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Behavior change and behavior design models

Tactics that change behavior

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.

Feedback
Feedback

Feedback entails providing qualitative or quantitative information about a behavior's performance or consequences.

Performative information might include data on how a person's current diet tracks with nutrition recommendations or how their home power consumption compares with nearby households.

Feedback on outcomes may include information about relative cancer risk based on current lifestyle factors or calculated net worth in 20 years based on the person's current savings rate and investment returns.

Skill Coaching
Skill Coaching

Skill coaching simply refers to guiding a person to acquire a new behavior or set of behaviors, often by scaling the information and challenge level with their growing ability.

Examples of this might include teaching someone to cook healthy foods or training them in various self-regulation techniques from cognitive behavioral therapy. This coaching may be done by an individual or automated through digital experiences.

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.

Lotteries
Lotteries

Lotteries are any form of assigning an award where there is an element of randomness or chance.

One example is a prize-linked savings account (PLSAs). One of the earliest of these was the Million a Month Account (MAMA) in South Africa, where First National Bank offered account-holders with qualifying deposits a chance to win up to one million rand each month (along with other smaller prizes given out at random).

Lotteries may be used with non-financial rewards as well, e.g. offering tickets to a sold-out play or sporting event for employees reaching certain performance benchmarks.

Social Norms
Social Norms

Social norms are shared expectations on how people within a certain group will or should behave. They are often considered as unwritten rules that govern behavior and tend to be very influential.

Influencing behavior using social norms can take a variety of forms. For example, some studies aim to correct misunderstandings around descriptive norms (what people in a group actually do). One trial involving the UK Behavioural Insights Team increased tax compliance by emphasizing that the vast majority of people pay their taxes on time, which influenced non-compliers to become more like the majority. People generally do not like to deviate from the norm, which may explain the success of this tactic.

Other approaches involve attempting to change social norms or create new social norms, which is substantially harder. One prominent example was the promotion of the ""designated driver"" (DDs) in the US during a period of high automobile fatalities. Public health officials influenced Hollywood producers to include the designated driver in film and television scenes, which caused viewers to: 1) likely believe the use of DDs was much more common than it actually was, and 2) likely consider using a DD was what they ""should"" do (i.e. the injunctive norm). Following the public health campaign, awareness and compliance with the DD protocol rose substantially, and auto fatalities dropped precipitously.

Lotteries
Lotteries

Lotteries are any form of assigning an award where there is an element of randomness or chance.

One example is a prize-linked savings account (PLSAs). One of the earliest of these was the Million a Month Account (MAMA) in South Africa, where First National Bank offered account-holders with qualifying deposits a chance to win up to one million rand each month (along with other smaller prizes given out at random).

Lotteries may be used with non-financial rewards as well, e.g. offering tickets to a sold-out play or sporting event for employees reaching certain performance benchmarks.

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.

Products that change behavior

Research on behavior change