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Ride, record, repeat: tracking of cycling data as communication on three levels and how each meet a corresponding basic psychological need




McAbee, Jeffery J., author
Champ, Joseph, advisor
Luft, Gregory, committee member
Hutcheson, Katherine, committee member

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Self-tracking of health related data has grown more popular in the last decade. It is helpful to view this behavior as communication on three levels: communicating with the device, communicating with the self, and communicating with others. One theory of motivation, Self-determination Theory claims that motivation is internalized and therefore more effective to the degree to which the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness are met. In this qualitative study, 18 cyclists (9 male and 9 females) were interviewed regarding their own self-tracking of their rides on training apps like Strava and Training Peaks. The cyclists in this thesis provided some correlation between uploading their data to a device and the satisfaction of the need for autonomy. When viewing and responding to data visualizations of their rides, they were able to meet the need for competence. And they found that by using the social aspects of the apps they could satisfy their need for relatedness.


2017 Fall.
Includes bibliographical references.

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