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Behavior change and behavior design models

Tactics that change behavior

Checklists
Checklists

Checklists are an age-old tactic for remembering to do certain tasks. Checklists are sometimes used to measure behaviors that should take place with a certain frequency, e.g. every day or X times per week, and other times, to ensure certain steps are followed every time a person does a complex behavior.

For behavior designers, the challenges of checklists often entail choosing the right behaviors, breaking them down to the correct level of granularity for a given population, and serving them up in the proper context or sometimes with personalization. They are likely underutilized and consistently improve the performance of even experts, like pilots and surgeons.

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.

Motivational Interviewing
Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic approach that aims to influence behavior by eliciting goals, motivation, insights, and specific behavioral plans through structured dialog. It's largely associated with William Miller and Stephen Rollnick, and bears some relation to the Socratic method (as does the original cognitive therapy approach). While originally developed as part of a treatment for substance abuse, the method has been generalized and found empirical support in assisting behavior change in diet, exercise, and other areas.

Identity Priming
Identity Priming

Identity priming refers to attempting to influence someone's behavior by emphasizing their being part of to a certain group or being a certain type of person. These often leverage social norms—particularly injunctive norms—and introjected regulation.

For example, voter turnout campaigns often emphasize the person's membership to the community or previous voting history in reminder letters.

Motivational Interviewing
Motivational Interviewing

Motivational interviewing (MI) is a therapeutic approach that aims to influence behavior by eliciting goals, motivation, insights, and specific behavioral plans through structured dialog. It's largely associated with William Miller and Stephen Rollnick, and bears some relation to the Socratic method (as does the original cognitive therapy approach). While originally developed as part of a treatment for substance abuse, the method has been generalized and found empirical support in assisting behavior change in diet, exercise, and other areas.

Implementation Intentions
Implementation Intentions

Implementation intentions are specific details for when and how a behavior should or will be performed.

These are often formulated as ""if-then"" rules, such as:
-  "if I crave something sweet, I'll have fruit instead of candy"
- "if I am in the mood for a cigarette, I'll wait 5 minutes—then, if I still want it, I can have one"

Other examples include studies where flu vaccination uptake was higher in groups of people nudged to make more specific plans (i.e. picking a specific time and date, along with a mode of transport to a specific clinic). The same general effect was observed with voting behaviors.

These are a generally low-cost tool to slightly improve the gap between intention and performance of a 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.

Environmental Restructuring
Environmental Restructuring

Environmental restructuring refers to modifying the physical environment around someone in order to influence their behavior.

On the less intensive end, this could be as simple as having someone leave a pill bottle in a more obvious location or switch to using a pillbox with compartments for each day. More complex examples include carpooling potential voters to election sites to improve turnout, redesigning a workplace cafeteria layout to bias toward healthier foods, or setting up booths for influenze vaccination in offices or shopping malls.

Products that change behavior

Research on behavior change