Behavior change


Can a Scale that Leverages Behavioral Economics Help You Lose Weight? (Podcast interview with Professor Dan Ariely)

Why do we repeatedly make decisions that we know will undermine our goals – like procrastinating, or spending too much money?
Nowhere is this sort of self-defeating pattern more evident than in health-related behaviors. For example, in order to successfully lose weight and maintain weight loss, we need to make a variety of different choices on a daily basis. Yet most of us struggle to consistently make the right decisions, even when we know what we should be doing.
Advances in digital technology have given us unprecedented access to data through wearable devices, which can provide continuous information about our bodies and physical performance. But humans are not robots, and what we do with that information does not always support our long-term goals.
In this episode of humanOS Radio, I speak with Dr. Dan Ariely. Dan is the James B. Duke Professor of Psychology and Behavioral Economics at Duke University. He has dedicated his life to understanding irrational behaviors. He has long recognized that even with access to useful information, we don’t always make the right choices. Furthermore, how we respond emotionally to health-related data can be counterproductive.
Body weight can be a particularly treacherous metric in this respect. For instance, due to shifts in water balance in the body, your weight can fluctuate up and down all the time, for reasons that often aren’t really related to body composition. Dr. Ariely became interested in this phenomenon and resolved to design a better scale that took these psychological tendencies into account. In this interview, I talk with Dr. Ariely about this device and the research behind it. Click to learn more!

The Most Advanced Understanding of How to Optimize Motivation, with Dustin DiTommaso

Where to you get the energy to do something hard or inconvenient? It matters because so much of what’s important in life comes from finding that strength. The topic of the discussion in this podcast is motivation, which can be described as the activation energy needed to do most-to-all volitional activities. Specifically, we’ll be discussing the leading behavior model of motivation called Self-Determination Theory. Like most complex subjects, motivation is NOT a monolithic entity, although it’s usually referred to as if it were. Rather, there are different types of motivation, and these different types have different affects on behavior. The good news is that with a greater understanding of the subject, you can better strategize when to use the specific types and, ultimately, how to use various the types together to stay engaged with something that is important but hard or inconvenient, long term.