Psychology of Persuasion — BJ Fogg

BJ Fogg, founder of the Persuasive Technology Lab at Stanford University, walks us through how to change behavior. Fogg argues that three elements must converge for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger.

Fogg says the most important nine words in behavior design — at least from the point of view of the Internet — are “put hot triggers in the path of motivated people.”

Cold triggers, like billboards, don't allow you to take action. You may walk by a McDonald's billboard and crave a Big Mac but you can't do anything. Hot triggers, on the other hand, allow you to take immediate action.

The organizers of the talk below wanted Fogg to call it the “millionaire maker.” The CEO of Instagram, a former student of Fogg's, would probably agree.

“When you think about it, Google does this. When you enter something into the search and an ad comes up, that is a hot trigger they put in your path and they sell that to other companies.

Still curious? Fogg is the author of Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do.