Seeking an Academic Partner for a Data Science and Psychology Project (in Toronto)


AlterSpark ( is seeking a Toronto-based academic partner to collaborate with an industry-academic project, that combines psychology, neuroscience and data science.

Over the last few years, AlterSpark has carried out a range of studies aimed at better understanding and predicting people’s psychological disposition based on how they use and communicate in digital media. The purpose of this research is to develop a set of assessment instruments, technologies and algorithms that can support a range of applications, in marketing, human resources, mental health, and other applied fields. […]

By | 24 March 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Announcing our 2016 Q1-2 Scholarship Winners

square_digital-psychology-workshop_materials_book_3We are excited to announce our latest round of winners of the AlterSpark’s scholarship program that provides complementary digital psychology training access to graduate students and members of social purpose organizations who use technology to build a better world.

This has been our largest scholarship program to date! We were impressed by both the caliber of the entrants and the wide variety of ways in which they’re using technology for social applications.

By | 23 March 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Psychological Backfiring: How Psychology Can Damage your Websites, Apps, and Digital Marketing

By Brian Cugelman, PhD

In the last few years, UX design professionals, digital marketers, and conversion optimization ninjas have increasingly started using psychology to design intuitive websites, engaging apps and higher converting marketing campaigns.

There’s no shortage of evidence that a good understanding of interactive psychology can can transform your formerly unknown app into a trusted and addictive product.

However, there’s one elephant in the room that nobody likes to talk about.

banksy-elephant in the room v2 Tai, Banksy’s “elephant in the room”. Photograph: Damian Dovarganes/AP


Workshop Scholarship Winners (2015)

We’re supporting digital media professionals working on the front line of positive social change. Meet the change makers who have enjoyed our workshop scholarships.

By | 7 March 2016|Categories: Announcements, Events, Uncategorized|0 Comments

Feedback psychology and digital persuasion (Brian’s TEDx Talk)

By | 7 February 2016|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Gamification and health behavior change infographic

gamification health behavior change

By | 8 October 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Dr. Cugelman joins an inspiring lineup at TEDx Toronto in 2015

We are excited to announce that our Senior Scientist and Director at AlterSpark, Brian Cugelman, PhD, has been selected to speak at the upcoming TEDx Toronto event on October 22, 2015.

The theme of the 2015 conference is Thresholds, dedicated to stories of courage, vision, and remarkable breakthroughs. Dr. Cugelman is honored to have the opportunity to discuss his research and outstanding work in the area of digital psychology. He will be in the company of other admired keynote speakers who have also demonstrated vision and innovation in their respective areas.

Details about his speech are under strict embargo, and the TEDx organizing committee has just released this introductory video:


By | 25 August 2015|Categories: Announcements|0 Comments

Conversion Conference Workshop on Psychological Architectures

We’re thrilled to announce that our Senior Scientist and Director, Brian Cugelman, PhD is facilitating a workshop called “Psychological Architectures for Conversion Rate Optimization”, at this year’s Conversion Conference.

“Many people don’t realized that evidence-based design is such a simple thing, and that there is no contradiction in fusing behavioural science with unbridled creativity”, said Brian Cugelman. “At my Conversion Conference workshop, I’ll show participants how evidence-based design, creativity, and conversion rate optimization all fit together into a simple and effective framework.”

By | 12 April 2015|Categories: Persuasive design, website design psychology|0 Comments

Psychological Architectures & Persuasive Technology (SXSW)

By | 15 March 2015|Categories: Uncategorized|0 Comments

Why your user experience must foster trust

When it comes to real estate, they say the thing that matters most is location, location, location. Similarly, when it comes to online influence, your user experience must foster trust, trust, trust. Winning online trust will take you down the road to success. Losing online trust can completely undermine everything you do.

In my last post, we discussed some of the clues that your digital platform or campaign may suffer from a credibility deficit. In this post, I’m going to discuss the fall-out from low credibility—which is low trust, or worse mistrust.


Does your website, app or campaign have a credibility deficit? (Part 1)


Anyone who has works in a highly competitive market soon realizes that success depends on constantly learning what works, in an environment with rapidly changing technology, social trends, media consumption habits, and competitors who are constantly striving to outflank each other.

This constant struggle to stay ahead of the competition keeps many companies fixated on finding the next set of digital marketing principles that will give them a competitive edge. When it comes to finding good ideas, the web is full of advice on how to build digital products and campaigns that achieve extraordinary levels of engagement, conversion and retention.

Gamification: What it is and when to use it

Gamification Badge from FoursquarePeople are complex, smart, and sometimes extremely stubborn, which may explain why in the last two thousand years, nobody has discovered an easy way to shape how people think and behave. Yet in the digital era, we're witnessing widespread claims, that the secret to winning friends and influencing people, is to reward them with points and badges.

A magic solution to engagement or a load of hype—in this article, I’m going to discuss gamification, describe it, judge it, address misconceptions, and advocate when it’s a good or bad idea.