During the 1960s, consumer behavior emerged as a field of study. Business schools began to teach this subject. Marketing started to change due to the contribution of social psychology and sociology. The Association for Consumer Research and the Journal of Consumer Research contributed to this field.

“Persuasive technology” was a term B.J.Fogg, Director of Persuasive Technology Laboratory at Stanford University, first coined in the 1990s. More than twenty years back, Stanford University researchers started working on the automation of persuasive technology to change behaviors, beliefs, and actions. Captology is the study of computers that is also called the study of persuasive technology. To my knowledge, Stanford is the only university that offers this field of specialized studies. Persuasive technology is changing our culture.

We use YouTube and offer an end screen thumbnail that suggests more related videos. Netflix uses the same trigger as the next episode begins to play. Different technology and all social media platforms are automating and persuading viewers to keep using its services.

There is an online fight for attention. We have 168 hours in the week. If we sleep for 8 hours a night, there are 112 waking hours in the week that every channel competes for attention. Church 1.0 offering 1.5 or 2 hours for a Sunday morning onsite experience is no longer enough. Your leadership team should brainstorm the future impact of subscription-based learning backed by machine learning and visual reality, to keep people connected to the church. Church leaders need to change their mindset.

This is only the beginning of digital disruption.

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