“Come on now, who do you think you are? Bless your soul, you really think you’re in control?”
- Gnarls Barkley

Welcome to the experiment

• • • • •
Today - Time provided to meet with team, discuss and post to Coursework Tuesday - Meet with team after class to build Desire Engine for group assignment. Wednesday - Work on team and individual assignments. Thursday - Time provided to meet with team, discuss and post to Coursework Friday - Presentations. Present individual assignment (5 min each) or group assignment (15-20 min) (but only if entire team agrees)

The nature of behavior

One brain, two minds
• • •
Elephant = impulsive mind Rider = Rational mind Path = the environment

Willpower is the strength of the rider

Where the elephant lives
• “Primitive” parts of brain • Basal ganglia • Storage of instinctual
habitual behaviors

• Nucleus accumbens • Center of reward system • Wants immediate
gratification / satiation

Where the rider lives
• “Newest” part of brain • Pre-frontal cortex (PFC) • Executive function • Controls impulses and
higher level thinking

Think of your behaviors

• What are the routines, habits, skills,
addictions in one’s life?

Amateur behaviors
Amateur Do

Resist doing Low High

Self-Control Required

What defines amateur behaviors?
• The rider and elephant are in sync • Easy to do, but also easy to forget • Reward, process motivated, “for the love” • Long-term

Amateur behaviors

How did you create your amateur behavior?

Creating amateur behaviors
• Create a path for the elephant • Make it simple, easy • Placing well-timed cues • “Baby steps”

Skillful behaviors
Skillful Do

Resist doing Low High

Self-Control Required

Skillful behaviors

What defines skillful behaviors?
• Rider is steering the elephant • Outcome, goal driven • Hard work, grit

How did you create your skillful behavior?

Creating skillful behaviors
• Deliberate practice • Focus on fixing failures • Grit and persistence • Often with coaching

Skillful behaviors

- Casual enjoyment - Jog into old age

- Goal driven - Win a marathon

Habitual behaviors

Resist doing




Self-Control Required

Habitual behaviors

What defines habitual (negative) behaviors?
• The rider tries to control the elephant • Constant temptation • Struggle with desire

How did you stop your habitual behavior?

Resisting habitual behaviors
• Mindfulness • Surfing the urge, creating space (ex - 10minute rule)

• Reminder of purpose • Self-compassion

Addictive behaviors

Resist doing Low



Self-Control Required

Addictive behaviors

What defines addictive behaviors?
• The rider has lost control and the elephant
is charging

• Self-destructive • Extremely hard to resist

Resisting addictive behaviors
• Reigning in the elephant • Abstinence, removal of cues • Physical detoxification • Social support • Root cause analysis

Behavior types
Amateur Do Skillful

Resist doing





Self-Control Required

Matching behavior types with change methods

Change with right tool

Behavior type

Change method

Change methods

Create the path Train the rider to pull the elephant

Train the rider to push the elephant Reign the elephant

Resist doing

Self-Control Required

Does the method match the type?
• “No pain, no gain” • “Never quit” • “Set strict goals” • “Hold yourself

Healthy lifestyle
• • •
Over a lifetime Do (amateur behaviors):

• • • •

Physical activity Eating healthy foods Eating unhealthy foods Overconsumption

Resist doing (habitual behaviors):

Beating yourself up hurts
• • • •
The worse a drinker feels about how much they drank the night before, the more they drank the next night. (Muraven et al 2005) Gamblers who feel most ashamed by losses, most likely to “chase” the loss and keep gambling. (Yi and Kanatar 201) Students who feel the worst about procrastinating, put off studying the longest for next exam. (Wohl, Pychyl, Bennett 2010) Addicts who feel most guilt about a minor relapse, were most likely to have a major relapse. (Stephens et al 1994)

Source: Kelly McDonigal, “The Willpower Instinct”

The “what-the-hell” effect
• • • •
Dieters and non-dieters asked to drink a milkshake as part of “taste perception study” Then asked to sample as much ice cream as “needed” for taste test. Dieters ate more than nondieters after drinking the milkshake Showed increased activity in nucleus accumbens

Source: Kelly McDonigal, “The Willpower Instinct”, Heatherton & Wagner, 2011

One size does not fit all
- Path driven - Long-term - Self-directed


- Goal driven - Grit - Hard work - Coaching - Abstinence - Physical detox - Root cause - Social support


Resist doing

- Surfing urge - Mindfulness - Self-compassion





Self-Control Required

In summary
• Rider, elephant and path • Before changing a behavior: • Identify behavior type • Match with appropriate change method

Take a break and a survey (and take your stuff)

Why influence behavior?

