasion and social influence through the lens of economics and social psychology. The second goal is to have you applying the tools of influence from day one of the course: you will learn techniques for persuasive speaking, writing and designing. All written and oral assignments will use short and targeted exercises to gain fluency in applying the techniques and ideas of persuasion. Finally, the course will culminate in an application of these techniques in two case studies (one covering a management problem and one a design challenge).
Though we will rely on theories, and learn about the key research findings, this course is suitable for anyone with any background but tailored directly to the needs of informatics students. The class will be heavily directed toward applying what we learn to practice and real world situations. Class meetings include a mixture of lecture and exposition through the use of experiments, an assortment of group activities and class discussion so that you can see and test some of the theories and techniques of social influence first hand.