Behavior Change Reading List

It’s been a while since I’ve updated anything here, but for good reasons: I am very busy! And with projects and problems that keep my brain occupied, to boot. But, in the interest of not being totally under the radar, I thought I could put my behavior change reading list online here. Often after I talk about behavior change principles, people ask where they can learn more. So I pulled together this list that mixes academic articles with high-quality pop psychology pieces as a starting point for the curious. Enjoy, and please suggest any additions!

Updated March 2020. Offers links to full-text peer-reviewed papers, research abstracts, and measurement tools, as well as an overview of self-determination theory and its use across a variety of subject domains.

Ariely, D., & Kreisler, J. (2017). Dollars and Sense: How We Misthink Money and How to Spend Smarter. New York: Harper.

Baumeister, R. F., & Tierney, J. (2011). Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength. New York: Penguin Press.

Bucher, A. (2020). Engaged: Designing for Behavior Change. New York: Rosenfeld Media.

Cannon, M. D., & Witherspoon, R. (2005).Actionable feedback: Unlocking the power of learning and performance. improvementAcademy of Management Executive, 19(2), 120-134.

Chou, Y. (2014). Actionable Gamification: Beyond Points, Badges, and Leaderboards. Milpitas, CA: Octalysis Media.

Cialdini, R. B. (1993). Influence: The Psychology of PersuasionNew York: Morrow.

Cialdini, R. B. (2016). Pre-suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Clear, J. (2018). Atomic Habits: An Easy and Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones. New York: Avery.

Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1990). Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. New York: Harper & Row.

Deci, E. L., & Moller, A. C. (2005). The concept of competence: A starting place for understanding intrinsic motivation and self-determined extrinsic motivation. In A. J. Elliot & C. S. Dweck (eds.), Handbook of Competence and Motivation, p. 579-597. New York, NY: Guilford Publications.

Duhigg, C. (2012). The Power Of Habit: Why We Do What We Do In Life And Business. New York, Random House.

Dweck, C. S. (2006, 2016). Mindset: The New Psychology of SuccessNew York: Penguin Random House.

Iyengar, S. (2010). The Art of Choosing. New York: Hachette Book Group.

McGonigal, J. (2015). SuperBetter: The Power of Living Gamefully. New York: Penguin Books.

McGonigal, K. (2012). The Willpower Instinct: How Self-control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It. New York: Avery.

Meyer, E. A., & Wachter-Boettcher, S. (2016). Design for Real LifeNew York: A Book Apart.

Rigby, S., & Ryan, R. M. (2011). Glued to Games: How Video Games Draw Us In and Hold Us Spellbound. Santa Barbara, Calif: ABC-CLIO.

Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2000). Intrinsic and extrinsic motivations: Classic definitions and new directions.Contemporary Educational Psychology, 25, 54-67.

Ryan, R. M., Rigby, C. S., & Przybylski, A. (2006). The motivational pull of video games: A self-determination theory approach. Motivation and Emotion, 30, 347-365. DOI: 10.1007/s11031-006-9051-8

Sansone, C. (1986). A question of competence: The effects of competence and task feedback on intrinsic interest. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(5), 918-931.

Werbach, K., & Hunter, D. (2012). For the Win: How Game Thinking Can Revolutionize Your Business. Philadelphia, PA: Wharton Digital Press.

Williams, G. C., McGregor, H. A., Zeldman, A., Freedman, Z. R., & Deci, E. L. (2004). Testing a self-determination theory process model for promoting glycemic control through diabetes self-management. Health Psychology, 23(1), 58-66. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.23.1.58

Williams, G. C., McGregor, H. A., Sharp, D., Levesque, C., Kouides, R. W., Ryan, R. M., & Deci, E. L. (2006). Testing a self-determination theory intervention for motivating tobacco cessation: Supporting autonomy and competence in a clinical trial. Health Psychology, 25(1), 91-101. DOI: 10.1037/0278-6133.25.1.91

**Please note, this list doesn’t include any of the excellent design-specific books I love and frequently recommend!