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Get better at changing behavior.

Learn the proven motivation & reward loop playbooks from some of the world’s top behavior designers, so you can create more impact with less effort.

Over 2 decades of insights, frameworks, and systems distilled into 6 weeks of intense learning and practice

Super-actionable with fill-in templates, checklists, and decision trees

100's of examples, case studies, and screenshots to get you inspired

First cohort will be joined on Slack & Zoom by Sam, Chris York, + our award-winning course designers—probably not going to happen again

⏱ Easy and less than 2 min to apply

The world’s most impactful organizations come to us for behavior change expertise

Why we made this

Tons of people reach out to us asking about course or workshop recommendations. But most online courses are based on a static article and video lecture format, too theoretical, and often disconnected from the latest successful applications of behavioral science in the field.

There weren't any courses that had the experimental, rapid-feedback format we think would work best, or content that really aligned with how we've found success applying behavior design ourselves.
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Sadly, the same is true for most workshops. They are short, super expensive, and generally don't actually help people get seriously good at behavior change for the long-term.

So we decided to try to make something better. We wanted to apply what we know about how to change behavior to actually teach people how to do it. We're about outcomes—we don't care what you memorize, it's what you do afterward that really counts.

And if getting better at changing behavior is going to help you in your work, we think you will be excited to see what we have created.

If you master motivation and reward loops, you can drive some pretty amazing outcomes.

Like these ones, from behavior change projects which we've been a part of:
Increasing savings rates by a lot, by changing just a little

“Approximately 37% of web sessions during which individuals used the sliders resulted in savings rate changes. Notably, 75% of the changes were increases in savings rates, with an average increase percentage of 18.8%.”

McKay (2017.) Two Birds, One Stone: Using Hybrid Financial Products to Manage Income Volatility. White Paper by The Aspen Institute & EPIC: Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative.

Changing diet & exercise behavior and driving weight loss

“Ongoing engagement increased roughly 30-fold. […] Most companies saw one-third of employees lose an average of a 0.5 lbs per week, with one-sixth losing more than lb per week. 3 - 4 times as many employees were eating the right amount of fruits and vegetables [and] doing the right amount of exercise each week.”

Bosworth (2012). Keas: Developing a Successful Game-Based Employee Wellness Program. Games for Health Journal Vol. 1, No. 3. 

Driving voter registration and turnout at massive scale

“VOTE.org used Hustle's peer-to-peer texting software as the backbone of their get-out-the-vote (GOTV) operation during the last two weeks of the 2016 US election, sending 3.8 million text messages to nearly 2.8 million voters. Texts […] increased voter turnout by 0.2 percentage points.”

Shorty Social Good Awards, finalist in Civic Engagement. 2nd place overall in Business/NGO category.

Doubling 30-day mobile app retention and driving growth

A re-imagining of the onboarding experience, engagement funnels, and habit loops helped increase Lifesum’s active users on day 30 by 100%. Strong retention has led to sustained growth to over 50 million users—faster than competitors like Noom, Weight Watchers, and MyFitnessPal according to analytics firm SensorTower.

https://bit.ly/3uyRsme

Reducing blood pressure in record time & improving UX

Brought twice as many hypertensive patients to the blood pressure goal set by their physician in one-third of the time vs. standard of care at UCSF cardiology. The pilot study had a 9/10 patient satisfaction rating and led to $15m in further funding for its breakthrough technology, recently covered in TechCrunch and Wired. 

Trial ongoing; not yet published

Sustaining medication adherence in tough populations

The intervention group had 72% medication adherence at 36 weeks, 26% higher than the active control group’s and nearly 7x the level observed in a prior study (iPrEx OLE). 92% would recommend the experience to others. Retention at 36 weeks was 100% for the digital experience in the experimental group.

Liu et al. (2018). RCT of a Mobile Health Intervention to Promote Retention and Adherence to PreP Among Young People at Risk for HIV. J Clin Inf Disease. 

