Ethics on the Web are a serious concern. On this website psychological strategies are deliberately employed to persuade end users to take predetermined actions. This policy has been developed to fully disclose each of these strategies, in order to dispel any fears of using this website.

Persuasive Strategies Used On This Website

Credibility can be defined as believability. Credible people are believable people; credible information is believable information. In fact, some languages use the same word for these two English terms. To accomplish this, wherever possible, this website provided references back to the original research.

Association With The ‘Real World’ Organization: A credible website must prove to the visitor that the real world organization associated with the website actually exists. This website published the 'real world' contact details of the author.

Making The Website Useful: Making a website easy to use is commonly known as usability. Usability is a quality attribute that assesses how easy user interfaces are to use. This is accomplished by focusing on well researched content.

Trustworthiness, a key element in the credibility calculus, is defined by the terms well-intentioned, truthful, unbiased, and so on. The trustworthiness dimension of credibility captures the perceived goodness or morality of the source. This is accomplished by providing full disclosure.

Expertise, the other dimension of credibility, is defined by terms such as knowledgeable, experienced, competent, and so on. The expertise dimension of credibility captures the perceived knowledge and skill of the source. This website publishes the authors extensive accomplishments in this field.

Avoiding Commercial Elements: no advertising is found on this website. Credibility is lost when a clear distinction between advertisements and content is not made.

Avoiding Amateurism: Due to the dramatic effects a websites visual appearance has on the visitor, the visual design of this website is not be left to non-professionals.

Motivation contains three elements; sensation, anticipation, and belonging. Manipulating any one of these dimensions, manipulates motivation. These three core motivators are further broken down into two facets:

Motivation is not used extensively on this website, however, this websites use of social media buttons and videos may be classified in this strategy.

Ability, means that a person must be able to perform the target behavior. There are two ways ability is increased: 1)train people to have more skills, 2) make the target behavior simpler to do. This website aims to improve ability by providing practical information to give people more skills. This is the most used strategy on this site.

The Trigger, tells someone to ‘do it now’, it can be a reminder or a deadline, among other things. This is accomplished by offering newsletters.

Persuasive Strategies Never Used On This Website

The author of this website is aware other persuasive strategies may be employed on the Web. In order to uphold a certain level of professional ethical conduct, the following persuasive techniques are never used on this website.

Coercion implies force; while it may change behaviors, it is not the same as persuasion, which implies voluntary change - in behavior, attitude, or both.

An example of Deception would be an Internet banner ad that reports false emergencies (“Your systems resources are low. Click here!”) or that misinform users (“Pornography is downloading to your computer. Click here to stop.”) While such ads might change what people think and do, they do so through deception, not persuasion.

This policy is a work in progress, pleas feel free to contact the author if you any further concerns.

Dr. Reece George, 29 Parkes St, Woodstock, NSW 2793, Australia
Ph: +61 2 6345 0016