Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-9-2018

Faculty Advisor(s)

Vincent Berardi, Benjamin Rosenberg


This research study aims to promote physical activity by encouraging stair use rather than elevators using persuasive point-of-choice prompts. The current investigation is comprised of two sub-studies: pilot testing, which we have completed; and the main study, which will be conducted in the fall. While most studies in this area use observation to count pedestrian traffic, a novel component of the current research is that we will use a pressure mat to measure stair and elevator use. As such, before completing the main study, we completed two pilot studies to test the feasibility of the mat technology and the messaging of the persuasive prompts. We researched the type of mat that would be ideal for recording pedestrian traffic and considered features such as wired/wireless, battery-powered, open-switch, minimal threshold activation, and high-frequency recording. We completed various trials to determine the validity and accuracy of the mats in different settings and situations and the results of this analysis will be discussed. Additionally, the results from the survey conducted to evaluate potential messages on the point-of-choice prompts will also be detailed. Within this survey, message categories were narrowed to motivational/encouraging and nudging/humor messages. The survey was administered in Chapman University classes and students’ responses to several sample messages in each of these categories were compared via a series of six, semantic differential adjectives, rated on seven-point scales. Qualitative feedback on an open-ended question after each message was also solicited. The highest rated messages will be used in the main study. There are three key components to the main study, which we will complete in the fall: 1) objectively measure stair and elevator use for two weeks; 2) introduce point-of-choice prompts and measure stair and elevator use for two weeks; 3) remove signs and continue recording for an additional two weeks to observe potential effects.


Presented at the Spring 2018 Student Research Day at Chapman University.