Doctoral candidate: Florian Buehler
Research track: Marketing
Start date: June 2016
Supervisors: Prof. dr.ing. Peeter Verlegh, Prof. dr. Ruud Frambach, & Dr. Kobe Millet
Quantification of personal activity
Due to an increase of a passive lifestyle, obesity rates and according health costs are rising in our Western society. The recent ability and trend to quantify and measure many aspects of personal activity and fitness is often seen as the solution to instigate physical activity. The assumption here is that this measurement and provision of detailed information initiates to pick up a more active and healthy lifestyle if the information provided urges to do so. Paradoxically, as health is an important part of people's identity and self, the quantification of the self and more specifically the feedback one receives about personal health may threaten the self. Therefore the present research will focus on the potential threats of such quantification on the self and how that may translate to the adoption and success of wearable devices in the health context. I will initially focus on how the feedback on these quantification tools (e.g. activity trackers such as Fitbit) is presented and how the presentation mode of personal data may lead to differences in self-threat and according coping mechanisms. Second, I will investigate whether this perspective may give insight in the paradoxical observation that despite an increasing adoption rate of activity trackers, consumers discontinue usage very rapidly.
Florian Buehler is PhD Candidate at the Marketing Department of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. He has a MSc in International Business Management and Marketing from Newcastle University, United Kingdom (with distinction) and a MSc in International Business and Management from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands (cum laude). His core research interests are in the area of consumer behavior, including the role of the self in decision making and how to explain seemingly irrational behavior for instance in the context of health. His PhD project focuses on the quantification of personal activity. Prior to joining academia, Florian worked in the financial industry.