VAL Health: Behavioral Economics Consulting | Health Care | Engagement

Behavioral Economics

Human behavior is irrational yet predictable


Health behavior change is about helping people achieve goals they already have, but have a hard time accomplishing.

Recent scientific research has uncovered that we are subject to common decision biases that get in the way of us behaving perfectly “rationally” and achieving our goals, such as:

  • Inertia
    We tend to stick with the status quo, so it's difficult to start or stop a behavior

  • Choice Overload
    We get overwhelmed when we have too many choices, often leading to indecision or regret

  • Present Bias
    We value rewards in the present more than equivalent rewards in the future

  • Loss Aversion
    We are more affected by losses than we are by equivalent gains

  • Social Proof
    We are social beings, caring what others think of us and what others do

Through the field of behavioral economics, we now understand that while we might not be perfectly rational, our decisions tend to be predictable. At VAL Health, we harness this knowledge to create health behavioral economics solutions to nudge consumers, patients, members, providers, and other stakeholders to become more engaged in and proactive about their health.

Health programs are more likely to be successful if designed not based on how perfectly rational people ought to make health decisions but on how real people actually make them.
— Dr David Asch