Creating Enduring Behavior Change

The Power to Improve Lives

At the Behavior Change for Good Initiative, we know that solving the mystery of enduring behavior change offers an enormous opportunity to improve lives.
We unite an interdisciplinary team of scientists with leading practitioners in education, healthcare, and consumer financial services, all of whom seek to address the question: How can we make behavior change stick?
 

Our Approach

We are developing an interactive digital platform to improve daily decisions about health, education, and savings.

For the first time, a world-class team of scientific experts will be able to continually test and improve a behavior change program by seamlessly incorporating the latest insights from their research into massive random-assignment experiments. Their interactive digital platform seeks to improve daily health, education, and savings decisions of millions.

Behavior Change Focus Areas

Health

Health depends on thousands of daily choices—to eat well, avoid tobacco, and take medications.

Forty percent of the 1.16 million premature deaths in the US each year result from suboptimal behavior; tobacco is responsible for 435,000 of those deaths, while poor diet and physical inactivity account for 400,000

Education

Academic success requires attending class, studying, and engaging on countless occasions.

About 23% of American high school students and 49% of college students drop out before earning diplomas. Research suggests academic success can be dramatically increased without changing intelligence or family income.

Savings

For many, financial security results from repeated decisions to spend judiciously and save assiduously.

One in three American families has no savings, and 52% are under-saving, though most need to save just 15% of earnings to prepare for retirement.

Our Programs

StepUp: a Habit Building, Science-Based Workout Program

StepUp is a free program developed by Behavior Change for Good. The program is being launched in partnership with 24 Hour Fitness. StepUp is designed by world-renowned scientists to identify what works best for creating positive health habits.

April 12, 2018

Early Coverage of Our Work

Should We Rely on Others to Help Us Break Our Bad Habits?

It’s Sunday night: You’ve written out your meal plan for the week, scheduled some time each day to spend at the gym and you’re ready to tackle Monday. (Go you!) But try as you might, your perfectly planned week may be met with some unanticipated stressors and last-minute schedule changes. Sticking with a fitness or health goal can be difficult when life gets crazy. These goals require planning, but more than that, they require accountability.

May 23, 2018

Can This Dream Team of 47 Top Scientists Finally Figure Out How to Change Bad Habits?

An ambitious new study wants to solve one of the trickiest problems in behavioral science: how to get your lazy butt to the gym.

May 14, 2018

True Grit Is the Predictor of Success

We know staying power is important — but can it be taught?

May 7, 2018

Fit Hacks: join our first running challenge

Last autumn I became one of those annoying people who count their steps. Who think about their steps; who ask others about their steps.

I set a goal of 15,000 steps a day. At first I met my target often. But as the novelty wore off, goals made in the morning meant less to me than when I was tired at the end of a day.

May 3, 2018

Using Behavioral Science to Build an Exercise Habit

Spring has finally sprung, which means bathing suit season is just around the corner. That ominous thought will lead many Americans to start a workout routine in the coming weeks, but having great abs at the beach isn’t the most important reason to exercise.

May 1, 2018

In the Quest for Lasting Behavior Change, Two Researchers Lead the Charge

Have you ever made a commitment to exercise more often? You sign up with a gym and succeed for a time but soon, too soon, the enthusiasm fades. Eventually, your workout clothes gather dust and your gym membership does nothing but empty your wallet.

November 14, 2017

How to Launch a Behavior-Change Revolution

Academic studies are nice, and so are Nobel Prizes. But to truly prove the value of a new idea, you have to unleash it to the masses. That’s what a dream team of social scientists is doing — and we sat in as they drew up their game plan.

October 25, 2017

Could Solving This One Problem Solve All Others?

The biggest problem with humanity is humans themselves. Too often, we make choices — what we eat, how we spend our money and time — that undermine our well-being. An all-star team of academic researchers thinks it has the solution: perfecting the science of behavior change. Will it work?

April 5, 2017

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