Nudge Tactics for Performance and Health

June 28, 2019

I’ve recently taken the new course created by Performance Psychologist Simon Marshall, PhD called Nudge Tactics for Health Coaching. He’s leveraging new behavioural science on how people make decisions about their health. Turns out scaring people or educating them is not enough to overcome the difficulty inherent in adopting healthier habits.

On this podcast Simon discusses the latest strategies that actually work when it comes to persuading, nudging, and motivating people (or yourself) to overcome self-sabotage and create better habits. He introduces the SEEDS method - a system of adopting up to 15 teeny tiny behaviours, and then self-monitoring and reviewing progress. He also describes a powerful way to cope with catastrophic thinking when things inevitably go wrong, so you can stay on track.  

Here’s the outline of this interview with Simon Marshall:

[00:00:09] Simon’s new course: Nudge Tactics for Health Coaching. A Health & Wellness Coach’s guide to the science of behavioral economics.

[00:00:36] The science of decision making.

[00:02:10] Behavioral economics.

[00:04:09] Symptoms and behaviours that could be helped by behavioural economics.

[00:04:52] Procrastination.

[00:05:16] Hyperbolic discounting: Our relationship with reward depends in part on how close the reward is to us at that time.

[00:06:19] Commitment vs. motivation to change.

[00:07:20] Old versions of behaviour change: Scaring people, education-based approaches.

[00:10:18] The intention-behaviour relationship.

[00:12:23] Libertarian paternalism.

[00:13:38] Psychological needs theory: People's needs must be respected (autonomy, competence, and relatedness).

[00:15:49] Stages of change model; Precontemplators: the proud couch-potatoes.

[00:18:31] Dr. Tommy Wood’s Highlights email on sunscreen being a terrible idea.

[00:20:52] Professor Susan Michie from UCL; Behavior Change Taxonomy: Michie, Susan, et al. "The behavior change technique taxonomy (v1) of 93 hierarchically clustered techniques: building an international consensus for the reporting of behavior change interventions." Annals of behavioral medicine 46.1 (2013): 81-95.

[00:21:17] The Behavior Change Taxonomy app: for iOS and Android.

[00:22:29] The most potent strategies: Self-monitoring, setting goals and reviewing.

[00:25:27] The science of self-control: Friese, Malte, et al. "Does self-control training improve self-control? A meta-analysis." Perspectives on Psychological Science 12.6 (2017): 1077-1099

[00:26:00] The original marshmallow study: Mischel, Walter, and Ebbe B. Ebbesen. "Attention in delay of gratification." Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 16.2 (1970): 329. Details and follow up studies described here.

[00:26:52] Book: Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney.

[00:33:18] Stroop effect.

[00:34:07] Book: Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance, by Alex Hutchinson.

[00:37:28] Recent attempt to replicate the marshmallow study: Watts, Tyler W., Greg J. Duncan, and Haonan Quan. "Revisiting the marshmallow test: A conceptual replication investigating links between early delay of gratification and later outcomes." Psychological science 29.7 (2018): 1159-1177.

[00:38:43] SEEDS: Sleep, Exercise, Eating, Drinking and Stress management.

[00:40:09] Book: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones, by James Clear.

[00:40:43] How the SEEDS method works.

[00:44:14] Always do less than you want to.

[00:47:18] Traffic light system: a remedy for catastrophic thinking.

[00:54:15] SEEDS Journal.

[00:55:53] Sign up for the challenge and pick some SEEDS.

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