Increasing top line revenue and growth through design

Behavioral redesign of inventory management workflows helped Rategain surpass 50% CAGR in the last 3 years with 12,000 customers including Marriott, Priceline, and Hertz. Engagement lift contributed to accolades like being named to Deloitte’s Fast50 list and the Most Innovative Startup of 2020 by The Economic Times. 

Reducing anxiety and depression via telehealth

8/10 patients reported improved mental health symptoms after treatment on the telepsychiatry platform, and 84% would recommend the experience to others.  Led to acquisition by MD Live, one of the leading telehealth platforms in the United States.

Driving long-term care plan compliance for millions of people

Patients using mscripts demonstrated a 2.9x better adherence rate, an 85% reponse rate to medication reminders, and filled 3 additional prescription refills per year. mscripts was the pharmacy backend and adherence platform for Safeway, Target, and Meijer pharmacies prior to its acquisition by Cardinal Health, the main pharmacy solutions provider for CVS.

When you can elicit motivation and create rewarding experiences, you can change almost any behavior in almost any context.

We're not experts on cardiology, voting, or finance, but when you understand behavior, you don't have to be an expert to get great results. The underlying mechanics of how people act are mostly the same.

We think that if we had all the playbooks, processes, and case studies from this course when we started out 10-12 years ago, we probably would have done a little bit better. And we hope that you'll do a lot better than us and drive some amazing outcomes yourself.

A totally new format that aligns with how people actually learn complex skills.

Super visual, tactical, case study-focused content

We think no industry or group of people have a monopoly on behavioral insights, so we present a ton of examples and case studies from different applications.

Templates for everything to make it as actionable as possible

Every lesson has an accompanying tool to reduce the intent-to-action gap and make it easy to apply concepts.

Live expert calls + asynchronous video feedback to nail the complicated stuff

To provide more feedback cycles and a signal-richer environment, we'll review work on a weekly basis with video teardowns

Powerful, always-on community of behavior changers

It's easier to learn when you're surrounded by people with the same mission, and our network is one of the best

Get a whole lot better at starting and sustaining behaviors, in just 6 weeks.

Week 1
Deconstructing motivation with self-determination theory
Week 2
Designing with intrinsic and extrinsic rewards
Week 3
Mastering reward loop architecture
Week 4
Motivational communication
Week 5
Case study intensive
Week 6
Behavioral strategy beyond motivation & reward loops
Understand and influence motivation

• Tactics related to SDT used in hospital recovery units, at-home workout experiences from Peloton, and streaming apps like Twitch.

• A behavior design template used for deconstructing motivation across a longer-term intervention or customer journey.

• Hand-picked book, video, article, and podcast recommendations to go deeper on SDT and designing for behavior change.

Drive behavior with the right reward mix

•  Myths and facts around what works and doesn't, and ways to use multiple rewards with different impacts and time horizons

•  An instructive example of when extrinsic rewards "crowded out" internal motivation in a Dan Ariely study, and another one where they didn't in a leading healthcare app

•  A cheat sheet for which types of rewards to use and when

Keep behaviors going for the long-term

• Why the "cue → behavior → reward" framework isn't useful, and which frameworks to use instead

• Some inspiring reward loop examples from LinkedIn, Donor's Choose, Omada, Pear Therapeutics, and MasterClass. Plus, a crazy study where psychologists implanted false memories to influence long-term eating behavior.

• A decision tree to help diagnose which parts of the loop might be broken, and what to do about it.

Write copy and script interactions that spur action

• A few key modifications to our favorite persuasion frameworks, like motivational interviewing, that broaden their utility and maximize their impact

• Some clever examples of motivational copy in voter turnout campaigns, medication management interventions, and viral waitlist sign-up forms from successful startups

• A few scripts to make it really easy to optimize your copy and conversations for maximum motivation

Become armed with a diverse mix of tactics

A collection of our favorite, evidence-based approaches to motivation and reward from startups, lab studies, policy, and business. Focusing on more complex examples that blend the ideas from prior weeks together in ways that will inspire you in your work.

