Habit Weekly
Best behavioral design content of the week
By Samuel Salzer

There seems to only be one thing on most peoples minds right now, and for good reason. Still, I don't want to make this newsletter all about COVID-19 and so it's packed with plenty of great content (not relating to the outbreak), including a likely contender for book of the year + much more. Enjoy!

Highlights this week

📣 New Book of the Month

👣 Five Steps to Select the Right Behavior to Target

😷 Dedicated column on all things COVID-19
🏢 Now opportunities listed on the job board


Engaged - Designing for Behavior Change
"Behavior change design creates entrancing—and effective—products and experiences. Whether you’ve studied psychology or are new to the field, you can incorporate behavior change principles into your designs to help people achieve meaningful goals, learn and grow, and connect with one another. Engaged offers practical tips for design professionals to apply the psychology of engagement to their work."

I loved everything about this newly published book. Amy Bucher is a wonderful representative of the field and she proves it here again as she manages to blend valuable insights for any behavior change practitioner in a practical and insightful way. There are not a lot of books in our field that ticks all the boxes, but this certainly is one. What are you waiting for? Get your copy and let's make Engaged a best-seller - it certainly deserves to be!


Five Steps to Select the Right Behavior to Target
This article provides five steps for identifying ideal target behaviour(s) based on the BehaviourWorks Method. This is a very similar process to what I use and something that anyone in behavioral design should consider making a part of their process for crafting effective interventions. I strongly recommend you follow Peter Slattery for more great content like this. He's a good friend and someone I greatly respect in this field.
BehaviourWorks | Read time: 6 min | #Method #Process #BehavioralDesign

Why your COOs should be CBOs: Chief Behavioral Officers
This great read argues the case for the Chief Behavioural Officer (CBO) – and why all Operations leaders should see themselves as one.
FCA | Read time: 10 min | #Organization #Roles #CBO

Context Matters for Nudgers, Too: A Lesson from One of the Most Diverse Countries on Earth
This article has done the rounds this week and it offers a great perspective on recent projects of behavioral insights applied in India. However, while the article argues that context was the culprit here, I would say that perhaps a lack of proper behavioral diagnosis and user research might be equally to blame.
Behavioral Scientist | Read time: 8 min | #Culture #Nudging #Context


PODCAST: The Money Saving Wonder of a Control Condition
Talking about CBO's. Charlotte Blank is one of the world’s first Chief behavioral officers and as CBO of Maritz, Charlotte leads their practice of behavioral science and innovation. Listen in as she talks about how she forges the connection between academic theory and applied business practice through experimentation.
Its Just A Bunch of BS | Listen time: 54 min | #Organization #BehavioralScience #Experiments

PODCAST: Habit Weekly: A Discussion With Creator Samuel Salzer
This was such a fun conversation and credit to Melina Palmer for being an amazing host. I hope you enjoy our conversation and make sure you follow her wonderful podcast The Brainy Business. I don't normally ask for this, but if you would like to help support this newsletter then I'd greatly appreciate if you help share this episode. Thanks!
The Brainy Business | Listen time: 45min | #BehavioralDesign #BadHabits #Friction

For more episodes follow my Behavioral Design Podcast Playlist.


For anyone interested in exploring the recent COVID-19 outbreak from a behavioral perspective, I've here assembled all of the best content to check out.

Handwashing Can Stop a Virus—So Why Don’t We Do It?
How can behavioral science help us take advantage of one of the most effective measures we have to prevent the spread of viruses, like COVIDー19? More from Michael Hallsworth on how to stop touching our faces in the wake of the Coronavirus.

The Cognitive Bias That Makes Us Panic About Coronavirus
On excessive fear of coronavirus and probability neglect from Cass Sunstein.

Behavioural Strategies for Reducing COVID-19 Transmission in the General Population
How we can reduce the spread of COVID-19 as viewed through the COM-B model.

Changing Behaviour to Slow Coronavirus Spread Is Easier Said Than Done
Some general thoughts and ideas for how to make hand washing happening at the workplace.

Even as Behavioural Researchers We Couldn’t Resist the Urge to Buy Toilet Paper
Some behavioral science informed thoughts on the #ToiletPaperWars.

Why We Can’t Think Straight About the Coronavirus
From last week, this article does a good job of covering why it's hard to think clearly about what is going on.

PODCAST: How Be-Sci Can Be Used to Prevent the Spread of COVID19
Professor Susan Michie and Professor Jim McManus discuss how behavioural science can be used to help prevent the spread of COVID19.

TOOL: Do Not Touch Your Face
A tool that teaches you to avoid touching your face using your webcam.
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Upgrade your skill-set and knowledge-base

Behavioral Economics Bootcamp by Irrational Labs'
Learn how to build, design, and market products that change behavior in Irrational Labs 2-day, 4-week or 10-week bootcamps. 
Habit Weekly promo codes: 2-day (2DAY250SAM), 4-Week (4WEEK500SAM), and 10-Week (10WEEK1000SAM)

See list of all 20+ online courses here


Explore exciting job openings in the field


North America


Opportunities to network and learn

Behavior-Centered Design for the Environment Training
April 1-2, 2020 - Arlington, VA

Behaviour Change for Health
April 6 -7, 2020 - London, UK

Behavioural Exchange
July 13-14, 2020 - Toronto, Canada

See a full list of upcoming conferences here.



I hope this week's newsletter found you well and you discovered some good tidbits. As always, feel free to send me an email with your thoughts, questions, and suggestions for content or improvements.

Just hit reply.

- Samuel
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This weekly newsletter is curated by Samuel Salzer, freelancing behavioral strategist, keynote speaker and author, helping organizations build user-centered and habit-forming products and services by applying the latest in behavioral design insights.
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