Posts Tagged ‘cognitiveResearch’

Behavioral insights

November 3, 2017

EAST framework

  • E-asy
    • Harness the power of defaults. – We have a strong tendency to go with the
      default or pre-set option, since it is easy to do so. Making an option the
      default makes it more likely to be adopted.
    • Reduce the ‘hassle factor’ of taking up a service.- The effort required to
      perform an action often puts people off. Reducing the effort required can
      increase uptake or response rates.
    • Simplify messages – Making the message clear often results in a significant

      increase in response rates to communications. In particular, it’s useful to
      identify how a complex goal can be broken down into simpler, easier actions.
  • A-ttractive
    • Attract attention. – We are more likely to do something that our attention
      is drawn towards. Ways of doing this include the use of images, colour or
    • Design rewards and sanctions for maximum effect. – Financial incentives are
      often highly effective, but alternative incentive designs — such as lotteries —
      also work well and often cost less
  • S-ocial
    • Show that most people perform the desired behaviour. – Describing what most people do in a particular situation encourages others to do the
      same. Similarly, policy makers should be wary of inadvertently reinforcing
      a problematic behaviour by emphasising its high prevalence.
    • Use the power of networks. – We are embedded in a network of social
      relationships, and those we come into contact with shape our actions.
      Governments can foster networks to enable collective action, provide
      mutual support, and encourage behaviours to spread peer-to-peer.
    • Encourage people to make a commitment to others. – We often use
      commitment devices to voluntarily ‘lock ourselves’ into doing something
      in advance. The social nature of these commitments is often crucial.
  • T-imely
    • Prompt people when they are likely to be most receptive. – The same offer made at different times can have drastically different levels of success.
      Behaviour is generally easier to change when habits are already disrupted,
      such as around major life events.
    • Consider the immediate costs and benefits. – We are more influenced by costs
      and benefits that take effect immediately than those delivered later. Policy
      makers should consider whether the immediate costs or benefits can be
      adjusted (even slightly), given that they are so influential.
    • Help people plan their response to events. – There is a substantial gap between intentions and actual behaviour. A proven solution is to prompt people to identify the barriers to action, and develop a specific plan to address them.
The EAST framework is at the heart of this methodology, but it cannot be applied in isolation from a good understanding of the nature and context of the problem. Therefore, we have developed a fuller method for developing projects, which has four main stages:
  1. Define the outcome – Identify exactly what behaviour is to be influenced. Consider how this can be measured reliably and efficiently. Establish how large a change would make the project worthwhile, and over what time period.
  2. Understand the context – Visit the situations and people involved in the behaviour, and understand the context from their perspective. Use this opportunity to develop new insights and design a sensitive and feasible intervention.
  3. Build your intervention – Use the EAST framework to generate your behavioural insights. This is likely to be an iterative process that returns to the two steps above.
  4. Test, learn, adapt – Put your intervention into practice so its effects can be reliably measured. Wherever possible, BIT attempts to use randomised controlled trials to evaluate its interventions. These introduce a control group so you can understand what would have happened if you had done nothing.









Nonlinear human behaviour

October 3, 2017

“In science, when human behavior enters the equation, things go nonlinear. That’s why Physics is easy and Sociology is hard.”

Neil deGrasse Tyson on Twitter

Cognitive load is lessened with rounded shapes

June 20, 2017

According to research, it’s harder for the brain to process sharp edges — the cognitive load is lessened with rounded shapes.

Molly Mc Hugh


Nash equilibrium

June 1, 2017

In a Nash equilibrium, every person in a group makes the best decision for himself, based on what he thinks the others will do. And this inevitably ends up being a bad decision for the collective.

A. Madhavan: Why we need a dating app that understands Nash’s equilibrium

What is Browsing?

March 16, 2017

Browsing is the activity of engaging in a series of glimpses, each of which exposes the browser to objects of potential interest; depending on interest, the browser may or may not examine more closely one or more of the (physical or represented) objects; this examination, depending on interest, may or may not lead the browser to (physically or conceptually) acquire the object.

Marcia J. Bates

What Causes Behavior Change?

September 19, 2016

The Fogg Behavior Model shows that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing.

Behaviour change elements: motiviation, ability, trigger

Core Motivators: pleasure/pain; hope/fear; social acceptance/rejection

Simplicity factors: time; money; physical effort; brain cycles; social deviance; non-routine

Triggers: facilitator; spark; signal

BJ Fogg’s Behavioral Model

Peak End Rule

December 6, 2015

The second observation made by Daniel Kahneman is the Peak End Rule. He found that people judge experiences based on their peak (an intense moment of the experience) and at their end, rather than a total flat average of the experience. The duration of the experience has no bearing on the experience over all.