Helping people do what they want to do.

Persuasive products
Amateur Do Skillful

Resist doing





Self-Control Required

pref· er· ence
/ˈpref(ə)rəns/ Noun, Def: A greater liking for one alternative over another or others.

be· hav· ior
/biˈhāvyər/ Noun, Def: The way in which an animal or person acts in response to a particular situation or stimulus.

rou· tine
/ro͞oˈtēn/ Noun, Def: A sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.

hab· it
/ˈhabit/ Noun, Def: An behavior that has become nearly or completely involuntary, without cognition.

ad· dic· tion
/əˈdikSHən/ Noun, Def: A persistent, compulsive dependence on a behavior or substance.

Are customer habits good for business?
• Higher life-time value • Greater price inelasticity, can charge more • Word-of-mouth brings down cost of
acquisition = Higher ROI

Why is this graph “smiling”?

Source: Inc. magazine, Dec. 2011

• Largest technical
QA site

• Alexa rank 93 • 5,000 questions are
answered per day

• FT Staff: 66

Holding on to customers by forming habits

Source: Amy Jo Kim, “Community Building on the Web”

To build habits need...

Au· to· ma· ta· city
Noun, Def: The ability to do things without occupying the mind with low-level details, allowing it to become an automatic response pattern.

What is automaticity good for?
• Ability to learn • Helps us decide • Saves energy • Allows multitasking

Impairment of basal ganglia
• • • • •
Trouble performing tasks requiring multistep behaviors or where emotion is deciding factor. With “elephant” out, the “rider” tries but fails. Making simple decisions. (which pen?) Ignoring insignificant details. (reading faces) Inability to act quickly “from the gut.”

Source: Antonio Demasio via Lehrer "How We Decide"

Decision fatigue
• • • •
“Rider” gets tired and lazy because decision making requires effort. Prisoners appearing for parole hearings early in the morning granted parole 70% of the time. However, those appearing late in the day, when judges were more tired, paroled less than 10% of the time. So, making more decisions through habit instead of logic, can leave more resources for important decisions

Source: Levav and Danziger, 2011

How to build automaticity?

Frequency and utility

How do we get users to come back?

Building desire through engagement
Low engagement High engagement

The Desire Engine

Remember: A TARI
A - A Desire Engine has 4 parts: T - Trigger A - Action R - Reward I - Investment

In summary
• Habits can be good for business. • Habits require automaticity - action
without cognition. reserve.”

• Leaves us with more “decision making • Creating automaticity is a function of utility
and frequency.

• Frequency from creating desire.


Habits aren’t created, they are built upon

Where are you sitting?
• Who is sitting where they sat
before break?

• Why did you sit there? • What told you to sit? • Where did you learn this

External Alarms Calls-to-action Emails Stores Authority What to do next is in the trigger Internal Emotions Routines Situations Places People What to do next is in the user’s head

External Alarms Advertising Calls-to-action Emails Stores Authority What to do next is in the trigger Internal Emotions Routines Situations Places People What to do next is in the user’s head

Negative emotions are powerful internal triggers
Dissatisfied Indecisive Lost Tense Fatigued Inferior Fear of loss Bored Lonesome Confused Powerless Discouraged

Internally triggered technologies
When I feel... Lonely Hungry Unsure Anxious Lost Mentally fatigued ... I use Facebook Yelp Google Email GPS ESPN, Glam

Emotional triggers Shiv x-framework
Content Excited



People with depression check email more.

Source: Kotikalapudi et al 2012, Associating Depressive Symptoms in College Students with Internet Usage Using Real Internet Data

Habits form from frequent problem/solution fit.

To find the problem, know the narrative
• Need to find the existing behavior to
attach to. before.

• Find the behavior that occurs just • “Every time you (verb), use (product).”