Connect it all to the bigger picture

A strategy-oriented session on how motivation and reward fit into a broader behavioral approach, plus an inside look at how we approached intervention and behavior design in projects with strong, peer-reviewed results and/or coverage in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Forbes.

"Samuel is a behavioral strategist and habit expert, specializing  in applying insights from behavioral science and behavioral economics to build user-centered and habit-forming products and services."

Duke University CAH Hindsight Awards

“Chris is both extraordinarily bright and very gifted at human psychology, and therefore at gifted at designing the UX that is best for motivating a customer."

Adam B., Vice President

“‘Behavioral science communicator’ is not his official job title, but if he ever wanted a different one, that would work quite nicely.“

Merle van den Akker

This is for you if

You're looking to better connect behavioral science concepts and real-world application

You create or manage people who create products, services, or interventions that need to change behavior to succeed long-term

You work in design/product/marketing and want to upskill your BeSci, or you're in BeSci and want to get better at digital experiences

You've heard or said things like: 
• "the attrition rate here is too high,"
• "we need to improve engagement / retention”, or
• "this approach might work in the short-term, but it's hard to be confident in the long-term outcome"

This is not for you if

You don't have at least 1-2 hours a week to learn, create, and run experiments in your work (and personal) environment

Your work doesn't really involve complex behaviors or problems

You are looking to go deep on theoretical concepts (this is more application-focused)

You want a typical classroom or tutoring experience and are averse to new formats

You have extensive academic and field experience with large-scale behavioral interventions (maybe we should collaborate?)

Authored + led by a team with a serious track record of changing behavior.

We've been applying the concepts of behavioral science and design for over a decade each, with some of the most impactful organizations in the world. And we're really excited to share our approach with you.

Sam Salzer

Sam a leading voice in the field of behavioral science, founder of the award-winning Habit Weekly content platform, host of the Behavioral Design Podcas‪t, and co-author of Nudging in Practice – How Organizations Can Make It Easy to Do the Right Thing.
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Previously, Sam served as Chief Behavioral Officer (CBO) for Nordic Wellth, collaborated on the behavior design team at Beteendelabbet, and was keynote speaker at events like Nudging for Healthcare, GamifyUs Conference, and DesignOps Global. Sam has appeared on podcasts like It's all a Bunch of BS, Behavioral Grooves, and Real World Behavioural Science.

Chris York

Chris helps teams apply behavioral science to build more impactful products, with a specialization in digitally-driven behavior change.

Founder/CEO @ Cognitive, an award-winning behavior design firm that has crafted products with teams like Salesforce, UCSF, Harvard Medical, Vote.org, the Mayo Clinic, Everyday Health, Irrational Labs, One Medical, and over 12 acquired or IPO'd startups—with results covered by the New York Times, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, and Nature. Chris studied psychology @ Stanford, and has given talks on behavior change and digital product strategy at places like Cornell Tech, Adaptive Path, and IDEO.

Everything you need to do great behavioral work

So what all is included? You get:

Six weeks of world-class behavioral content

Everything you need to know about motivation and reward loops, designed for maximum applicability and highest ROI-for-time.

Tons of actionable templates, based on best-in-class processes

We'll share at least one template to make it as easy as possible to apply the insights from every single lesson, based on real behavior change work we've done or processes we've seen from field leaders. We're 100% focused on helping you actually change behavior, not just study it.

Access to private course channels on Slack

Where you can ask questions and get feedback from your peers and the course leaders. And for a limited time, that will actually include Chris and Sam, who will not be doing this in the future.

Weekly expert Zoom calls

Where you you can ask questions, you can bring your work, and we can do sort of a live tear down. We’ll review our favorite stuff that got uploaded during the week, so that's an incentive for you to do great behavioral work and share it.

