I am preparing for my talk at Quantified Self about my work on Programmable Self. I was asked to make a “reading list” for the people who were interested in this subject so I wanted to create that here. Please add links in my comments section for titles that I have omitted!! Requirements for inclusion are simple. Anything that applies to using technology to change your own behavior. I would also suggest that you get a kindle from Amazon. Kindle will run as software on the iphone, ipad, and android, as well as OS X and Windows. So you do not need to buy a new device if you do not want to, but buying the kindle edition of the following books will probably save you more than $100.
My goal here is to have something relevant no matter what your background. If you are a behavioral economist, then there is some cool gamification stuff here. If you are all about gamification, then there is some cool behavioral economics stuff here… Please help me make this list even better with comments!! (thanks to Lesath for pointing out a broken link!!)
- Switch (kindle edition) – Change when change is hard. (must read)
- Carrots and Sticks (kindle edition)- Probably the best “motivation hacking” book out there, (must read). Also try the kindle-only $500 diet by the same author.
- The Tipping Point (kindle edition)- small changes can lead to bigger changes.
- Blink (kindle edition)- about how we make complex assessments and decisions really fast.
- Drive (kindle edition)- what motivates us.
- Sway (kindle edition)- About irrational behavior.
- Nudge (kindle edition)- changing peoples behaviors with very small pushes in the correct direction.
- Predictably Irrational (kindle edition)- We are irrational in predictable ways that we can use to our advantage.
- Upside of Irrationality (kindle edition)- More on how to use irrationality to our advantage.
- Deck of lenses and book of lenses – classics of game design.
- Gamification by Design – Great book on gamification.
- Reality is Broken (kindle edition)- gamification as a fix for problems…
- Rock Paper Scissors (kindle edition)- on game theory (as in the mathematics of strategy)
- Immunity to change (kindle edition) – your hangups are rational… at least on some level (added 6-20-11)
- Brain Bugs (kindle edition) somethings up there, just do not work.. (added 01-05-12)
While there are some “gamification” books here, most of this has to do with recent research into human motivation.
I would also take a moment to check out BJ Fogg’s work from the Persuasive Technology lab at Stanford. What I like about BJ’s work is that he seems very focused on making simple models for clear communication. BJ did a good job convincing me that most people have something different in their head when you say “behavior” or “engage” or “change”. Given that, you need a kind of simple vocabulary for talking about what behavior intervention your are discussing. So you should understand the following basic concepts.
- What are the types of behaviors that we might want to change? the Behavior Grid.
- How do you model behavior interventions? the B-mat Behavior Model.
- Top 10 mistakes in behavior change
I have decided that this is a good place to keep links to important videos after watching Jane McGonigal (Super Better above) give an awesome TED Talk.
- Jane McGonigal: The game that can give you 10 extra years of life
- The intro video to Gabe Zichermans gamification master class
- Seth Priebatsch: The game layer on top of the world
- Dan Pink on the surprising science of motivation (or perhaps you might like the animated version)
- RSA Animate – The Secret Powers of Time
- the MAO model persuasive design
- Gabe on Open Source Gamification.
- Paul Fenwick, “Mindware Upgrades For Fun And Profit”
If you feel like learning about programmable self from a conference, then I suggest a couple of options:
I will add more links as time goes on. What did I miss? Leave me a comment with your favorite resources for behavior change.