Realizing the Potential of Behavioral Intervention Technologies

Stephen M. Schueller, Ricardo F. Muñoz, David C Mohr

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Scopus citations


Behavioral intervention technologies (BITs) apply behavioral and psychological intervention strategies by using digital media to target behaviors, cognitions, and emotions in support of physical and mental health. BITs offer promising opportunities to expand psychological practice. However, to realize the potential of BITs, psychologists must understand both the possibilities and the limitations associated with using technology to advance psychology. We review examples of the most cutting-edge BITs and discuss features that differentiate BITs from traditional modes of delivery. We highlight major challenges in designing BITs, including adherence, engagement, technological and interventional obsolescence, multidisciplinary collaboration, and a reliance on psychological skeuomorphisms. Psychologists who do not understand the conceptual and applied considerations involved in creating BITs risk being left out of the development of BITs in the future. Teaming psychologists with experts in technology will help to promote novel interventions rather than using technology to disseminate existing treatments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-483
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Directions in Psychological Science
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013


  • development
  • dissemination
  • intervention
  • technology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology


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