There is an increasing recognition of the role social and technological factors play in shaping the health and well-being of individuals. Communication, from the personal to mass and social media, have been demonstrated to have both beneficial and harmful effects on health and well-being. This course provides an introduction to the theory and practice of health communication and behavior change. It will cover the definition and history of health communication, the role of media and technology, social scientific theories used in health communication and behavior change, as well as how these theories can be applied to the real-world. The course will aim to bridge theoretical knowledge with real-world examples, and is suitable for students with varying interests, especially those who are interested in harnessing communication, design, and technology for better health and well-being in society.
Understanding how and why facets of communication influence health outcomes is essential for students interested in developing effective technological and design solutions that improve health and well-being. Some questions we will tackle include: What social, environmental, and technological factors are effective in influencing people’s behavior? How should they be designed and molded? Can stories help people engage in healthier behaviors? How can technology and design help to foster better health and well-being in society?
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