P. P. C. C. Verbeek and A. Slob (eds.). 2006

Publisher: Dordrecht: Springer


Environmental policy has long been determined by a dichotomy between technology and behavior. Some approaches stress the importance of technology and technological innovation, while others focus on behavioral change. Each approach has its limitations, however, since technology and behavior often appear so closely intertwined. Human behavior results not only from intentions and deliberate decisions, but from its interaction with technological artifacts. In the area of traffic safety, for instance, people’s driving behavior is determined as much by curves, speed bumps and the power of their motors as by considerations of safety and responsibility. How can we best describe and understand these interactions between behavior and technology? What conceptual frameworks and empirical studies are available, and how can they be integrated? And how can we bring these interactions to bear on product design and policy making? User Behavior and Technology Development explores the relationships between technology and behavior from an interdisciplinary perspective. It includes contributions from cognitive psychology, industrial design, public administration, marketing, sociology, ergonomics, science and technology studies, and philosophy. The book aims to create a conceptual basis for analyzing interactions between technology and behavior, and to provide insights that are relevant to technology design and environmental policy.

About the Author

Peter-Paul Verbeek (1970) is associate professor of philosophy at the Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands. He holds a M.Sc. in the Philosophy of Science, Technology and Society and a Ph.D. in the Philosophy of Technology. He publishes on the social and cultural roles of technology, the morality of technological artifacts, and the ethics and philosophy of (industrial) design.