The conventional view is that if you give people information, they process it in a rational way and change their behavior. But this is wrong, according to David Asch, Executive Director of the Center for Health Care Innovation at Penn Medicine.
In engagement strategies with patients and providers, or in insurance design with employers, it is more useful to think of the mind as a “high-resistance pathway.” What behavioral reflexes can be built into engagement strategies? According to Asch, financial incentives are useful, but only if they are part of a simple design. Social incentives are another option; humans care what other humans think of them. Overall, keep benefit design simple, and make it social.
From the NEJM Catalyst event Patient Engagement: Behavioral Strategies for Better Health at the University of Pennsylvania, February 25, 2016.