Jack Dorsey on narratives

The “Instagram moment”

Instagram triggers
External - FB and Twitter - App notifications Internal - Fear of loosing the moment . . . - Bored, lonesome, curious...

Your turn
• Pick an “amateur” behavior you’d like to
turn into a new routine in your life.

• Brainstorm with the person next to you for
5 min each about potential triggers. internal triggers.

• Describe the narrative of both external and • Write this down and be prepared to share.

Form teams and complete Coursework assignment (see syllabus) Debrief with team: - What resonated with you? - What stimulated new thinking? - Ideas for personal and professional growth? - Ideas for new ventures? - What intrigued you, either by creating new questions or by kindling a quest for more? 30 min discussion 15 min post to Coursework


when doing < thinking = action Creating the path

Fogg Behavior Model B = m.a.t.
motivation triggers

Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University


Fogg Behavior Model B = m.a.t.
motivation trigger (SUCCESS!) trigger (FAIL!) ability

Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University

mo· ti· va· tion
/mōtə vāSHən/ Noun, Def: The psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal.

Motivators of Behavior
Sensation Anticipation Social Cohesion Seek: Pleasure Hope Acceptance Avoid: Pain Fear Rejection

Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University

a· bil· i· ty
/əˈbilitē/ Noun, Def: The capacity to do something

How increase capacity to do something?

Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University


Factors of ability
Time Money Physical effort Brain cycles Social deviance Non-routine

Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University


“Simplicity is a function of your scarcest resource at that moment.” - BJ Fogg

Factors of ability
Time Money Physical effort Brain cycles Social deviance Non-routine

Differ by person and context

What move first?

Move ability before motivation


Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University


Focus on ability and triggers before motivation

Focus on ability and triggers before motivation

Which has fewer calories?

Motivated people know healthier option

Source: (Chernov et al. 2011; Chandon & Wansink 2007)

America the obese


Source: Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, Centers for Disease Control

Twitter homepage


Twitter homepage


Twitter homepage


The evolution of Twitter
2009 2010


Behaviors to actions with cross-functional teams
motivation = marketing triggers = interface design

ability = product

Your turn
• • • • • •
Take out your behavior from yesterday or pick a new one. Rate your ability to do your behavior. (1 is not at all able, 10 is very able, easy) Rate how motivated you are to do your behavior. (1 is not at all, 10 is very) How could you make your behavior easier (considering your scarcest resource to increase ability)? and / or increase motivation? Brainstorm with the person next to you for 5 min each. Write this down and be prepared to share.

Factors of ability
Time Money Physical effort Brain cycles Social deviance Non-routine

Motivators of Behavior
Sensation Anticipation Social Cohesion
Source: Dr. BJ Fogg, Stanford University

Seek: Pleasure Hope Acceptance

Avoid: Pain Fear Rejection

Bi· as
/ˈbīəs/ Noun, Def: 1. A tendency or inclination; a prejudice 2. A lever to increase motivation or ability

A well-studied bias

Classical biases
• Rational • Can articulate, “I’d buy it if it were cheaper.” • Predictable (for the most part)

Cognitive Biases
• Rational or irrational • Unable to articulate • Predictable

• People value cookies
more in a nearly empty jar than in a full jar.

Source: Worchel, Lee, and Adewole (1975)

Value attribution
• Wine actually

tastes better if you believe it’s more expensive

Source: Plassmann, O’Doherty. Shiv, and Rangel, 2008

Remember this?

Source: (Chernov et al. 2011; Chandon & Wansink 2007)

The halo effect

Source: (Chernov et al. 2011; Chandon & Wansink 2007)

Which car owner?
• Are involved in more collisions. • Receive 65% more traffic tickets. • Drives 25% more miles than other drivers. • Are a more costly risk to insure than other
Source: Data from insurance analytics company Quality Planning, reported in “Mitchell Industry Trends Report” 2010

Moral licensing
• We tend to reward
ourselves with the freedom to be “bad” when we’re acting “good.”

• We tend to rely too heavily on just one trait
of a decision.

• We overvalue things on sale

Jockey only!

