The Value of Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences to National Priorities: A Report for the National Science Foundation | The National Academies Press (free pdf)
Nearly every major challenge the United States faces—from alleviating unemployment to protecting itself from terrorism—requires understanding the causes and consequences of people’s behavior. Even societal challenges that at first glance appear to be issues only of medicine or engineering or computer science have social and behavioral components. Having a fundamental understanding of how people and societies behave, why they respond the way they do, what they find important, what they believe or value, and what and how they think about others is critical for the country’s well-being in today’s shrinking global world. The diverse disciplines of the social, behavioral, and economic (SBE) sciences ―anthropology, archaeology, demography, economics, geography, linguistics, neuroscience, political science, psychology, sociology, and statistics―all produce fundamental knowledge, methods, and tools that provide a greater understanding of people and how they live.
A matter of habit: Recognizing the multiple roles of habit in health behaviour - Gardner - 2019 - British Journal of Health Psychology - Wiley Online Library
A habit is not necessarily a single action. Many behaviors that you may want to turn into habits have sub-actions involved in either instigating or executing the behavior. So there are a number of possible entry points to intervene to support the development of that habit.
Addressing gender-based violence norms and behaviors: Using social signalling and behavioral science
However, when the ZCCP video was combined with the social nudge : “Many people in your community have also watched this video,’’ the video shifted the perception of social norms towards less acceptance of GBV i.e. people were more likely to believe that their community found GBV unacceptable and more likely to think that their community thought GBV was a serious issue.
Defaults Are Not the Same by Default - Behavioral Scientist
To do so, we drew on a theoretical framework which highlights that defaults operate through three channels: first, defaults work because they reflect an implicit endorsement from the choice architect—your company’s HR department, your city’s policy office, your credit card company, your child’s school. Second, defaults work because staying with the defaulted choice is easier than switching away from it. Third, defaults work because they endow decision makers with an option, meaning they’re less likely to want to give it up, now that it’s theirs. As a result, we hypothesized that default designs that trigger more of these channels (also called the three Es: endorsement, ease, and endowment) would be more effective. In our analysis, we find partial support for this idea. That is, we find that studies that were designed to trigger endorsement (defaults that are seen as conveying what the choice architect thinks the decision maker should do) or endowment (defaults that are seen as reflecting the status quo) were more likely to be effective. In addition, we find that defaults in consumer domains tend to be more effective, and that defaults in pro-environmental domains (such as green energy defaults) tend to be less effective.
A New Model for Integrating Behavioral Science and Design - Behavioral Scientist
Why Guilt and Fear Appeals Backfire
Two converging paths: behavioural sciences and social marketing for better policies | Emerald Insight
This commentary argues that social marketing and the application of behavioural sciences to policy constitute two converging paths towards better policies. It highlights points of convergence and divergence between both disciplines and the potential benefits of further embedding social marketing principles and methods within the recent trend of applying behavioural sciences to policy.
Stop Confusing Habits for Routines: What You Need To Know | Nir & Far
Ads Don’t Work That Way | Melting Asphalt
Study identifies the best healthy eating nudges | EurekAlert! Science News
In a meta-analysis of real-life experiments drawn from food science, nutrition, health economics, marketing and psychology, the authors find that behavioural nudges - facilitating action rather than providing knowledge or inducing feelings - can reduce daily energy intake by up to 209 kcal, the same number of calories as in 21 cubes of sugar.
Social Network Assessments and Interventions for Health Behavior Change: A Critical Review
Social networks provide a powerful approach for health behavior change. This article documents how social network interventions have been successfully utilized for a range of health behaviors including HIV risk practices, smoking, exercise, dieting, family planning, bullying, and mental health. We review the literature that suggests relationship between health behaviors and social network attributes demonstrate a high degree of specificity. The article then examines hypothesized social influence mechanisms including social norms, modeling, and social rewards and the factors of social identity and social rewards that can be employed to sustain social network interventions. Areas of future research avenues are highlighted, including the need to examine and analytically adjust for contamination and social diffusion, social influence versus differential affiliation, and network change. Use and integration of mhealth and face-to-face networks for promoting health behavior change are also critical research areas.
Ten Conditions for Change
Successfully adopting a complex, positive behavior involves (I) making a DECISION to adopt the new behavior, (II) performing a number of ACTIONs that comprise the new behavior, and (III) ensuring the CONTINUATION of the relevant conditions for success as time passes. More specifically, a person will very likely engage in a new positive behavior if ten conditions are met. There are three conditions to meet in the DECISION phase (Considers, Desires, Intends), six conditions to meet for every ACTION (Remembers, Believes, Chooses, Knows, Has, Embodies), and one condition to meet for CONTINUATION (Maintains).
