From behavioral science to innovation

Sarah Mummah sm885@cam.ac.uk

Abstract

How do the most innovative companies design for health behavior change? How can we create products, services, and experiences that disrupt old habits and drive new ones? How might insights from behavioral science inspire new approaches to building healthier behaviors? Dr. Sarah Mummah, PhD, is a behavioral scientist and senior designer at the award-winning global innovation firm IDEO and Lecturer at the Stanford University Institute of Design (d.school). She believes insights from behavioral science are the key to innovation and helps a range of Fortune 500 companies and startups answer these and other questions to create positive impact in the world.

In this talk, Dr. Mummah will share examples from science that show us we're surprisingly poor predictors of our own behavior and motivations and, in turn, we struggle to predict what drives others. A set of behavioral design principles will be introduced that can help us rethink how we might influence our users and patients as we create products, services, and experiences to improve their health. These principles are grounded in research from fields including behavioral economics, neuroscience, and cognitive and developmental psychology, have been published in the peer-reviewed literature by Dr. Mummah and her colleagues at Stanford and Cambridge universities, and can help us reframe design challenges to arrive at more innovative solutions.

Stories from the field will demonstrate how some of the most innovative companies have used these principles to design for behavior change—and where this thinking might lead us to next. Examples will explore behavioral challenges such as: How might we help adults eat more vegetables? How might we spread kindness among hospital staff? How might we increase medication adherence among patients with type-2 diabetes? How might we motivate elderly women to exercise more? How might we help patients use more preventative health care services? Throughout, we will see how insights from scientific research, paired with a human-centered design thinking approach, can help us move from behavioral science to innovation.
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