Developing Games for Health Behavior Change: Getting Started
The amount and nature of value in a particular product or service always lie in the eye of the beholder, of course. Yet universal building blocks of value do exist, creating opportunities for companies to improve their performance in current markets or break into new ones. A rigorous model of consumer value allows a company to come up with new combinations of value that its products and services could deliver. The right combinations, our analysis shows, pay off in stronger customer loyalty, greater consumer willingness to try a particular brand, and sustained revenue growth. We have identified 30 “elements of value”—fundamental attributes in their most essential and discrete forms. These elements fall into four categories: functional, emotional, life changing, and social impact. Some elements are more inwardly focused, primarily addressing consumers’ personal needs. For example, the life-changing element motivation is at the core of Fitbit’s exercise-tracking products. Others are outwardly focused, helping customers interact in or navigate the external world. The functional element organizes is central to The Container Store and Intuit’s TurboTax, because both help consumers deal with complexities in their world.
Max Bazerman, co-director of the Center for Public Leadership; Odette van de Riet, Leader of BIT IenM, the Behavioral Insight Team of the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment; and David Halpern, Chief Executive of the Behavioural Insights Team and Board Director of the Office of the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, joined moderator Iris Bohnet, Professor of Public Policy at HKS and Director of the Women and Public Policy Program, and co-Director of the Behavioral Insights Group, in a conversation on behavioral insights. The panel discussed its experiences applying behavioral economics findings, such as "nudge" techniques, to issues of public interest.
Underpinned by reinforcement learning, a fundamental theory of the dynamics of behavior change, BCD also incorporates theories about the evolution of behavioral control and human motivation, and a revised version of 'behavior settings' theory which helps explain the relationship between individuals and the environment. These theories suggest that, in order to change specific behaviors, interventions must create surprise, revalue the target behavior and facilitate performance of the changed behavior by modifying the environment in which it takes place. BCD involves a process for designing such interventions that follows five steps: Assess, Build, Create, Deliver, and Evaluate.
BIT uses a simple framework to apply behavioral science to policy: in order to encourage a behavior, make it Easy, Attractive, Social, and Timely (EAST). The sections below give some examples of how this framework can be applied to improve health and health care. Many of these initiatives were tested through low-cost randomized controlled trials; we believe that such trials could be used much more by health care providers and policymakers to improve their everyday activities.
From Brian Cugelman
Pro-vaccine messages do not always work as intended. The effectiveness of those messages may vary depending on existing parental attitudes toward vaccines. For some parents, they may actually increase misperceptions or reduce vaccination intention.
Diagram of cognitive biases clustered by meaning and application
Contrary to popular opinion, feelings aren’t the opposite of rationality; they are evolutionary rationality made flesh.
This publication, designed as an open resource for grantees and the wider conservation and social justice movements, showcases the issues often faced by those in both sectors. It includes an overview of behavior change theories, a compilation of successful behavior change campaigns, lessons learned, and tools for planning new initiatives.
For public health, the key question is: When it is beneficial to charge a price for an intervention and when it is not? Research has shown that the best price for many prevention efforts is free, explains Cohen. It may not make economic or public health sense, but we human beings are much less likely to take steps to prevent illness than to treat it. We procrastinate. We forget. “If, on top of that, it costs something, then demand for preventive products like bed nets is too low,” she says. The behavioral economics of treatment is a different story. People recognize that they need it and are much more willing to pay. But there’s a sweet spot between charging too much, so people can’t afford the treatment, and charging too little, which can lead to indiscriminate and inappropriate use of a treatment.
Rather than pulling behavioural insights together into a tasty, cohesive recipe, behavioural economics has offered myriad tasty morsels and left it up to the audience to reconcile them. People want choice. People get overwhelmed by choice. People follow what others do. People don’t like to be seen to follow others. People act impulsively. People stick with the status quo. People are lazy. People like challenge. Agghhhh! To be useful behavioural economics needs to evolve from a series of interesting anecdotes to a framework that can help analyse and resolve behavioural challenges. The Williams Behaviour Change Model So that’s what I’ve cooked up. I’ve created your very own behavioural framework that is as tasty as a non-deconstructed sticky date pudding. This model gets beyond behavioural economics for its own sake and provides a structured way for you to interrogate your behavioural challenge and design how to get people to take the action you want.
The global community is committed to preventing the deaths of millions of mothers and children by 2020. USAID identified 10 Accelerator Behaviors that would get us there faster if practiced widely in 24 priority countries. Use this site to find out how to integrate Accelerator Behaviors into your health programming.