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Why You Hate Being Told What to Do — Even When You’re Talking to Yourself

By Sara Isaac

September 7, 2021

If you have anything to do with behavioral science, by now you’ve heard of time confetti — the constant digital interruptions that sap our work productivity and steal our leisure time. If […]

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How Vaccine Stickers Can Backfire

By Sara Isaac

June 22, 2021

I did it. Most of my friends did it. Even Sen. Marco Rubio and other conservative leaders did it. And now some public health campaigns are trying to get everyone to do […]

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Want to Change Behavior? The Clock is Ticking

By Sara Isaac

April 30, 2021

Ashley Whillans has found it — the missing ingredient. A behavioral scientist and assistant professor at Harvard Business School, Whillans’s research has uncovered a key component of behavioral interventions that has long […]

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Stop Using Myths & Facts — You are Spreading Misinformation

By Sara Isaac

April 14, 2021

Early in the pandemic, when masks and hand sanitizer were scarcer than toilet paper, I drove through a giveaway event run by my local government. Along with a generous supply of PPE […]

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The Dark Side of Gratitude: 3 Reasons NOT to Give Thanks

By Sara Isaac

November 25, 2020

So much has been written about how gratitude is good for you. Many studies have shown that practicing gratitude can help you be healthier, happier, and more able to hold onto relationships. […]

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COVID-19 and the ‘What-the-Hell’ Effect — What We Can Learn From Dieting and Safe Sex

By Sara Isaac

October 29, 2020

Nearly 40 years ago, psychology professor Janet Polivy co-authored research that showed if you presented normal weight college students with a “taste test” of ice cream, the behavior between habitual dieters and […]

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I Say ‘Vaccine’ You Think ‘COVID.’ Let’s Get Routine Shots Back on Track.

By Sara Isaac

September 24, 2020

This winter is expected to deliver a double whammy of seasonal flu and COVID-19. That means flu shots and childhood immunizations are more important than ever to help keep Americans out of […]

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How to Make Face Masks Fun, Easy and Popular

By Sara Isaac

June 19, 2020

Last weekend, a colleague of mine who lives in Florida’s Tampa Bay area spontaneously conducted a survey while out for Saturday errands. Shocked at seeing most people barefaced, she decided to ask […]

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Coronavirus Has Hit — Here’s Why You’re Still Not Washing Your Hands

By Sara Isaac

March 13, 2020

My local Costco has run out of toilet paper. Home Depot has been raided of all N95 masks. Across the country, big in-person gatherings have been canceled for the foreseeable future, and […]

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Behavioral Science v. Social Marketing — Which is Better for Behavior Change?

By Sara Isaac

January 23, 2020

I’m a practitioner at a behavior change marketing agency with roots in social marketing. Then last year I ran off to the London School of Economics (two jet-lagged weeks at a time) […]

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Think Women are Wonderful? Here’s Why That’s a Problem.

By Sara Isaac

November 1, 2019

Women are more environmentally responsible than men. They are more likely to volunteer and less likely to commit crimes. And they are good for business. Having three or more women on a […]

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Did the Crying Indian Encourage Littering? How Social Norms Campaigns Can Go Wrong.

By Sara Isaac

October 3, 2019

The Iron Eyes Cody spot featuring an American Indian surveying a littered landscape and shedding a single, dramatic tear is one of the nation’s most famous public service announcements. But what if […]