Categorization as Persuasion: Considering the Nature of the Mind

  • Signe Dahl Iversen
  • Maria Elisabeth Pertou
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 5033)


Categorization is inevitable in the process of designing persuasive software. Having said that, there has not yet been paid much attention to the role of categorization within the field of Persuasive Design. When a designer categorizes what elements should be part of the persuasive software he must always consider the user in order to achieve the most suitable categorization in relation to his intention. This article will show how theories of Epistemic Rhetoric and Cognitive Science both emphasize the role of categorization and how they supplement each other in an understanding of the user and how human beings categorize in order to comprehend and make sense of concepts. In a concluding example it will show how two furniture warehouses with seemingly similar persuasive intentions have chosen different categorizations that consequently result in different persuasive outcomes.


Categorization Persuasive Design Epistemic Rhetoric Cognitive Science Comprehension Basic-level Categories Prototype Theory Metaphors 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Signe Dahl Iversen
    • 1
  • Maria Elisabeth Pertou
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CommunicationAalborg University 

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