Insights from the Fogg Behavior Model to analyze Incentives

Analyzing Incentives is the first step in my Behavioral Orchestration Analysis Framework. Despite all the advances in Behavioral Sciences, people are still responding very strongly to incentives.

The Incentives section of the framework describes how I classify them, but I wanted to share some elements you can use readily to help analyze incentives in any situation. They come from the model created by BJ Fogg, which has 3 parts: Motivation, Ability, Triggers. The first 2 parts can be seen as being about incentives.

They’re not the only elements to look at when analyzing incentives, but they’re an excellent starting point.


  • Pleasure/Pain: obvious incentives, comes in any domain (physical, emotional, etc.)
  • Hope/Fear: any behavior creating one or the other will be more/less easy to have people follow
  • Social acceptance/Social rejection: again, if a change in behavioral orchestration creates potential for increased social acceptance or risks of social rejection, then it should be part of an incentives analysis


  • Time: the more time people have to spend the less likely they’ll change behavior (if you save them time, then of course you increase probability).
  • Money: same with money obviously.
  • Physical effort: again, same.
  • Cognitive effort: similarly.
  • Social deviance: linked to acceptance/rejection above but any behavior that is seen as deviant will be more difficult to have people follow than an alternative that is not.
  • Non-routine: or “change-aversion”. Change has a number of costs, some clear others hidden. People will always be more wary of behaviors requiring them to change.