Temptation Bundling

We're more likely to do the hard stuff when coupled with the pleasant

Motivating people to do their ‘should’ tasks is hard, but bundling incentives that only get unlocked upon doing so means they’re more likely to do these tasks.

Milkman, Minson & Volpp (2013). Holding the Hunger Games hostage at the gym: An evaluation of temptation bundling. Management Science.

The study

Setup

226 people were asked to go to the gym and split into three groups:  a control and two other groups given devices with audio books. Recommenders were told to restrict playback to when at the gym and Committers had to store their device in the locker after use.

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Results

It was found that commiting to this restriction boosted gym visits by 51% next to the control.

np_read_2490885_000000

Milkman, Minson & Volpp (2013). Holding the Hunger Games hostage at the gym: An evaluation of temptation bundling. Management Science.

Key Takeaways

Bundle feats with treats.

What sort of behaviors do you want to encourage with your team or customers? Temptation bundling can be very effective in areas where short-term self-control is weakest, like saving, exercise or food choices. What complementary experiences can you bundle alongside the toughest tasks? 

Create your own “If-Then” commitments.

Ideas include only listening to your favorite podcasts if cleaning the house, getting a coffee on the way to work only if you cycle or walk, or committing to a nice hot bath only if you’ve kept to your weekly spending budget.

Keep it fresh.

Commitments are a powerful way to maintain long-term behavior change (Royer et al., 2012). However, life does get in the way and we tend to eventually hedonically-adapt to all good things. Keep engagement high by highlighting people’s past successes and creating new bundled experiences that are uniquely attractive. For instance, a gym having all streaming services, even those you might not have access to at home.

Temptation Bundling

We're more likely to do the hard stuff when coupled with the pleasant

Motivating people to do their ‘should’ tasks is hard, but bundling incentives that only get unlocked upon doing so means they’re more likely to do these tasks.

Milkman, Minson & Volpp (2013). Holding the Hunger Games hostage at the gym: An evaluation of temptation bundling. Management Science.

The study

Setup

226 people were asked to go to the gym and split into three groups:  a control and two other groups given devices with audio books. Recommenders were told to restrict playback to when at the gym and Committers had to store their device in the locker after use.

Results

It was found that commiting to this restriction boosted gym visits by 51% next to the control.

Key Takeaways

Bundle feats with treats.

What sort of behaviors do you want to encourage with your team or customers? Temptation bundling can be very effective in areas where short-term self-control is weakest, like saving, exercise or food choices. What complementary experiences can you bundle alongside the toughest tasks? 

Create your own “If-Then” commitments.

Ideas include only listening to your favorite podcasts if cleaning the house, getting a coffee on the way to work only if you cycle or walk, or committing to a nice hot bath only if you’ve kept to your weekly spending budget.

Keep it fresh.

Commitments are a powerful way to maintain long-term behavior change (Royer et al., 2012). However, life does get in the way and we tend to eventually hedonically-adapt to all good things. Keep engagement high by highlighting people’s past successes and creating new bundled experiences that are uniquely attractive. For instance, a gym having all streaming services, even those you might not have access to at home.

Temptation Bundling

We're more likely to do the hard stuff when coupled with the pleasant

Motivating people to do their ‘should’ tasks is hard, but bundling incentives that only get unlocked upon doing so means they’re more likely to do these tasks.

The study

Setup

226 people were asked to go to the gym and split into three groups:  a control and two other groups given devices with audio books. Recommenders were told to restrict playback to when at the gym and Committers had to store their device in the locker after use.

Results

It was found that commiting to this restriction boosted gym visits by 51% next to the control.

np_read_2490885_000000

In detail

Connected to

Running workshops?

Temptation Bundling

is included in Box One of our physical workshop tool.
is included in Box Two of our physical workshop tool.
Box Two