Charlie Pinder


Charlie Pinder

I have just completed my PhD at the HCI Centre here at Birmingham's School of Computer Science.

My thesis explored nonconscious behaviour change interventions using technology: how we can change people's behaviours by supporting them in changing nonconscious default biases or patterns of thought and behaviour.

I am particularly interested in the use of pervasive technology to support habit change and the implications of Dual System Theory for technological interventions.

Alongside this, I am interested in the impact of culture on nonconscious processes, specifically in forming potentially adverse sterotypes, and the potential role of tech to counter it.

I am also concerned the asymmetry of information imposed by big technology companies gathering 'big data', which allows them to infer what motivates individuals, and sell this information on to advertisers. I am interested in how we might either counter these influences or reverse engineer them to use these psychological levers for our own benefit.


crisps and alt.chi award In 2017, I received an alt.CHI best paper "Best Provocation Award" for The Anti-Influence Engine .

In 2014, I was awarded a runner-up prize in the University of Birmingham's public engagement "Less Talk, More Action" research video competition.

In 2013, I won two prizes at the University of Birmingham's Research Poster Conference: the peer prize and the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences first prize for my poster "Will the sedentary smartphone owner please stand up?"

I received a 2012 Google Anita Borg Memorial Scholarship.

I was funded by an HCI Centre scholarship 2011-16.

Previous work

I have previously worked as:

  • a developer/content consultant on an interactive training tool for thecitysecret using the LFA tool
  • a user champion for Futurelearn
  • an Angular developer on the Google-funded Privacy Trends research project exploring user experiences around discussing privacy issues
  • an Android developer on the Stroppy Kettle research project exploring 'slanty' technology that attempts to shape user behaviour by becoming uncooperative
  • a researcher on the EU CASAM research project looking at automating the semantic tagging of news video
  • a senior content developer on a University research project into context-aware applications for SMEs
  • in various technical (developer; product manager; user champion) and editorial (senior broadcast journalist - online) roles at the BBC.

I participated in a MozNewsLab in 2011, exploring new ways to deliver news content, as part of the Knight-Mozilla News Technology Partnership.

I'm also passionate about diversity in CS, particularly in supporting women to learn the joys of coding, and have run various workshops and online courses.

Contact details


HCI Centre
School of Computer Science
University of Birmingham.

Journal papers

  • Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Cowan, B. R., & Beale, R. (2018). Digital Behaviour Change Interventions to Break and Form Habits. ACM Transactions on Computer-Human Interaction, 25(3), 1–66.
Conference papers

  • Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Cowan, B. (To appear). Subliminal Semantic Number Processing on Smartphones. In Proceedings MobileHCI'18. ACM.
  • Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Cowan, B. R., Beale, R., & Hendley, R. J. (2017). Exploring the feasibility of subliminal priming on smartphones. In Proceedings MobileHCI'17. ACM. PDF
  • Pinder, C. (2017) The Anti-Influence Engine: Escaping the Diabolical Machine of Pervasive Advertising. CHI '17 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press. PDF
    See also extended author's version: extended PDF
  • Pinder, C. (2017). Nonconscious Behaviour Change Technology: Targeting The Automatic. CHI '17 Extended Abstracts, ACM Press. PDF
  • Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Wicaksono, A., Beale, R., and Hendley, R.J. (2016). If this, then habit: exploring context-aware implementation intentions on smartphones. MobileHCI '16 Adjunct, ACM Press, 690-697.
  • Pinder, C., Beale, R., and Hendley, R.J. Zephyr: exploring digital behaviour change interventions to treat hoarding. MobileHCI '16 Adjunct, ACM Press (2016), 875-882. PDF
  • Pinder, C., Fleck, R., Segundo Diaz R.L., Beale, R. and Hendley, R. J. (2016). Accept the Banana: Exploring Incidental Cognitive Bias Modification Techniques on Smartphones. In CHI'16 Extended Abstracts. San Jose, CA, USA: ACM Press. PDF
  • Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Beale, R., and Hendley, R. (2015). Subliminal Priming of Nonconscious Goals on Smartphones. In MobileHCI'15 Adjunct, ACM Press. PDF
  • Cowan, B. R., Bowers, C. P., Beale, R., & Pinder, C. (2013). The Stroppy Kettle: An Intervention to Break Energy Consumption Habits. In CHI'13 Extended Abstracts. PDF.
  • Bowers, C., Beale, R., Byrne, W., Creed, C., Pinder, C, & Hendley, R. J. (2012). Interaction issues in computer aided semantic annotation of multimedia. In NordiCHI '12. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 534-543. DOI=10.1145/2399016.2399098
  • Apostolikas, G., et al. (2010) CASAM: A prototype system for computer-aided semantic annotation of multimedia, 5th International Conference on Semantic and Digital Media Technologies, Saarbrucken, Germany, e-print.
  • Bowers, C.P., Byrne, W., Melhuish, J., Lonsdale, P., Creed, C., Pinder, C., Beale, R. & Hendley, R. J. (2010) Interaction Issues in Computer Aided Semantic Annotation of Multimedia. 5th International Conference on Semantic and Digital Media Technologies e-print

Workshop papers

  • Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Beale, R., and Hendley, R. J.. (2015). Exploring Nonconscious Behaviour Change Interventions on Mobile Devices. MobileHCI'15 Adjunct, ACM Press . PDF
  • Pinder, C. (2015). How Can Technology Best Disrupt Bad Health Habits? MobileHCI'15 Adjunct, ACM Press (2015).
  • Pinder, C., Vermeulen, J., Beale, R., and Hendley, R.J. (2015) Persuading The Nonconscious. Understanding Persuasion workshop, BCS HCI '15. PDF
  • Pinder, C. (2013). Breaking and forming habits using technology: theoretical pointers from psychology. 1st Habits in Human Computer Interaction Workshop, BCS HCI 2013.
  • PDF
  • Cowan, B.R., Bowers, C.P., Pinder, C., & Beale, R. (2013). Habits in Human-Computer Interaction. 1st Habits in Human Computer Interaction Workshop, BCS HCI 2013.

Other HCI interests
Human-Cake Interaction
Cake orchestra

I built a cake orchestra using an Arduino, a bunch of LDRs and some cakes.

More edible than your average orchestra.

Human-Cat Interaction

Successful HCI outcome.

Humbug's pretty relaxed.


Human-Coding Interaction
Coding screen

Learn to code in collaborative ways. Find out how to use computational thinking for creativity.

Using cake analogies where possible. Features flappy cakes.

Other places you can find me