Async video feedback

For those who we can't get to the Zoom calls or who are doing complex work that benefits from feedback, we'll record video reviews and share these on Slack—so that everybody can benefit and no one is re-inventing the wheel.

Certificate

Obviously, no one takes courses for actual learning, but primarily to have an attractive rectangle with their name on it. Ours is prettier than most, and upon completion, your cert will be immortalized at besci.org for until the end of time.

Empowerment

Most importantly, you're going to improve your ability understand behavior and you're going to get a proven system to change it. We think that's going to help you get a lot further in a lot less time on whatever it is that you're working on—regardless of your field, population, or behavior.

Guarantee

If we don't deliver on the above, then we're going to give you your money back. We really have no interest in driving outcomes that are not significant—whether it's in our courses or day-to-day behavioral science work.

An investment with serious ROI— and in days, not months. 

This is the same stuff we cover in workshops that cost tens of thousands of dollars, and honestly, probably a better overall format. 

Join great teams already in the course or on the waitlist

next cohort:
may 3 2021 - june 13 2021

Motivation & Reward Loop Masterclass

Level up your ability to motivate and change behavior in just six fun, action-packed weeks.

6 weeks of world-class content, case studies, and behavior change tactics

Actionable templates based on work from leading behavior designers

Community of behavior change professionals from different fields

Asynch video feedback on your course and real-life behavior change work

Expert Zoom calls to cover nuance and go into greater depth

Full refund if you don't find it valuable

Apply with your teamApply solo
Re: Workshops

"Thanks for making the concepts really come alive. They found it really compelling.”

Evelyn Gosnell
Managing Director, Irrational Labs
Re: Habit Weekly

“Great content for people across the industry, academia, students, and anyone really with even a passing interest in behavioural science.”

Stu King
Public Health England
Re: Sam

“A leading behavioural strategist and habit expert at the forefront of the emerging field of behavioural design.”

Katie Elliott
Host, Adventures in Behaviour Change Podcast

Questions & Answers

Will my company pay for it?

Roughly 60% of companies seem to do so. To help people with convincing their company to make the investment in their behavior change skills, we've put some info and templates together here.
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Are there limitations to who can join based on the time zones?

We are more than happy to accept people from anywhere in the world. Group callls will generally be based around US and European time zones. Most sessions will be recorded, and larger teams may have the option to schedule around their preferences and availability.

Is this course accredited?

It is not, but we are working on getting accreditation for future courses.

Are there any weird tricks or dark patterns behind the refund?

No. If you want a refund, you'll get one— even on the very last day. When you sign up, we'll give insructions on how to contact the team in the event of any issues. There will also be a prominent "refund" button once you're logged in.

Will the course change my life?

Well, if you take the course as opposed to doing something else with your time, it has technically changed your life in that regard. We genuinely believe the course will make a noticable difference in how you approach behavioral problems in your work and personal life, which may contribute to some pretty great things in your future, but it's not intended to be a transformative spirtiual experience.

Do people who enroll in the course get discounts on future offerings?

They sure do. Early cohorts in any course will get preferred rates on later programs and the membership.

Is it possible to design a custom course or experience for my organization?

Potentially, but this is more likely if there is adirect relation with one of our upcoming courses (see "All Courses" above), or if the details are very aligned with our work in some other way. We are interested in creating content and experiences that benefit large numbers of people.

Feel free to reach out via team@besci.org

Is the team interested in collaborating on developing courses?

Yes! If you're a behavioral scientist, policy person, designer, or other expert, we'd be interested in chatting about ways to collaborate. You can reach us at team@besci.org.

How many text reminders do I have to send before I’m legally allowed to
refer to myself as a behavioral economist?

Around 100.

Kidding aside, SMS reminders are often very effective—especially for the cost—but this is more of a basic best practice than a fancy behavioral tactic.

Level up your ability to change behavior.

Apply with your teamApply solo