Two Behavior Theories

“We want the users to use XX, do YY and increase ZZ.“

That’s a frequent quote that demonstrates a non-user-centered approach. XX is the features “we” come up with. YY is the behavior “we” want the users to do. ZZ probably is the business goal or KPI “we” are responsible for.

But from the users’ perspective, it is for sure not the feature or the KPI that matters to them. Other elements are driving people to certain behaviors.

Here are two behavior theories to help.

1. The Fogg Behavior Model (FBM)

For the reference of his original idea, please check here

The core idea of FBM is this equation:

(Behaviour=Motivation, Ability, and Trigger)

FBM is quite popular. It 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.

Dr. BJ Fogg breaks down subcomponents for each principal elements.

  • Three Core Motivators (Motivation): Sensation, Anticipation, and Belonging. Each of these has two sides: pleasure/pain, hope/fear, acceptance/rejection.
  • Six Simplicity Factors (Ability): Time, Money, Physical effort, Brain cycles, Social deviance, Non-routine
  • Three type of Triggers: Facilitator, Signal, and Spark.

Motivation can make a lot of unbelievable things happen. When we are saying we believe in the human power, it is about the magic of willpower. People can learn things very quickly if they want to. They can be self-disciplined and willing to sacrifice to do things.

Motivation taps out the potential of abilities. But that is the rare case. Most people resist learning new things because they don’t have enough motivation. That’s just how we are as humans: lazy. So training people, giving them more skills, more ability to do the target behavior is the hard path. The better path is to make the target behavior easier to do.

Triggers are telling people to “do it now!”.

2. Six Sources Strategy Matrix

This model comes from this book Influencer: The Power to Change Anything, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler.

Compared to the Fogg model, this matrix brings the social perspective. We are social animals, and our behaviors are influenced heavily by social and environmental elements.

Show your support

Clapping shows how much you appreciated Min Chen’s story.