3 for $29.50 5 for $34 so, 6 for $44.25 Unit cost = $6.80 Unit cost = $7.38

• Motivation
effect” increases the closer get to a goal

• 8 car wash, get one

• “Endowed progress

• 8 blank squares vs.
10 squares with 2 free punches completion rate

• 82% higher
Source: Nunes and Drèze, The Endowed Progress Effect: How Artificial Advancement Increases Effort, 2006

• Tendency to

complete complex behavior if parsed into smaller steps

Many more...
• Social proof, framing, reciprocity, relevance,
status quo, loss aversion, familiarity bias, regret aversion, peak-end effect, money proxy, authority bias ...

Your turn
• Pick 2-3 “Mental Notes” cards. • How could you make use of cognitive
biases to increase your behavior? 5 min each.

• Brainstorm with the person next to you for • Write this down and be prepared to share.

Take a break and a survey
Playlist: “Aeroplane”, “Cocaine”, “Your love is my Drug”, “Satisfaction”

Variable rewards

The brain and rewards

Source: Olds and Milner, 1945

What triggers the reward system?
• Stimulation of brain’s reward system
activates new behaviors

• “Awakening the elephant” is possible
through probes or drugs

• What stimulates the brain naturally?

Dopamine triggers

Were Olds and Milner stimulating pleasure? (not exactly)

“I like pleasure spiked with pain, it’s my aeroplane”
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Ann’s story
• Sufferers from

• Treatment includes

dopamine boosters

• Becomes a compulsive • Why?

The promise of reward
• •
Dopamine system activated by anticipation of reward And dampened when reward achieved

Source: Knutson et al 2001

To supercharge the “stress of desire” ... add variability.

We crave predictability
• Variable rewards
drive us nuts

• Compulsion to make
sense of cause and effect drives the search

• Dopamine system

Curious by nature

“I can’t get no satisfaction”
- The Rolling Stones

The search for rewards
the Tribe the Hunt the Self

Search for Social Rewards
the Tribe
- Acceptance - Sex - Power

Rewards of the tribe

Rewards of the tribe

Search for Resources
the Hunt
- Food - Money - Information

Rewards of the hunt: search for resources

Rewards of the hunt: search for information

Dare you not to scroll

Rewards of the hunt: search for resources

Search for Sensation
the Self
- Mastery - Consistency - Competency - Purpose

Rewards of the self: Search for competency and mastery

Rewards of the self: Search for control

Fish bowl technique
• • • • • • •
Addiction Recovery Study (Petry 2006) Patients earned opportunity to draw a ticket out of a bowl every time they passed a drug test. Half of the tickets said “Keep up the good work.” The rest won the patient a nominal prize worth $1 to $20 but one ticket was worth $100 prize. 83% of fish bowl patients stayed in treatment for full 12 weeks (vs 20% of standard-care patients). 80% of fish bowl patients passed all their drug tests (vs. 40% of standard-care patients). Fish bowl group less likely to relapse. Technique worked better than paying patients for passing drug tests.

Rewards Decay
• As rewards become predictable, they
become less novel
Finite Variability
- Single-player games - Consumption of media - Finishing a race

Infinite Variability
- Multi-player games - Creation of content - Communities - Running for pleasure or competition

Who gets hooked?
• • • • •
Pathological gamblers and non-pathological placed in MRI. See images of win, lose, and “near-miss.” Pathological gamblers experienced more “excitement” from seeing win. Gamblers brain saw near-miss as near-win. Non-pathological experienced near-miss as near-loss. Unknown if gambler’s brain is different at birth or if caused by repeated exposure.

Source: Habib, 2010

Variable reward levers
• Type (Tribe, Hunt, Self) • Frequency • Amplitude
Keep ‘em guessing

Your turn
• How could you make use of variable
rewards to create your behavior? unknown, or surprise?

• How can you add an element of mystery, the • The search for rewards of the tribe (social),
hunt (resources), self (mastery, control) 5 min each and prepare to share.

• Brainstorm with the person next to you for


• Where user does a bit
of “work.”

• “Pays” with something

of value: time, money, social capital, effort, emotional commitment, personal data ...

Investment is about future rewards that makes the next action more likely.

Twitter (consumer)
Facebook, friend, email ...


Follow Information (Hunt)


Twitter (creator)
App icon, mention, message Boredom, curiosity, Lonesome

Re-Tweet or Tweet


Create new content Connect with others: @ reply, DM ...

