Advancing Wellbeing Seminar Series: BJ Fogg, Part III

March 5, 2015


MIT Media Lab, E15-070, Bartos Theater


To create behavior change that endures, designers have only one approach that is both fast and reliable: Change the environment. The Fogg Behavior Model (B=MAT) illuminates how this approach works. Changes in environment can specify behaviors (B). They can increase or decrease motivation (M). They can make behaviors easier or harder (A). Finally, environment changes can set or remove triggers (T). 

People adapt their environments often. This can be as mundane as reorganizing a purse. However, most people are not skilled at changing their environment for better health. (Usually it’s the opposite.) Designers today have a relatively untapped opportunity to improve health behavior via environment change. To succeed in this approach, designers must create solutions that can (1) infer when an individual is in a motivation wave; (2) identify a specific change in environment will lead to healthier behaviors for that individual; and (3) give clear guidance on how to implement the change. All three steps are challenging. However, all three steps are possible.


Dr. BJ Fogg directs the Persuasive Tech Lab at Stanford University. A behavior scientist who divides his time between industry and academics, Fogg has created new models and methods for changing human behavior. He calls this area “Behavior Design.” He teaches his methods to industry innovators in a series of two-day Boot Camps in Sonoma County. At Stanford, Fogg creates a new course to teach each year, with topics ranging from mobile persuasion to health habits. His former students have created successful products, such as Pulse and Instagram. Fogg is the author of Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. Fortune selected him as one of 10 “New Gurus You Should Know.” Over the last three years, Fogg has personally coached more than 31,000 people in a change method called “Tiny Habits.” For more info, see http://bjfogg.org and http://captology.stanford.edu

Host/Chair: Pattie Maes

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