The proverb "What is a trick the first time one meets it is a device the second time and a method the third time" came to mind recently when the term shikake surfaced in the 2013 symposium workshop announcement "Shikakeology: Designing Triggers for Behavior Change". It says:

Shikake is a Japanese word that represents physical and/or psychological trigger for implicit or explicit behavior change to solve problems. The aim of this workshop is to gain a holistic understanding of Shikake, i.e.:
- Shikake principles
- Behavior change triggers
- Sustained behavior change
- Case studies
- Approaches to design simple and complex Shikake

The merits of Shikakeological approach are summarized as four points; low expertise, low cost, wide range of target users, and long term continuous behavior changes. Developing a Shikake can be easier and less expensive than developing complicated engineering mechanism. These advantages allow people to use the Shikake approach to address immediate problems without requiring specific expertise.

Another Shikake objective is to induce spontaneous behavior. When people feel controlled or forced by someone or something to do something, they never do that again. On the other hand, if people desire and enjoy changing their behavior, they would do it repeatedly. Shikake aims to change behavior through a continuous engagement and transformation process.

Aside from the charmingly broken English (machine translation?) the promise of cheap self-change is seductive. But shikake according to other online sources really is just a Japanese word meaning a "device, mechanism, system, or trick", not necessarily associated with psychological or behavioral modification.

So is the use of an exotic term here a mere marketing ploy, designed to seize a roaming eye — a shikake itself? Hmmmm. If so, in this case it worked!

(cf. One Small Step, Dan Ariely Lecture, Predictably Irrational, Upside of Irrationality, ...) - ^z - 2012-10-18