Date of Award

Spring 6-1-2021

Document Type

Thesis (Undergraduate)

Department or Program

Department of Computer Science

First Advisor

David Kotz

Second Advisor

Varun Mishra


Recent research in mHealth has shown the promise of Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions (JITAIs). JITAIs aim to deliver the right type and amount of support at the right time. Choosing the right delivery time involves determining a user's state of receptivity, that is, the degree to which a user is willing to accept, process, and use the intervention provided.

Although past work on generic phone notifications has found evidence that users are more likely to respond to notifications with content they view as useful, there is no existing research on whether users' intrinsic motivation for the underlying topic of mHealth interventions affects their receptivity. In this work, we explore whether relationships exist between intrinsic motivation and receptivity across topics and within topics for mHealth interventions. To this end, we conducted a study with 20 participants over 3 weeks, where participants received interventions about mental health, COVID-19, physical activity, and diet & nutrition. The interventions were delivered by the chatbot-based iOS app called Elena+, and via the MobileCoach platform.

Our exploratory analysis found that significant differences in mean intrinsic motivation scores across topics were not associated with differences in mean receptivity metrics across topics. We also found that positive relationships exist between intrinsic motivation measures and receptivity for interventions about a topic.