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Who we are

Led by BJ Fogg, PhD, the Behavior Design Lab is an interdisciplinary team of Stanford students, recent graduates, and quantitative researchers. About 10 people are involved in lab projects at any given moment. 

Our team is the global authority in a new and systematic way to design for behavior change, an approach we call “Behavior Design.” This is a new way to:

(1) think clearly about human behavior and 

(2) design solutions that create lasting change.

Why we created Behavior Design

Our lab’s overall mission is this: Teach good people how human behavior works so they can create solutions that effectively increase health, boost happiness, and promote human flourishing. 

Here’s why our groundbreaking work matters . . . 

Traditional approaches to behavior change have not been effective. For many decades most programs created to influence behavior would fail miserably. 

Recognizing this reality, our lab team stepped away from the tradition, and in 2009 we began creating a new way to design for behavior change. Fast forward to today: Our systematic approach -- Behavior Design -- has led to successful solutions in health, financial wellness, productivity, and more. 

From parents to policymakers, people around the world need a simple, reliable way to design for behavior change. And that’s what we’ve created. Behavior Design is simple. And it’s reliable. Most important, our system actually works. 

Today, after 10 years of innovation, the foundation of Behavior Design is firmly established. But we didn’t want to stop there. Each year at Stanford (through teaching and research) we improve the methods and applications of Behavior Design, an ongoing process of iteration and learning.

In addition, we have become experts in training other people to use Behavior Design in practical ways. That means our lab can build capacity in organizations around the world so they can tackle their most challenging problems. Training others is one way we can scale our lab’s impact. 

Our home at Stanford

In early 2021 our lab relocated to the Division of Health and Human Performance (HHP) within the Stanford Flourishing Project, under the umbrella of Stanford Medicine and Vaden Health Services. This affiliation opens new doors for research and real-world impact, as we collaborate with other world-class laboratories, researchers, and thought leaders at a local and global scale.

BJ Fogg, PhD


Dr. BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, where he directs research and innovation. In addition, he teaches industry innovators how to use his models and methods in Behavior Design. The purpose of his research and teaching is to help millions of people improve their lives. 

At Stanford, BJ was an appointed Lecturer and Consulting Assistant Professor in the Department of Computer Science, where he taught classes from 1997 - 2014. He has also been a Lecturer and  Social Science Research Scholar at the Graduate School of Education from 2001 to the present.

BJ’s research and innovation has been cited over 20,000 times, 2,500 times since 2019, and and over 9,000 times since 2015. 

BJ wrote a seminal book, Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do, about how computers can be designed to influence attitudes and behaviors. That book, together with his early innovations, inspired an annual global academic conference on the topic. 

Heralded as a thought leader in helping people use mobile for good, BJ first focused his efforts on health behaviors. From 2007 to 2012, BJ annually brought together academics, government agencies, mobile vendors, and private sector health organizations for conferences and workshops to share insights, resources, and best practices. He is the co-editor of Mobile Persuasion: 20 Perspectives on the Future of Behavior Change. Fortune Magazine named BJ a “New Guru You Should Know” for his insights about mobile and social networks.

BJ’s Stanford students have gone on to co-found Instagram, as well as launch a global movement focusing on “time well spent” and the Center for Humane Technology.

BJ is the New York Times bestselling author of Tiny Habits.

To see more of BJ's work, go to