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  • Watching the seconds tick away can change how people value their lives
  • Watching the seconds tick away can change how people value their lives
    George Armstrong, Creative Commons (2011) ©
CASE STUDY

Days of Life: can death be motivating?

Studies show that ‘fear appeals’ are effective in motivating behaviour changes. The Days of Life app encourages people to do their best by reminding them that their time is limited.

Location Canada

Scope
‘Smoking can cause a slow and painful death’, reads a packet of Marlboro cigarettes, accompanied by a graphic depiction of cancer-riddled lungs. Far from providing positive stimulation, studies show that ‘fear appeals’ – like the health warnings on tobacco – are effective in motivating changes in behaviour. [1]

App developer John D Gauchat has released Days of Life – which calculates how long people have left to live, and reminds them of their dwindling lifespan with a daily countdown. But is Days of Life just a simple morbid curiosity? In an age where attention is at ...

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