Social feedback (Tribe)

Labor is love

The IKEA effect
Source: Dan Ariely, Upside of Irrationality

People value their labor

• Value own work almost as much as an expert’s. • Even if other’s don’t.
Source: Ariely, Mochon and Norton, 2012

Labor increases motivation
• People who pick • Assign greater
Source: Langer, 1975

lottery numbers more likely to play.

Value labor done for us

Source: Buell and Norton, 2011

Others’ labor increases value too
• Search took same

• People “seeing” the
work perceived more value.

Source: Buell and Norton, 2011

As we invest, we endow and tend to overvalue.

The endowment effect
• • • •
When chimps given juice bar and peanut butter, 50/50 preference split. When given PB first, 80% chose to keep rather than exchange. The “endowed” item was preferred Only worked for food

Source: Brosnan et al 2007

Humans endow things
• • • •
Endowed mugs vs pens worth twice as much (Kahneman, Knetsch & Thaler,1990) Endowed final four tickets worth 14 times more (Carmon and Ariely, 2000) Employees worked harder to maintain a provisional bonus than a potential yet-to-beawarded prize (Hossain and List, 2010) Universal behavior across different populations and with different goods (Hoffman and Spitzer,1993) including children (Harbaugh et al, 2001)

Why do we endow?
• Improved bargaining position in bilateral
trades. If I act like I love it, maybe you will too. (Huck, Kirchsteiger & Oechssler 2005) the joy of gaining. (Kahneman and Tversky, 1984) dissonance leads to rationalization.

• Loss aversion. Loosing feels twice as bad as • Need for consistency causes cognitive

Rationalization and commitment

Jesse Schell, Professor of game design, Carnegie Mellon University

The preference cycle
Investment: “Should I ‘spend’ on this?” Confirmation: “Since I spent on it before, and I am not an idiot, it must be good.” Rationalization: “Only an idiot would have ‘spent’ on something not good.”

Little investments, big results
Group 1: 17% accepted Group 2: 76% accepted

Source: Freedman & Fraser, 1966

Adaptive preference formation
• Changing preferences to be
more compatible with the situation.

• We acquire preferences to serve
our need to be consistent. dissonance.

• Relieve pain of cognitive
Source: Jon Esler, 1983

Acquiring taste
• • • •
Think of the first time you tried spicy food or alcohol. Acquiring taste follows similar patterns of rationalization to avoid cognitive dissonance. Change ourselves as we change our preferences. “I’m a ____ drinker.”

Motivating through identity
• • • • •
Registered voters completed survey the day before or the morning of the election. “How important is it to you to be a voter in the upcoming election?” (Noun) “How important is it to you to vote in the upcoming election?” (Verb) Tracked who actually voted. How we see ourselves (the nouns) shape what we do.
“the largest experimental effects ever observed on objectively measured voter turnout.”

Source: Bryan, Walton, Rogers, and Dweck, 2011

In summary:
• We over value the results of our labor
(endowment effect)

• But need to rationalize this irrational value
(cognitive dissonance)

• One way to do this is to change our taste
(adaptive preference formation) ourselves (identity shaping)

• And behave in line with how we see

Your turn
• How could you use small investments and
commitments to make the behavior more likely to occur? 5 min each.

• Brainstorm with the person next to you for • Write this down and be prepared to share.

Desire Engines create routines
Low engagement - External triggers - Low preference High engagement - Internal triggers - High preference

Icon on phone Procrastinate, anxiety, thoughts of others.... Open unread messages


Write back Tribe, hunt and self


Spectator sports
Everywhere Watch Boredom, anxiety ...


Identify self as fan Buy stuff Attend events

Outcome (Self) Fandom - belonging (Tribe) Capturing the win (Hunt)

With more cycles
Increase motivation and difficulty of action

Greater loyalty, increased price inelasticity, greater satisfaction

Using neuroscience to influence human behavior
• Preferences to behaviors. • Behaviors to routines. • Routines to habits. • Habits become who we are.

What are you going to do with this?
• When is it right to “give people what they

• When are people really in control? • When is it ok to manipulate?

Use this for good
and take a survey