Two new Online Tools for investigating Behaviour Change: The Theory & Techniques Tool and the Behaviour Change Technique Study Repository - Human Behaviour Change Project (HBCP)
Understanding how and why people change - Journal of Marketing Management
We applied a Hidden Markov Model* (see Figure 1) to examine how and why behaviours did or did not change. The longitudinal repeated measure design meant we knew about food waste behaviour at two points (the amount of food wasted before and after the program), changes in the amount of food wasted reported over time for each household (more or less food wasted) and other factors (e.g. self-efficacy). By using a new method we could extend our understanding beyond the overall effect (households in the Waste Not Want Not program group wasted less food after participating when compared to the control group).
Yes, counting steps might make you healthier - Reuters
“Tracking your daily activity with a pedometer, wearable, or smartphone is an important part of any physical activity program,” Patel said by email. “However, it should be combined with other behavior change strategies such as goal-setting, coaching, or social interventions to increase sustainability.”
Reported theory use in electronic health weight management interventions targeting young adults: a systematic review: Health Psychology Review: Vol 0, No 0
JMIR - Persuasive System Design Principles and Behavior Change Techniques to Stimulate Motivation and Adherence in Electronic Health Interventions to Support Weight Loss Maintenance: Scoping Review | Asbjørnsen | Journal of Medical Internet Research
Cognitive bias cheat sheet – Better Humans – Medium - Buster Benson
I started with the raw list of the 175 biases and added them all to a spreadsheet, then took another pass removing duplicates, and grouping similar biases (like bizarreness effect and humor effect) or complementary biases (like optimism bias and pessimism bias). The list came down to about 20 unique biased mental strategies that we use for very specific reasons. I made several different attempts to try to group these 20 or so at a higher level, and eventually landed on grouping them by the general mental problem that they were attempting to address. Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce.
Decrease friction and add fuel for health behavior change — Pattern Health
The Three Laws of Human Behavior | Behavioraleconomics.com | The BE Hub
Like the physical properties of the universe, human behavior is complicated. And just as Newton’s Laws describe the motion of physical objects, these Laws of Human Behavior aim to provide a general model for how humans behave. People tend to stick to the status quo unless the forces of friction or fuel push us off of our path; behavior is a function of the person and their environment; every decision includes tradeoffs and the potential for unintended consequences.
Development of a formal system for representing behaviour-change theories | Nature Human Behaviour
Use of natural language to represent behaviour-change theories has resulted in lack of clarity and consistency, hindering com-parison, integration, development and use. This paper describes development of a formal system for representing behaviour-change theories that aims to improve clarity and consistency. A given theory is represented in terms of (1) its component constructs (for example, ‘self-efficacy’, ‘perceived threat’ or ‘subjective norm’), which are labelled and defined, and (2) rela-tionships between pairs of constructs, which may be causal, structural or semantic. This formalism appears adequate to rep-resent five commonly used theories (health belief model, information–motivation–behavioural skill model, social cognitive theory, theory of planned behaviour and the trans-theoretical model).
Social Heuristics: The Pros and Cons of Gut Feelings
Although heuristics may not always give the most accurate judgment in social situations, avoiding them is usually not an option. Social heuristics are innate in us, to help us make sense of complex social interactions. Nonetheless, it is crucial to bear in mind that an overreliance on heuristics can potentially result in judgment errors that manifest themselves as social stereotypes.
The BUS Framework: A comprehensive tool in creating an mHealth App utilizing Behavior Change Theories, User-Centered Design, and Social Marketing
Is that halo LED..? How a 100 year-old piece of behavioural science could help solve a very modern behavioural challenge. | LinkedIn
Often, there's a disproportionate focus on pre-existing attitudes or other exogenous factors explaining why behavioural interventions may not work. In other words, attitudes or other factors got in the way of the intervention being effective. But that's not necessarily the case, as this study suggests. Instead, it might be the nature of the intervention itself which blocks the behaviour (change).
Cognitive bias cheat sheet – Better Humans
There Is More to Behavioral Economics Than Biases and Fallacies - Behavioral Scientist
Using Narrative Communication as a Tool for Health Behavior Change: A Conceptual, Theoretical, and Empirical Overview
Narrative is the basic mode of human interaction and a fundamental way of acquiring knowledge. In the rapidly growing field of health communication, narrative approaches are emerging as a promising set of tools for motivating and supporting health-behavior change. This article defines narrative communication and describes the rationale for using it in health-promotion programs, reviews theoretical explanations of narrative effects and research comparing narrative and nonnarrative approaches to persuasion, and makes recommendations for future research needs in narrative health communication.
