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  • Jason Riis

Human aspirations, moments, and actions.

Behavioral scientists study behavior. As in medicine, we carve things up to see better, to understand systems, and to generally organize our investigations and our work.


Here are three fundamental units of analysis in behavioral science:

  • Human aspirations: Desires, beliefs, expectations, intentions, motivations, identities (and dreams of beauty) all feed our aspirations. They exist in the human mind, and may be invisible, but they are very real.

  • Human moments: Among the millions of moments through which we live, some key moments define us, some last forever in memory, and some change everything we do from that moment on. Moments exist in a social, physical, and of course temporal context. Understanding context, lets us predict action.

  • Human action: Choosing, calling, buying, asking, finishing, (and applying sunscreen), are all human actions, and those actions are what we try to measure, predict, and influence.

These are largely familiar, intuitive concepts. Behavioral science (and behavioral dermatology) is about exploring them in more nuanced, systematic, and intentional ways.

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