Augmented Reality: Brain-based Persuasion Model

P. B. Rutledge

Director, Media Psychology Research Center, Palo Alto, CA, USA School of Psychology, Fielding Graduate University, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

Abstract: Augmented Reality (AR) applications are unique in that they project virtual information into the user’s physical environment. This blending of real and virtual changes the level of impact and persuasive power of the experience. Persuasive impact is the key to technology adoption and use. Traditional models of persuasion that focus on technology affordances or information processing overlook the importance of unconscious and instinctual level filtering on cognition and perception. This risks the underemployment of features that trigger critical instinct-level responses, such as pleasure, engagement, and satisfaction, which ultimately drive an application’s commercial success. This essay argues that the triune brain model, increasingly adopted in marketing, leadership and product design, is a more effective heuristic for developers because it ensures the incorporation of persuasive principles, such as flow, narrative, and social influence in AR. I conclude by offering designers, developers and producers a brain-based checklist to enhance the persuasive power of AR applications.