Tag Archives: relationships

Three Classic Social Psychology Findings That Matter Today

three-classic-social-psychology-findings-that-matter-todayWatching current events in the United States these past few weeks, I find myself thinking often of some of the most basic Social Psychology 101 lessons. Even though we’ve gotten much more sophisticated in our research, these foundational lessons describe some of the behavior among American people quite well. Understanding these dynamics, and more importantly, understanding how we can break through them, might be helpful for all of us as we try to move forward. Continue reading Three Classic Social Psychology Findings That Matter Today

A Behavior Change Perspective on the Community First! Village in Austin

a-behavior-change-perspective-on-the-community-first-village-in-austinLast week I went to the Innovation Learning Network in Person meeting in Austin, TX. Part of the agenda was going on a mystery “innovation safari” to a local organization thinking innovatively about health and wellness. My assignment was to go to the Community First! Village, operated by Mobile Loaves & Fishes. Full disclosure: I was skeptical based on the limited information I had boarding the shuttle to go to the village. Continue reading A Behavior Change Perspective on the Community First! Village in Austin

“Narrate This Like This Is a Ken Burns Documentary”: 2 Dope Queens on Patient Care

Blurry view of hospital corridor.If you want to hear about some bad bedside manner, I highly recommend a recent episode (“Goo”) of the podcast Two Dope Queens, starring Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson. Williams found a lump in her breast and made an appointment to get an ultrasound to find out what it was. She talks about her experience with the ultrasound and subsequent biopsy, and highlights a couple of unfortunately all-too-common negative patient experiences along the way.  I’d chalk these experiences up to at least two dynamics: Lack of empathy, and lack of communication. Continue reading “Narrate This Like This Is a Ken Burns Documentary”: 2 Dope Queens on Patient Care

Avoid Confusing UX: Today’s Unsubscriber, Tomorrow’s Buyer

Confusing UXNot every product is right for every person. Or, sometimes, a product is right for someone but it isn’t the right time. In those cases, good design helps keep the door open for people to rediscover the product when the timing improves. That usually means making any goodbyes as painless as possible. Recently I got a vacation rental email from HomeAway (for reasons unknown, as I don’t believe I’ve ever rented through them). In general I try not to subscribe to many marketing lists unless it’s a product I buy very frequently, so I clicked to take my name off this one. I was brought to the screen below:  Continue reading Avoid Confusing UX: Today’s Unsubscriber, Tomorrow’s Buyer

With a Little Help from My (Virtual) Friends

With a Little Help from My (Virtual) FriendsThoughtsDr. Sherry Pagoto‘s presentation of her research at HxRefactored a few weeks ago has stayed on my mind. Her work examines whether and how interventions that are typically delivered face-to-face can be adapted to social media interactions such as Facebook groups or Twitter posts. To vastly oversimplify her work, the short answer is yes, you can distill at least some behavior change interventions to a social media protocol and still achieve positive results. Continue reading With a Little Help from My (Virtual) Friends

Forgiveness, Compassion, and Health Behavior Change

Forgiveness, Compassion, and ChangeBack when I used to work on digital health coaching programs, one frequent question we got had to do with whether people self-reported their health data honestly. Could we count on someone with a health issue to tell the truth about lousy eating habits, sedentary lifestyles, or skipping prescriptions? Research suggests that people are at least somewhat truthful when self-reporting their health behaviors, and discrepancies are often the result of comprehension issues rather than deceitful intent. Still, in designing a program that measures “non-healthy” behaviors, there are ways to encourage people to be more truthful. Continue reading Forgiveness, Compassion, and Health Behavior Change

Being Different Connects Us

Being Different Connects UsIt feels a little weird to comment on diversity in the middle of a week where the topic has dominated cultural commentary (see Beyonce’s performance of Formation at Superbowl 50 and the subsequent video). I had planned this post before Beyonce’s new song ignited a fairly heated discussion about privilege and activism. (One of my favorite commentaries on the matter comes from The Atlantic, which  muses that “forgoing the universal also involves risk, as Beyoncé surely knew.”)

Continue reading Being Different Connects Us

The Upside of Difficult Conversations

The UpsideofLike many people, I dislike what can be nicely called “difficult conversations.” Whether it’s saying no to someone,  confronting someone about a task left undone or done poorly, or raising a painful subject, difficult conversations are, well, difficult. A very natural reaction to them, and one I have far too often, is to simply avoid them altogether, or at least postpone them as long as possible. Continue reading The Upside of Difficult Conversations

When Food is More Than a Meal

WhenFoodIsMoreThanAMealAside from weight loss itself, which has an obvious implication for what one eats, there are lots of health conditions with some dietary component to their management. Some examples: People with high blood pressure need to be aware of sodium intake, some medications interact with food or drink, and folks with food allergies are on constant high alert. These sorts of changes can be very difficult for people to make, and it’s not just because they enjoy the taste of forbidden foods. Food can be much more than just a meal. Continue reading When Food is More Than a Meal

Politeness Without a Please: Denmark’s Missing Word

Politeness Without a PleaseWhen I travel to a new place, I usually try to equip myself with a few basic vocabulary words: Hello, goodbye, please, thank you, English. I’ll try to begin encounters with a greeting in the local language, and say thank you and farewell in that language too. If you can phonetically pronounce menu items, you may even be able to completely transact a restaurant order with just this bare bones vocabulary. Continue reading Politeness Without a Please: Denmark’s Missing Word