B. J. Fogg

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B. J. Fogg
2017 portrait BJ Fogg
Brian Jeffrey Fogg

(1963-08-07) August 7, 1963 (age 58)
Dallas, Texas, U.S.
Alma materBrigham Young University, Stanford University
Known forcaptology
Scientific career
InstitutionsStanford University
ThesisCharismatic computers (1997)

Brian Jeffrey Fogg (born August 7, 1963) is an American social scientist who is a research associate[1] and adjunct professor[2] at Stanford University and author. He is the founder and director of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab, later renamed as Behavior Design Lab.[3][4]


Brian Jeffrey Fogg was born in 1963 in Dallas.[5] He later grew up in Fresno, California, where he was raised in a Mormon family with six siblings. At the age of eighteen, Fogg went to Peru for a two-year mission.[6][7] Fogg has a B.A.[8] and MA. in English from Brigham Young University[9] and a PhD in Communications from Stanford,[10] where he served as a teaching assistant to Philip Zimbardo.[11]


From 1992 to 1993, Fogg was "one of the founders of the Student Review, Brigham Young University's independent student newspaper" and "taught English and design at BYU."[12] While at BYU, Fogg published eight short stories and poems in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought; [13][14][15] Sunstone, "a quarterly journal of Mormon experience, scholarship, issues, and art";[16][17] and other Mormon-affiliated publications.[18] His Masters thesis, "Terms of Address Among Latter-Day Saints"[19] and "Names Mormons Use for Jesus: Contexts and Trends"[20] were both published by the Deseret Language and Linguistics Society Symposium in February 1990 and March 1991, respectively.

In 1998, Fogg published a peer-reviewed paper, Persuasive Computers: Perspectives and Research Directions, which included a section that "proposes ethical responsibilities for designers of persuasive computers and captology researchers, and discusses the importance of educating about persuasion."[21]

In 1999, he was the guest editor for an issue of ACM focusing on persuasive technologies.[22]

In 2003, Fogg published the book, Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. This book provided a foundation for captology, the study of Computers As Persuasive Technologies. In it, he discusses the implications of macrosuasion and microsuasion—terms he uses to define and describe the persuasive intent of a product, providing examples across the web, in video games, and other software products.[23]

In 2006, Fogg and some of his students created a video for consideration by the FTC about persuasive technology.[24]

In 2007, Fogg co-taught a Stanford course about Facebook Apps with Dave McClure,[25] where students used persuasive design to create Facebook apps that amassed millions of users during the 10-week course.[26] The New York Times quoted Fogg as referring to it as "a period of time when you could walk in and collect gold."[27]

In 2009, Fogg published the Fogg Behavior Model (FBM), a model for analyzing and designing human behavior.[28] The FBM describes three conditions needed for a behavior to occur: (1) motivation (2) ability and (3) a prompt. Motivation can be influenced by factors like pleasure/pain, hope/fear, and social acceptance/rejection. Ability can be impacted by time, money, physical effort, brain cycles, social deviance, and non-routine. Prompts are also referred to as triggers.[29]

In December 2011, Fogg developed a method to develop habits from baby steps, which he calls "Tiny Habits".[30] He gave two TEDx talks on this and related topics.[31][32]

He was the founder and director of Stanford's Mobile Health conference (2008–2012).[33]

In 2020, Fogg published the book, Tiny Habits: The Small Changes That Change Everything, which describes in detail the "Tiny Habits" method of starting small when building sustainable habits to support a happier and healthier life.[34] This book was on The New York Times Best Sellers List—under Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous—for three weeks.[35]

Personal life[edit]

Fogg lives in Healdsburg, California[36][non-primary source needed] and Maui.[37]

Notable students[edit]


  • Persuasive Technology (2003)
  • Mobile Persuasion (with Dean Eckles; 2008)
  • Texting 4 Health (with Richard Adler; 2009)
  • Facebook For Parents (with Linda Fogg Phillips; 2010)
  • Tiny Habits (2020)


