When it comes to industry work, I seek to leverage my strongest area: the overlap of psychology and innovation. In other words, I’m most interested in projects that combine the skills of a psychologist with the ability to innovate. This approach has led to new products and patents.
Combining psychology and innovation also helped me early on as a graduate student in the 1990s to create a new academic area: persuasive technology. Today, persuasive tech is a global topic for research and design.
My innovations in Behavior Design
In graduate school I realized that most traditional theories about human behavior were either inaccurate or impractical. So I put tradition aside and looked for a better answer. It took over 10 years, but today I believe I’ve solved the puzzle.
My frameworks explain how human behavior works in accurate and practical ways. And I’ve created a set of methods for design. Together I call this area “Behavior Design.”
If you’re an academic, you may find my work too practical. If you’re an industry innovator, you’ll have a different reaction: Wow. Is it really that simple? (Yes. It can be.)
See some of my frameworks below.
Technology itself doesn't magically change behavior. People creating products need to understand how human behavior works. Teaching people the psychology of behavior change is core to my work these days. I’ve created a set of models -- how to think clearly about behavior. And I’ve created a set of methods -- how to design for behavior.
These models and methods work together and comprise “Behavior Design.”
My Behavior Design Boot Camp is where you can learn about my latest work in Behavior Design. Learn more.
Persuasive Technology is my book explaining this new area.
My focus now: persuading people via social media & social networks.
My research shows how to build web credibility and trust online.
I’ve long been interested in using mobile phones to change behavior.
Persuasive technology is broadly defined as technology that is designed to change attitudes or behaviors of the users through persuasion and social influence, but not through coercion. Such technologies are regularly used in sales, diplomacy, politics, religion, military training, public health, and management, and may potentially be used in any area of human-human or human-computer interaction.
Most self-identified persuasive technology research focuses on interactive, computational technologies, including desktop computers, Internet services, video games, and mobile devices, but this incorporates and builds on the results, theories, and methods of experimental psychology, rhetoric, and human-computer interaction.
Another focus in my lab is what we call "peace innovation." We're investigating how technology can help change attitudes and behaviors in ways that bring about global harmony. We know this is an idealistic project, and we may fail. But given the state of the world, choosing not to pursue this line of research would be irrational. I created a Stanford course on Peace Innovation, and I was pleased with how the students performed. We’ve starting solving a big piece of the puzzle: creating simple and reliable methods to measure peace-related outcomes.
The Stanford Calming Technology Lab, in Media-X is an inter-disciplinary group of scholars, designers, and builders that are inventing and evaluating technologies that create states of calm.
Our 3 pillars:
Pioneer: We further the global conversation around repurposing technologies to mitigate stress.
Publish: We publish scholarly articles that contain the design and evaluation of interactive prototypes as well as theoretical frameworks for evaluating and inventing those prototypes.
Prototype: We conduct rapid (sometimes even turbo) prototyping techniques to experiment with ideas and get user feedback.
Teaching & Learning
I love teaching.
In fact, I’ve redirected my entire life’s course so I could teach and do research at Stanford. And then I started teaching industry innovators about ten years ago. Very fun. That has grown quickly, and the people I’ve taught have done amazing work.
In my teaching I never summarize or re-package other people’s materials. That’s not groundbreaking. Instead, I teach my own discoveries. So when you learn from me, the content is uniquely my own.
Most recently, I've trained a group of industry innovators to teach my work in Behavior Design. They are leaders from multi-disciplinary backgrounds, including business, tech, medical, financial, non-profit and government.
This group -- The Fogg Teaching Team -- is trained to deliver a 55-minute keynote and a 75-minute workshop on foundations in Behavior Design. I will be sharing more about the Teaching Team in the days ahead.