Research has been a critical part of my thesis development. Starting last summer I picked up a heap of books that dealt with the psychology of motivation, behavioral economics, developing habit-forming products, game design, cognitive behavioral therapy, and neuroscience. Some of the content was easier to wrap my head around, but all of it had some value, as an input, or to spark interest in a particular field. For instance Dan Ariely’s book, “Predictably Irrational,” turned out to be much more relevant than I expected, and Dr. David Eagleman’s book, and accompanying PBS series, “The Brain,” were incredibly fascinating, and really delivered an easy-to-understand overview of Cognitive Psychology, and how we perceive the world around us.

At the beginning of last Semester, i embarked on a voyage to interview as many subject-matter experts as I could possibly find. During that time, I was focused on user’s with chronic pain. This focus dictated the type of experts that I spoke to. Many of my interviewees were medical doctors, physical therapists, chronic pain sufferers, and alternative medical practitioners. I believe that interviewing this many successful, and accomplished experts helped to steer me into the direction I am currently headed. However, I need to supplement the heavy medical focus of my research with interviewees who are successfully creating dynamic, artistic, physically activated experience designs. I have spoken with Emilie Baltz about here contacts within this space, and I am hoping to be contacting leading experience designers, such as Zach Liebermann, to help guide my projects from here on out.

In addition, I need to narrow my academic research and focus on the psychology of motivation. It is critical that I am baking this research into all of the projects that I am producing between now and the end of the semester. Motivation seems to be the one thing that this whole thesis hinges upon, and I really need to get at the heart of what drives people to engage, or participate in an activity that they normally would avoid.

To this end, I have started reading a few different books: “Drive,” by Daniel H. Pink, “Hooked,” by Nir Eyall, and “Pre-suasion,” by Robert Cialdini. My hope is that I can start to integrate the learnings I derive from these readings into my future work.