Fogg Behavior Model

Three core Motivators,

each with two sides

My Behavior Model highlights three Core Motivators: Sensation, Anticipation, and Belonging. Each of these has two sides: pleasure/pain, hope/fear, acceptance/rejection. 

The Core Motivators apply to everyone; they are central to the human experience. To illustrate my concept of Motivation, I took the photographs below in Oslo’s Vigeland Sculpture Park.

Sensation is a Core Motivator
Anticipation is a Core Motivator
Belonging is a Core Motivator

Dr. BJ Fogg founded the Behavior Design Lab at Stanford University, where he directs research and innovation. In addition, he teaches industry innovators how to use his models and methods in Behavior Design. The purpose of his research and teaching is to help millions of people improve their lives. 

BJ is the author of Persuasive Technology: Using Computers to Change What We Think and Do. He is the co-editor of Mobile Persuasion: 20 Perspectives on the Future of Behavior Change. 

To see more of BJ's work, go to

In 2012 I gave a keynote at at health conference in which I shared my concept of “Motivation Wave.” One key idea is that when motivation is high, you can get people to do hard things. But once it drops (the wave subsides, then people will only do easy things).

My model shows that Ability and Motivation have a trade-off relationship (technical term: "compensatory relationship") when it comes to performing behaviors. That’s what the curved line on my Behavior Model represents. 

You can watch the Motivation Wave video here. You may need to turn up the volume on the player window below:

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© 2020 BJ Fogg