Posted in #HCSM

The Science Behind Using Online Communities To Change Behavior


Editor’s note:Sean Young is a family medicine professor and director of innovation at the center for behavioral and addiction medicine at UCLA. He writes about topics related to psychology, technology, and public health/medicine at

Is it just me, or is it impossible to talk to technology entrepreneurs without mentioning user engagement and behavior? I’m a behavioral psychologist, so that might be why I keep having conversations about engagement, but I don’t think that’s the only reason. I think it’s because entrepreneurs have realized that behavior change and engagement is critical to technology development (and to everything else in our lives). Whether we’re trying to get people to download or keep playing our fantasy sports applications, convince ourselves to avoid that extra scoop of ice cream, or get our neighbor to stop hitting her snooze button at 5:00, 5:10, and 5:20 a.m., we understand how difficult it can…

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