BJ Fogg, PhD
Behavior Scientist at Stanford University
I teach good people how behavior works so they can create products & services that benefit everyday people around the world.
In 2007 I solved an important puzzle about human behavior. At the time of discovery I was delighted, but I didn't fully grasp the power and potential of this thing I called the "Fogg Behavior Model."
In written form, my model looks like this:
Here's the simplest way to explain it: "Behavior (B) happens when Motivation (M), Ability (A), and a Prompt (P) come together at the same moment."
This solution is deceptively simple. On one hand, you can learn to think about behavior in this way in two minutes. On the other hand, you'll find this model applies to all types of behavior, in all cultures, for people at any age. It's universal.
With this cornerstone model in place, I was then able to create other models about behavior, as well as effective methods for design. Taken together I refer to my models and methods as "Behavior Design."
This way of thinking (using the models) and designing (using the methods) has such potential that we changed the focus and name of my Stanford lab from the "Persuasive Tech Lab" to the "Behavior Design Lab."
Areas of Expertise
I am a behavior scientist, with deep experience in innovation and teaching. At Stanford University I've directed a research lab for over 20 years. I also teach my models and methods in special Stanford courses each year.
On the industry side, I train innovators to use my work so they can create solutions that influence behavior for good. The focus areas include health, sustainability, financial wellbeing, learning, productivity, and more.
In 2002, I published a book entitled, Persuasive Technology, about how computers can be designed to influence attitudes and behaviors. At the time of publication this book was mostly ignored. Now, almost 20 years later, I see my predictions and warnings about persuasive technology were surprisingly accurate.
Fortune Magazine named me a "New Guru You Should Know" for my insights about mobile and social networks.
In 2009 my research interests moved away from persuasive technology toward human behavior in general, especially health habits. This led to creating a new set of models and methods that comprise what I call “Behavior Design.” In January of 2020 I shared 300 pages of new and practical uses for Behavior Design in my New York Times Bestselling book Tiny Habits.
Today I devote about 50% of my time to Stanford and 50% to industry teaching & innovation. For me, working in both worlds makes sense: My Stanford work makes me better in industry. And what I learn in industry improves my Stanford research. I’m always happy to help other innovators. (See how to book time with me below.)
My expertise is any aspect of behavior change, from habit formation to company culture change. That said, I don’t do any personal counseling or hourly consulting. I also have a policy not to join any startup advisory boards.
Below are a few ways to learn how to learn my models and methods, starting with the best options:
Join me to learn Behavior Design: See ways to learn from me
Read my book: Tiny Habits: The Small Changes that Change Everything
To stay current on me, follow me on Twitter.
Listen to Habits Songs for Kids
Go here to find out how to use my work and intellectual property
And yes, I’m on Instagram → @bjfogg
What I'm all about
I always try to do groundbreaking work that will improve people’s lives through behavior change. That's my #1 focus as a researcher and innovator, both at Stanford and in industry. Over the years I've created new ways to understand behavior and new methods for designing change solutions. The system I call “Behavior Design” is elegant and powerful.
My current projects range from research to innovation, teaching to mentoring -- a fun mix.
At Stanford I lead an interdisciplinary team of Stanford students, recent graduates, and quantitative researchers. About 10 people are involved in lab projects at any given time.
Our lab’s overall mission is this: Teach good people how human behavior works so they can create solutions that effectively increase health, boost happiness, and promote human flourishing.
Currently, we're working on the following projects:
Climate Action Training: Helping professionals save the planet
Upregulating Positive Emotions: Giving people more happiness each day
Rosetta Project: Translating Stanford insights into practical solutions
Screentime Genie: Helping people reduce unwanted screentime
P.E.P. — Helping reduce depression, without using medication