B. J. Fogg

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BJ Fogg
2017 portrait BJ Fogg
Alma materStanford University
Known forTiny Habits method, captology, behavior design
Scientific career
FieldsBehavior scientist, behavior design captology
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisCharismatic computers (1997)
Academic advisorsClifford Nass, Philip Zimbardo, Terry Winograd, Byron Reeves
Notable studentsMike Krieger Tristan Harris

B.J. Fogg is a behavior scientist and author. He is the founder and director of the Stanford Behavior Design Lab.

Fogg was the first scientist to articulate the concept of "captology", or the study of how computers can be used to persuade people to change their attitudes or behaviors. He started this research in 1993 and continued to spotlight the potentials and pitfalls of persuasive technology. In 2010, his research shifted away from persuasive technology into a more general study of human behavior, an approach he named "Behavior Design" (which is not the same thing as captology). Behavior Design comprises a set of models for understanding how human behavior works, as well as a set of methods he has created to help innovators create successful products.

Research and teaching[edit]

As a doctoral student at Stanford University (1993-1997), Fogg used methods from experimental psychology to demonstrate that computers can change people's thoughts and behaviors in predictable ways.

BJ Fogg has written about the ethics of persuasion and technology. In 1998 he published the first peer-reviewed paper to address the ethics of persuasive technology, Persuasive Computers: Perspectives and Research Directions, which was required reading for his students and lab members. In 1999 he commissioned his lab members to write an article on the ethics of persuasive technology for a special issue of ACM that he guest edited.[1] In 2006, Fogg and some of his students created a video to warn the FTC and others about problematic areas related to persuasive technology.[2]

In 1998, Fogg founded the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. He directed the Stanford Web Credibility Project, which published How Do People Evaluate a Web Site's Credibility? in 2002. The lab received a grant from the National Science Foundation in 2005 to support experimental work investigating how mobile phones can motivate and persuade people, an area the lab calls "mobile persuasion."

In 2003 Fogg published the book Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. This book lays the foundation for captology.

In 2007, Fogg created a Stanford course about Facebook Apps. Using what Fogg calls "Mass Interpersonal Persuasion," his students engaged over 16 million people in 10 weeks with projects done for the class.

In 2009, Fogg published the Fogg Behavior Model (FBM), a model for analyzing and designing persuasive technologies.[3] The FBM describes three conditions needed for a behavior to occur: (1) motivation (2) ability and (3) a trigger. In 2011, the World Economic Forum's Wellness Workplace Alliance selected the Fogg Behavior Model as their framework for health behavior change. It has been noted that with the addition of social, cultural and external factors the model could provide a holistic and inclusive experience for users in gamification.[citation needed][4]

In December 2011, Fogg created a new way to develop permanent habits from baby steps, which he calls “Tiny Habits”.[5] He gave a TEDx Talk Nov 10, 2012 in Palo Alto on this topic [6]. He has personally taught this process as well as trained others to become Certified Tiny Habits Coaches to teach people how to create new behaviors.

He is also the founder and director of Stanford's periodic Mobile Health conference.

Personal life[edit]

Growing up in Fresno, California, BJ Fogg went to a school surrounded by fig orchards. Fogg is the brother of Linda Fogg Phillips, an author and speaker on the issues of social media and parenting.[7]

He has a master’s degree in the humanities and comes from a Mormon family.[8]

He likes strength training and wants to be strong as he grows older.[9]


  • Persuasive Technology (2003)
  • Mobile Persuasion (with Dean Eckles; 2008)
  • Texting 4 Health (with Richard Adler; 2009)
  • Facebook For Parents (with Linda Fogg Phillips; 2010)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "May 1999 Table of Contents | Communications of the ACM". cacm.acm.org. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  2. ^ Fogg, B. J. (2015-01-21), BJ-Fogg-FTC-Fall2006, retrieved 2019-02-05
  3. ^ "Behaviour Model" (PDF).
  4. ^ AlMarshedi, Alaa. "Gamification and Behaviour" (PDF). Springer. Retrieved 2019-02-05.
  5. ^ "Tiny Habits w/ Dr. Fogg - Behavioral Change". Retrieved 2015-01-13.
  6. ^ TEDx Talks, Forget big change, start with a tiny habit: BJ Fogg at TEDxFremont, retrieved 2019-02-05
  7. ^ Williams, Linda Fogg. "Facebook: A Blessing and a Curse" Archived 2011-07-23 at the Wayback Machine. From the blog Effective Family Communication Archived 2011-06-21 at the Wayback Machine, date unknown.
  8. ^ Leslie, Ian. "The scientists who make apps addictive". 1843 (October/November 2016). Economist Group. Retrieved 21 October 2016.
  9. ^ Fogg, B. J. (2015-02-09), BJ - Pullups Feb 9 2015, retrieved 2019-02-05

External links[edit]