Ant Forest is an emerging mobile application platform that engages people in environment-friendly behavior with fragmented time and helps them cultivate ecological awareness and habit. Users grow virtual trees on the platform with the energy saved from daily low-carbon activities, and Ant Forest plants real saplings in desertified areas when the “trees” become big enough. Facilitating the public’s participation in such green welfare, Ant Forest is a new-generation persuasive system with functions like social media and gamification. In addition to perceived persuasiveness in the existing literature, this study includes sense of achievement and perceived entertainment as extrinsic and intrinsic motivations, respectively, to explain people’s continuous use of such a system and consequent behavior change. The results of a survey suggest that primary task support, perceived credibility, and perceived social support associated with Ant Forest positively affect the user’s continuance intention through the mediation of perceived persuasiveness, sense of achievement, and perceiving entertaining. Furthermore, perceived persuasiveness and continuance intention lead to ultimate behavior change. The findings suggest the importance of both persuasive and motivational considerations in the implementation of new-generation persuasive systems to make them effective in the long run.
Yang, Z., Kong, X., Sun, J. and Zhang, Y., 2018. Switching to green lifestyles: Behavior change of ant forest users. International journal of environmental research and public health, 15(9), p.1819. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15091819
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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health