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Behavior change and behavior design models

Tactics that change behavior

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.

Coaching or Counselling
Coaching or Counselling

Coaching or counselling here refers to having a trained person provide guidance to someone attempting a behavior. Many mental health and lifestyle programs utilize coaching in various forms, including phone calls, video chat, text messaging, or in-person sessions. Some programs have replaced some or all of these traditionally human-delivered touchpoints with AI or rules-based interactions.

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.

Social Benchmarking
Social Benchmarking

Social benchmarking refers to comparing a person's behavior, trends, or status to others. Often, merely providing data on others can change behavior by leveraging social norms.

For example, letters comparing homeowners' use of electricity with peers were found to significantly reduce the amount of energy used by high-consumption households compared to non-comparison messages.

Gamification
Gamification

Gamification refers to leveraging mechanics and other experiential elements typically associated with games in non-game contexts.

These can be fairly subtle (e.g. a progress bar for filing out a health risk questionnaire), moderate (e.g. achievements given for reaching personal finance goals, contests for steps walked as a team in a workplace wellness competition), or extreme (e.g. an augmented reality experience to treat chronic pain). At the extreme end, the distinction between a gamified experience and an actual game may be considered almost academic.

Reminders, Cues, or Prompts
Reminders, Cues, or Prompts

Reminders, cues, and prompts are simply methods to cause someone to perform a behavior by calling their attention to it with a timely message. People have limited attention and memory, so these types of influences can be very effective when done skillfully.

The cue need not consist of written or spoken language; for example, it could be a certain melody, symbol, or pattern of lights on a connected home device. It might also be a bracelet or pattern of vibrations from a wearable device. Provided the cue or prompt is associated with the behavior, almost any sensory stimuli that is reliably perceived and interpreted may be used. That said, verbal reminders can be effective since they may be personalized with additional semantic information related to the person's context or leverage other effects (e.g. identity priming or framing effects).

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.

Social Benchmarking
Social Benchmarking

Social benchmarking refers to comparing a person's behavior, trends, or status to others. Often, merely providing data on others can change behavior by leveraging social norms.

For example, letters comparing homeowners' use of electricity with peers were found to significantly reduce the amount of energy used by high-consumption households compared to non-comparison messages.

Products that change behavior

Research on behavior change