A mathematical theory might explain human behaviour
Reducing fear to influence policy preferences: An experiment with sharks and beach safety policy options - ScienceDirect
This article reports on new research that finds certain messages reduce fear of sharks, key to promoting conservation-minded responses to shark bites. Here it is argued that the sophistication in public feelings toward these highly emotional events has allowed new actors to mobilize and given rise to the ‘Save the Sharks’ movement. In a unique experiment coupling randomly assigned intent-based priming messages with exposure to sharks in a ‘shark tunnel’, a potential path to reduce public fear of sharks and alter policy preferences is investigated. Priming for the absence of intent yielded significant fear extinction effects, providing a viable means of increasing support for non-lethal policy options following shark bite incidents. High levels of pride and low levels of blame for bite incidents are also found. In all, this article provides a step towards improving our understanding of fear and fear reduction in public policy.
A New Model for Integrating Behavioral Science and Design - Behavioral Scientist
Behavioural Insights in Action: Scarcity
Government policies and services can be hard to navigate for people who are already under pressure. By understanding the effects of scarcity, we can make these easier to access for the people who need them. https://bi.dpc.nsw.gov.au/blog/2018/12/13/a-guide-to-reducing-the-effects-of-scarcity/
Shouldn’t We Make It Easy to Use Behavioral Science for Good? - Behavioral Scientist
People use less information than they think to make up their minds | PNAS
Early Edutainment: The Behavioral Scientist’s Guide to Fairy Tales - Behavioral Scientist
Three tools that are proven to drive meaningful change in people’s behaviour | LinkedIn
1) Manufacture and maintain progress; 2) I don't vs I can't; 3) Implementation intentions
How do you know if you are Applying Behavioral Science? Here are the 3 Ways… | LinkedIn
BEHAVIOUR CHANGE TECHNIQUES AND THEORY Resources
Theory and Techniques Tool
The Theory & Techniques Tool is an interactive resource providing information about links between behaviour change techniques (BCTs) and their mechanisms of action (MoAs). This information is based on MRC-funded research triangulating evidence of links made by authors in published scientific studies and by expert consensus [Project Website - http://www.ucl.ac.uk/behaviour-change-techniques]. It was developed to support intervention designers, researchers and theorists in the development and evaluation of theory-based interventions.
Behaviour change techniques and their mechanisms of action: a synthesis of links described in published intervention literature
Behaviour Change for Sustainability: Keeping Promises: Do Pledges Work?
CLAIM 1: It only takes 21-days to form a habit | Digital Psychology Training for UX, Design & Marketing
From my own experience, there appears to be a scientific trend (that I have not systematically evaluated) that successful behavior change programs tend to run for approximately 2-months, and that after this point, there is a large drop in adherence and impact. The big statistical meta-analysis that I carried out a few years back (http://www.jmir.org/2011/1/e17/), showed that online programs lasting more than 4 months, all failed. So as a rule of thumb, for most general purposes, 8-weeks is not a bad approximate time duration for many programs.
Understanding how messaging is perceived by the public through a new theoretical model – Please keep to the path
The results lead to some useful messaging recommendations, such as active publics being more effectively moved to action through motivational frames, rather than diagnostic (i.e. problem-focused) or prognostic (i.e. solution-focused) frames.
Please don’t leave the path
A negatively framed message (i.e. which describes the behavior that should not be done) is more effective, at least in this context, than a positive framed message that describes the preferred behavior.
A Lawyer, an Economist, a Marketer, and a Behavioral Scientist Go into a Bar... - Behavioral Scientist
The table below provides guidance for thinking through when specific policy tools are useful and when choice architecture or nudging can be used to complement or enhance a particular strategy.
Diffusion of Innovation — Impact by Design
If you or a small group of colleagues are the ones trying to bring a new practice to your organization, you are an innovator. You are inspired by a new practice you discovered, but will likely face problems getting it accepted. Consider that the challenges you experience when spreading a new practice are totally normal. It doesn’t mean you are failing, should stop trying, or there is anything “wrong” with staff and colleagues. It just means that your role is to plan how to motivate other members of the system
Social Cognitive Theory for Social Marketing Research and Practice - On Social Marketing and Social Change
As social marketers and change agents, our theories drive how we understand and describe problems and propose and test different solutions to them. What is a theory? In science, it is a way in which we think about how the...
Persuasive Messages Couched In Emotion May Backfire
New research finds that people tend toward appeals that aren't simply more positive or negative but are infused with emotionality, even when they're trying to sway an audience that may not be receptive to such language. The findings appear in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science