You’ll find below best practices and tools around using behavioral insights to analyze and change behaviors. These may be better suited to experienced practitioners, though some would be valuable to anyone I hope.
They are organized according to the 3 Lenses of Analysis that forms my ICAR Behavior Analysis Framework: Incentives, Choice Architecture and Repetition.
For each, you will find:
- Best Practices: will help you in planning and completing the analysis.
- Behavioral Tools: the practical tools you can make use of to change behaviors.
- Behavioral Tendencies: the human tendencies at play. They are the theoretical reasons behind the Tools. Read them to dig a bit deeper on a particular Tendency.
- How to combine Incentives analysis and Behavioral Insights to change behaviors
- Don’t follow lessons in popular Behavioral Economics books
- The synergies between Behavioral Interventions and Conversion Rate Optimization
- Target both objective and subjective customer satisfaction drivers
- Why you should always test Behavioral Interventions on a small scale first
- Distinguish mandates, incentives and nudges
- Decide on final business metrics before project launch
- How to prioritize customer touch points for behavioral intervention?
- Doubt (at least initially) 95% of scientific research results
Incentives analysis is the first phase of the ICAR Framework and the layer that carries the most weight in shaping behaviors. It can be tricky distinguishing finely what is a Tendency and what is a Tool for this layer.
For example, people tend to act according to the modulations (positive or negative) they expect to get in terms of self-esteem from a specific behavior. This is a Tendency.
This is also a Tool however, in that it can be used directly in a intervention. So note that some Tendencies are also applicable Tools for this layer.
The second phase of analysis is Choice Architecture.
- Halo Effect (tendency)
- Disjunction effects: immediate decisions prevented by an uncertain, but irrelevant, future event
- The peak-end rule for rating past experiences
- Ranking of choice options influences decisions
- A/A illusion (or A/B illusion)
- Moral licensing (or self-licensing)
- Conflict of interest disclosure leads to more biased advice
- Myopic Loss Aversion
The Tools used for the Choice Architecture Lens are numerous and further organized in 5 sections (see the framework for the explanations).
Data & Info presentation
Contextual persuasion and copy elements
- Increase Concreteness to increase impact of elements
- False friend: beware disfluency as a BE tool
- Halo Effect (tool)
Choice ergonomics and usability; user experience
- False friends: priming is a less efficient than you’ve been told
- Default choice(s): types and how to use them
- Reactance Mitigation
- Order of option presentations
Options and possibilities structuring
An optional layer of analysis, if relevant, when the goal is to create repeated behaviors over time.