Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Quantified Self

  • Melanie SwanEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_101945-1



The Quantified Self is a social health movement that began in San Francisco, California, in 2007, led by Gary Wolf and Kevin Kelly from Wired magazine. The Quantified Self is an individual engaged in the self-tracking of any kind of biological, physical, behavioral, or environmental data. The attitude is a proactive stance toward obtaining information and acting on it, particularly to solve a problem. A variety of areas may be tracked and analyzed, for example, exercise, weight, energy level, mood, time usage, sleep quality, health, cognitive performance, and learning strategies (Fig. 1). Health is an important but nonexclusive focus, where objectives may include general tracking, pathology resolution, and peak performance. Regarding adoption, the quantified self is a broad phenomenon in the sense that 69% of US adults track a health indicator like...
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References and Further Reading

  1. Fox, S. (2013). Tracking for health. Pew Internet.Google Scholar
  2. Jarrold, W., Javitz, H. S., Krasnow, R., et al. (2011). Depression and self- focused language in structured interviews with older adults. Psychological Reports, 109(2), 686–700.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Kelly, K. (2016). The inevitable. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
  4. Meyer, J., Simske, S., Siek, K. A., Gurrin, C. G., & Hermens, H. (2014). Beyond quantified self: Data for wellbeing. In: Proceedings: CHI EA ‘14 CHI ‘14 extended abstracts on human factors in computing systems, pp. 95–98.Google Scholar
  5. Oliveira, R. (2016). My story: From vegetarian veterinarian to plant-based spokesperson. UC Davis Integrative Medicine.Google Scholar
  6. Petersen, J. E., Shunturov, V., Janda, K., et al. (2007). Dormitory residents reduce electricity consumption when exposed to real-time visual feedback and incentives. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 8(1), 16–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Swan, M. (2012). Health 2050: The realization of personalized medicine through crowdsourcing, the quantified self, and the participatory biocitizen. Journal of Personalized Medicine, 2(3), 93–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Swan, M. (2013). The quantified self: Fundamental disruption in big data science and biological discovery. Big Data, 1(2), 85–99.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Swan, M., Hathaway, K., Hogg, C., McCauley, R., & Vollrath, A. (2010). Citizen science genomics as a model for crowdsourced preventive medicine research. Journal of Participatory Medicine, 2, e20.Google Scholar
  10. Wolf, G. (2010). The data-driven life. New York Times Magazine.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentPurdue UniversityWest LafayetteUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Emily Lattie
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Behavioral Intervention TechnologiesNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA