The digital age – how have our lives improve through digital behaviour interventions?

Apr 19, 2019

Have you ever been ‘elbow-ed’ by one of your friends? Maybe it was to push you to answer a teacher’s question or to introduce yourself to a new person. That in itself is a form of nudge!

These days, nudges come in different forms – even digitally! Given the digital age we live in today, there has been a rise in the implementation of digital behavioural interventions. 

SMS text reminders have been demonstrated to be very effective in changing behaviours such as ‘no-shows’ and have been found to be very cost-effective, saving hospitals and medical centres millions of dollars. 

Appointments are but just one way of reminder. Think of exercise trackers or even the role of the media! 

Activity tracker on a woman’s wrist; Shutterstock ID 242344369; PO: today.com

But one might ask how this leads to behaviour change – well, as one receives the reminder text on their phone, there are various psychological aspects of persuasion in play here. Tailored appointment reminders help one to feel more in control of their desired behaviour.

Additionally, this act of persuasion influences an individual’s decision-making, which then motivates them to act desirably, therefore leading to behaviour change (i.e. showing up for the scheduled appointment).

Yet, with all the pros, there are also the cons. Increasingly with more notifications from all sorts of apps, such updates may not become an irritant instead of useful. In fact, we sometimes “clear” these notifications without wondering that they are, so perhaps it might also be useful to slow down and dispensable notifications or updates that you do not need.

Just another example of how nudges can be low resource-intensive and time-efficient. Can you think of other digital interventions around you that have helped you change your behaviour?

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YSEALI Week One – Making Green The Norm

It’s been about five days since arriving in Washington, DC, and it’s been quite a different environment so far. Amongst which have been the cool weather, wide streets and friendly people. Yet the one sight that left me a deep impression was this recycling bin. Coupled with the briefings that I had over the past week, I thought it was a useful to sum up my initial thoughts and observations

Sometimes nudges are all around us – do you notice them?

What safety prompts and triggers have you noticed on roads while driving around the country? One of the most important road safety measures were implemented in the 1900s. Can you guess what it is? – Yes, it is the speed bump!Did you know that speed bumps, humps and rumble lines act as a nudge for vehicles to slow down? As a driver, you notice this ‘obstacle’ from a distance and begin to engage the brake pedal to slow down your vehicle. 

Have you seen these ‘Giant Exercise Machines’ around?

Ever forced yourself to sign up for a one-year gym membership to motivate yourself to exercise but found yourself attending less than 5 sessions a year?Sometimes, passive nudges such as providing and/or promoting a viable alternative at the time choice can strongly encourage you to pursue a healthier option! 

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