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Behavior change and behavior design models

Tactics that change behavior

Automation
Automation

Automation refers to having another person, group, or technology system perform part or all of the intended behavior.

A prominent example is Thaler & Bernartzi's Save More Tomorrow intervention, which invested a portion of employees' earnings into retirement funds automatically and even increased the contribution level to scale with pay raises. Other examples include automatically scheduling medical appointments so the patient needn't do it themselves and mailing healthy recipe ingredients to the person's home to reduce the burden of shopping.

Financial Incentives
Financial Incentives

Financial incentives are monetary rewards given for performing a certain behavior. These come in many different varieties; for example, they may be guaranteed vs lottery-based, or group-oriented vs individually-assigned.

Group Incentives
Group Incentives

Group incentives refer to structure where an individual's likelihood or size of reward is influenced by others. The intention is to leverage positive peer pressure by causing compliant participants to influence less compliant participants to improve their behavior.

For example, sales teams may be offered a bonus based on an office's collective revenue generation or provided all individuals meet a baseline level of performance. Similarly a multi-site franchise may offer an incentive for whichever location improves their performance the most over the prior month.

Commitment Devices
Commitment Devices

Commitment devices are tools that attempt to bridge the gap between a person's initial motivation to perfrom the behavior and the typical pattern of noncompliance as time goes on.

One prominent example is the "Ulysses Pact," where Filipino banking customers were offered the option to enroll in an account where their ability to make withdrawals would be limited. In a study by Ashraf and Karlan (2005), participants with the commitment account saved 81% more than those with typical accounts.

There are many other examples of commitment devices. Temptation bundling is a form of commitment device where people only engage in an enjoyable activity when it's simultaneous with an activity they intend to do more (for example, only listening to a certain podcast or audiobook while walking on a treadmill).

Pre-paying for a service is a basic form of commitment device, and one used by Dan Ariely when he intended to increase his fruit and vegetable consumption. He paid for a year of biweekly deliveries from a local CSA program up-front.

Personalization
Personalization

Personalization refers to taking specific data from the individual in a behavioral intervention into account in offering a different experience vs. that given to others.

An experience may be personalized based on demographic data, psychographic data, behavioral performance, or other factors.

Tracking behavior
Tracking behavior

Self-monitoring or tracking simply refers to a person measuring their behavior over time.

Often, merely tracking a behavior can influence the likelihood or frequency with which a person performs the behavior or related ones. For example, many pedometer studies increase walking activity merely by improving awareness, and many interventions that merely consist of rewarding someone for weighing themselves result in weight loss.

That said, people often find tracking behaviors tedious and lose interest after a short period, so behavior designers should seek to reduce the burden of self-monitoring by collecting information automatically or doing so in a low-cost way.

Financial Incentives
Financial Incentives

Financial incentives are monetary rewards given for performing a certain behavior. These come in many different varieties; for example, they may be guaranteed vs lottery-based, or group-oriented vs individually-assigned.

Random Screening
Random Screening

Random screening refers to unannounced checks of whether someone has been compliant with a given behavior.

These are frequently used via biomarkers, e.g. testing if someone has been taking recreational drugs by delivering a urine test.

Products that change behavior

Research on behavior change