Joe Mcleod in

Human needs unfolded

September 8, 2015

Physical sustenance

  • Air
  • Food/Water
  • Health
  • Movement
  • Physical safety
  • Rest / sleep
  • Shelter
  • Touch


  • Consistency
  • Order/Structure
  • Peace
  • Peace of mind
  • Protection
  • Safety
  • Stability
  • Trusting


  • Humour
  • Joy
  • Play
  • Pleasure


  • Appreciation
  • Attention
  • Closeness
  • Companionship
  • Harmony
  • Intimacy
  • Love
  • Nurturing
  • Sexual expression
  • Support
  • Tenderness
  • Warmth


  • Awareness
  • Clarity
  • Discovery
  • Learning


  • Choice
  • Ease
  • Independence
  • Power
  • Self-responsibility
  • Space
  • Spontaneity


  • Aliveness
  • Challenge
  • Contribution
  • Creativity
  • Effectiveness
  • Exploration
  • Integration
  • Purpose


  • Acceptance
  • Care
  • Compassion
  • Consideration
  • Empathy
  • Kindness
  • Mutual recognition
  • Respect
  • To be heard / seen
  • To be understood
  • To be trusted
  • Understanding others


  • Belonging
  • Communication
  • Cooperation
  • Equality
  • Inclusion
  • Mutuality
  • Participation
  • Partnership
  • Self-expression
  • Sharing

Sense of self

  • Authenticity
  • Competence
  • Creativity
  • Dignity
  • Growth
  • Healing
  • Honesty
  • Integrity
  • Self-accesptance
  • Self-care
  • Self-realization
  • Mattering to myself


  • Beauty
  • Celebration of life
  • Communion
  • Faith
  • Flow
  • Hope
  • Inspiration
  • Mourning
  • Internal peace
  • Presence

Sources: Marshall Rosenberg; Manfred Max-Neef; Miki and Arnina Kashtan

From: Service Design: 250 essential methods by Robert A Curedale

Human Needs

September 8, 2015

Marshall Rosenberg‘s universal needs:

  • Physical Well-being Needs—air, food, water, shelter, rest, movement, touch, sexual expression
  • Autonomy Needs—choice of dreams / goals / values, choice in plans for fulfilling them
  • Integrity Needs—authenticity, meaning, purpose, self worth, way to contribute to life
  • Celebration Needs—honoring small successes and big successes, mourning losses of loved ones and dreams
  • Interdependence / Connection Needs—acceptance, appreciation, consideration, community, emotional safety, honesty, love, respect, reassurance, support, trust, understanding
  • Recreation / Play Needs—creativity, fun, laughter, relaxing activities
  • Spiritual Needs—beauty, harmony, inspiration, order, peace

Abraham Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs:

  • Physical Needs—air, food, water
  • Safety Needs—shelter, safety from environment and other humans
  • Belonging Needs—affiliation, connection with others—particular ones and community
  • Esteem Needs—achievement, competence, self-esteem, recognition by others
  • Cognitive Needs—understanding of a subject, exploration of an unknown
  • Aesthetic Needs—symmetry, order, beauty
  • Self-Actualization Needs—realization of one’s potential, comfortable acceptance of oneself and the world, identification of that which one most deeply hungers to do and action to be doing it
  • Self-Transcendent Needs—connection to something beyond oneself, helping others find self-fulfillment or realization of their potential


Manfred Max-Neef, a Chilean economist who studied the problems in the Third World, devised a way to measure real poverty and wealth, in terms of how well a culture meets its citizens’ fundamental needs.  He proposes a slightly different list of needs and discusses the qualities, things, actions, and settings that would accompany each.  Max-Neef reflects that needs are basic across cultures, but strategies for meeting them vary.

Here are three more models of how well a country is meeting the needs of its citizens. The Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) has been around for 20 years.  The Gross National Happiness (GNH) scale and the Happy Planet Index (HPI) are more recent efforts.  Google these for more info.

Another group, The Search Institute, has focused on how well a community meets the needs of its youth.  They list experiences (Forty Developmental Assets) that are helpful for children and have produced many studies to show that children who get more of these needs met have many fewer social and health problems.

The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument, with parallel to Myers-Briggs Interest Inventory, suggests there are four major clusters of needs and that our brains are hardwired to be focused on one or more clusters.  Testing and training is offered for the business world.

Heuristics of Sensemaking

March 30, 2015

According to Karl Weick in ‘Sensemaking in Organizations’:

  • Sensemaking is matter of identity: it is who we understand ourselves to be in relation to the world around us.
  • Sensemaking is retrospective: we shape experience into meaningful patterns according to our memory of experience.
  • How and what becomes sensible depends on our socialization: where we grew up in the world, how we were taught to be in the world, where we are located now in the world, the people with whom we are currently interacting.
  • Sensemaking is a continuous flow; it is ongoing, because the world, our interactions with the world, and our understandings of the world are constantly changing. You might also think of sensemaking as perpetually emergent meaning and awareness.
  • Sensemaking builds on extracted cues that we apprehend from sense and perception. Cognition is the meaningful internal embellishment of these cues. We articulate these embellishments through speaking and writing – the “what I say” part of Weick’s recipe. In doing so, we reify and reinforce cues and their meaning, and add to our repertoire of retrospective experience.
  • Sensemaking is less a matter of accuracy and completeness than plausibility and sufficiency. We simply have neither the perceptual nor cognitive resources to know everything exhaustively, so we have to move forward as best as we can. Plausibility and sufficiency enable action-in-context.

Laura A. McNamara: Sensemaking in Organizations: Reflections on Karl Weick and Social Theory