  1. ^ University, Stanford (September 14, 2016). "BJ Fogg". Stanford News. Retrieved December 17, 2019.
  2. ^ "BJ Fogg PhD". Directory. Stanford University. Retrieved November 17, 2021.
  3. ^ Stanford, Stanford University; Notice, California 94305 Copyright Complaints Trademark. "Behavior Design Lab | Human Sciences and Technologies Advanced Research Institute". hstar.stanford.edu. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  4. ^ Bowles, Nellie (October 6, 2019). "Addicted to Screens? That's Really a You Problem". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 29, 2020.
  5. ^ "Brian Jeffrey Fogg". The Complete Marquis Who's Who Biographies. January 13, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2020 – via NexisUni.
  6. ^ Specner, Stephan (August 29, 2019). "Easy-to-Form Habits That Will Transform Your Life with BJ Fogg". GetYourselfOptimized.com. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  7. ^ "About Us".
  8. ^ Brigham Young University (1990). Commencement exercise programs, 1990–. Harold B. Lee Library.
  9. ^ "Commencement Program, April 23, 1992 , Brigham Young University, Provo, Utah". 1992.
  10. ^ Fogg, Brian J. (1997). Charismatic computers: creating more likable and persuasive interactive technologies by leveraging principles from social psychology / (Thesis).
  11. ^ Fogg, B. J.; Euchner, Jim (September 3, 2019). "Designing for Behavior Change—New Models and Moral Issues". Research-Technology Management. 62 (5): 14–19. doi:10.1080/08956308.2019.1638490. ISSN 0895-6308. S2CID 203295092.
  12. ^ "Brian J. Fogg | Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database | HBLL". mormonarts.lib.byu.edu. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  13. ^ "Brian J. Fogg | Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database | HBLL". mormonarts.lib.byu.edu. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  14. ^ Fogg, B.J. (Summer 1992). "Glimmers and Glitches in Zion" (PDF).
  15. ^ Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought, Volume 24 Number 1, Spring 1991. January 1991. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  16. ^ "Implosion | Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database | HBLL". mormonarts.lib.byu.edu. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  17. ^ Sunstone Magazine, Volume 12 Number 6, November 1988, Issue 68. January 1988. Retrieved February 7, 2020.
  18. ^ "Dad in the Kitchen | Mormon Literature & Creative Arts Database | HBLL". mormonarts.lib.byu.edu. Retrieved February 6, 2020.
  19. ^ Fogg, Brian (February 23, 1990). "Terms of Address Among Latter-day Saints". Deseret Language and Linguistic Society Symposium. 16 (1).
  20. ^ Fogg, BJ; Kessinger, Donette; Palmer, Brett; Pels, Kaatje (March 8, 1991). "Names Mormons Use for Jesus: Contexts and Trends". Deseret Language and Linguistic Society Symposium. 17 (1).
  21. ^ "Persuasive Computers: Perspectives and Research Directions" (PDF).
  22. ^ "May 1999 Table of Contents | Communications of the ACM". cacm.acm.org. Retrieved February 5, 2019.
  23. ^ "Persuasive Technology – 1st Edition". elsevier.com. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  24. ^ Fogg, B. J. (January 21, 2015), BJ-Fogg-FTC-Fall2006, retrieved February 5, 2019
  25. ^ "Stanford Class' Facebook Application Crosses 1 Million Installs". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  26. ^ "Stanford Class' Facebook Application Crosses 1 Million Installs". TechCrunch. Retrieved December 31, 2019.
  27. ^ Helft, Miguel (May 7, 2011). "The 'Facebook Class' Built Apps, and Fortunes". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  28. ^ "Behaviour Model" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on April 20, 2017. Retrieved May 5, 2020.
  29. ^ "Behavior Model". behaviormodel. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  30. ^ Sweatt, Lydia (October 8, 2013). "Tiny Habits". SUCCESS. Retrieved February 4, 2020.
  31. ^ TEDx Talks, Forget big change, start with a tiny habit: BJ Fogg at TEDxFremont, archived from the original on December 19, 2021, retrieved February 5, 2019
  32. ^ Tiny surprises for happiness and health | BJ Fogg, PhD | TEDxMaui, retrieved December 27, 2019
  33. ^ "Stanford Mobile Health 2012 – Stanford Mobile Health 2012". mobilehealth.org. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  34. ^ "Tiny Habits". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  35. ^ "Advice, How-To & Miscellaneous Books - Best Sellers - Books - Feb. 9, 2020 - The New York Times". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved January 4, 2021.
  36. ^ @bjfogg (August 24, 2014). "Where I live (Healdsburg) the earthquake did no damage. You can track Calif quakes here:" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  37. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gsf7AT3itFg | date=Nov 2020

External links[edit]