Changing Behavior to Improve People’s Lives

This essay focuses on the role of behavior change in improving individual and social outcomes. Our framework is based on the work of ideas42—an organization that uses insights from behavioral science to design scalable solutions for social impact.

The four issues which this essay cover are:

  1. Defining the problem to be solved and the intended outcome of an intervention, and sketching an approach or strategy for solving it
  2. Diagnosing barriers that prevent beneficiaries or other stakeholders from acting according to the strategy
  3. Designing interventions to influence their behavior in positive ways
  4. Testing the efficacy of the intervention and iterating to improve its impact.

While the authors focus on individual behavior, groups play important roles in influencing behavioral change; indeed, one important lever of behavioral change involves individuals’ psychological identity with peers. But in the end, it is the behavior of individual members of the group that will improve outcomes.

Last modified: December 9, 2021

Language: English