Read More

Why Guilt and Fear Appeals Backfire

By Sara Isaac

August 22, 2019

We’ve all felt it — what I call the “Screw You Don’t Tell Me What To Do” effect. So why do we keep thinking it will work with other people? Here’s what […]

Read More

Why Cass Sunstein Hates Sludge — And How You Can Harness it for Good

By Sara Isaac

July 11, 2019

Cass Sunstein, the gentle intellectual giant of behavioral economics, is on a crusade against sludge. Not the slimy industrial ooze that the word “sludge” calls to mind, but an evil white-collar cousin: […]

Read More

You are Cursed by Knowledge. Here’s What to Do to Break Free.

By Sara Isaac

June 6, 2019

I work with experts all the time. People who are deeply informed and passionate about helping people and the planet. People who — except for a tendency to use a ton of […]

Read More

Climate Is Worse Than You Think — Here’s How to Not Give Up

By Sara Isaac

May 1, 2019

Last week I had the luck to meet two climate change heroes: scientists who for decades have steadily been researching and publishing the data that shows we are warming the Earth to […]

Read More

How To Make Facts Matter: The Science of Building Stories

By Sara Isaac

March 7, 2019

Last month I had the luck to attend the frank public interest communications conference at the University of Florida. The annual gathering is perennially thought-provoking and inspiring, and this year was exceptional. […]

Read More

5 Things You Should Know about Behavioral Economics

By Sara Isaac

February 21, 2019

Behavioral economics is all the rage. But what is it, really? Brand consultant and Professor Elizabeth Schwab of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology says that the first question most people ask […]

Read More

Where is the Checklist for Behavior Change Interventions?

By Sara Isaac

November 8, 2018

Over the past two weeks I’ve been leading behavior change workshops for two very different groups of communicators: conservation biologists struggling to save species on the brink of extinction, and Ukrainian communications […]

Read More

How to Be Happier (and Why It Matters)

By Sara Isaac

October 4, 2018

If you are among the 1 in 3 Americans who report they are happy, this blog post is not for you. It’s for everyone else who feels even more awful by comparing […]

Read More

How to Keep Your Traffic Safety Campaign from Putting People to Sleep at the Wheel

By Sara Isaac

August 16, 2018

Let’s make one thing really clear: people are not in the market for traffic safety campaigns. For one thing, these campaigns often are mind-numbingly boring — unless they go for stomach-turning shock […]

Read More

If We Want A Healthier Nation, We Need to Talk About Race and Privilege

By Sara Isaac

July 30, 2018

If you’ve worked in philanthropic spaces long enough, you’ve been there: in a posh hotel that 80 percent of Americans could never afford, surrounded by well-heeled white people and some brilliant people […]

Read More

How to Harness Identity to Drive Health and Wellness

By Sara Isaac

July 11, 2018

I’m pretty sure I would have failed the marshmallow test as a kid. Asked to delay gratification at age 4 because an adult said if I waited I would get a second […]

Read More

Why you (once again) did not get your flu shot this year

By Sara Isaac

March 29, 2018

As we wrap up one of the worst flu seasons in a decade –– a nasty epidemic that has claimed the lives of 133 American children and a yet-to-be counted number of […]