VAL Health

Health Behavioral Economics

Human behavior is irrational yet predictable


Here are two striking observations about health


As much as 40% of health outcomes depend on individual behaviors and the choices people make for themselves about eating, exercising, smoking, or taking medications.


Most people know what they need to do to improve their health and want to do those things, but don’t succeed.

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

Behavioral Economics holds the key

The field of behavioral economics models the powerful forces that get in the way of people achieving their goals. VAL Health recognizes the ways our minds act and incorporates this into engagement solutions.

There are many fundamental principles of human behavior from health behavioral economics that VAL Health builds upon for our behavior change programs, including:

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

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

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

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

  • Loss Aversion
    We are more affected by losses than gains

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 humans actually make them.
— Dr David Asch