B. J. Fogg

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B. J. Fogg

BJ Fogg was the first scientist to articulate the concept of "captology," a word he coined in 1996 to describe the overlap between persuasion and computers. In 2005 Fogg stopped using the word "captology." His current work he calls "Behavior Design," which comprises a set of models for understanding how behavior works, as well as a set of methods he has created to help innovators create successful products.

He advocates three maxims:

Fogg Maxim #1: "Help people do what they already want to do." Fogg Maxim #2: "Help people feel successful." Fogg Maxim #3: "Simplicity changes behavior."

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. His thesis was entitled "Charismatic Computers." His thesis advisors were Clifford Nass, Byron Reeves, Terry Winograd, and Phil Zimbardo.

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? Results from a Large Study 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.

The co-founder of Instagram was Dr. Fogg's student in 2006. As part of a design project, this student -- Mike Krieger -- created a concept called "Send the Sunshine" that would later become Instagram.

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.

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

Fogg has created a new model of human behavior change. In 2011, the World Economic Forum's Wellness Workplace Alliance selected the Fogg Behavior Model as their framework for health behavior change. However, the model has been criticized as inadequate for behavior change in gamification[citation needed]. In December 2011, Fogg created a new way to develop permanent habits from baby steps.[1]

Fogg is the brother of Linda Fogg Phillips, an author and speaker on the issues of social media and parenting.[2] He has a master’s degree in the humanities and a Mormon background.[3]


  • 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. ^ "Tiny Habits w/ Dr. Fogg - Behavioral Change". Retrieved 2015-01-13. 
  2. ^ Williams, Linda Fogg. "Facebook: A Blessing and a Curse". From the blog Effective Family Communication, date unknown.
  3. ^ Leslie, Ian. "The scientists who make apps addictive". 1843 (magazine) (October/November 2016). Economist Group. Retrieved 21 October 2016. 

External links[edit]