Applying psychology to solving industry and world problems is not new.Using applied psychology to identify target behaviors and creating solutions that work is new. It is called Behavior Design or Behavioral Design.
Stanford University and Dr. BJ Fogg are the two strongest roots of Behavior Design.
Dr. Fogg, director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, pioneered Behavior Design through his research and industry contributions.
Although the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab was founded in 1998, “Behavior Design” did not gain significant traction until 2007 with the “Facebook App” class taught by Dr. Fogg and Dave McClure, founder of 500 Startups.
Numerous students from that class either sold their companies or went onto founding ones that change behavior. Two notable companies would be Instagram and Pulse. The famous NYTimes article on the class can be found here: The Class That Built Apps, and Fortunes.
Since that class, many notable pioneers of Behavior Design come out of Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab.On June 16, 2013 Stanford became the first university to have a Behavior Design major graduate — David Ngo.
Actually, David Ngo and our co-founder Christian Romero are business partners.
We are writing this because:
1) We love the field and am always learning
2) We often get asked “How do we learn Behavior Design? Who do we talk to if we want to apply Behavior Design to ‘X’ field?”
Actually, David asked many of the same questions during his time at Stanford. Because the field is so new, there were very few academic classes that catered exclusively to Behavior Design. So David and Christian had to learn in the real world and from his mentors. And these are the people that we found, studied, worked with personally, or heard about.
Hope it’s helpful to you.