What is Foggs Behaviour Model?

BJ Fogg is a Behavioural Scientist at Stanford University.  He heads up the Stanford Behavioural Design Lab.  In 2007 he developed a behaviour Model he describes as the “B=MAP“.  This is known as Foggs Behaviour Model In other words:

Behavior (B) happens when Motivation (M), Ability (A), and a Prompt (P) come together at the same moment.

A systematic approach

One of the reasons this Foggs Behaviour Model resonates with me is because Fogg contends his model is systematic.  When I was developing my business and re-learning how to do routine tasks, I struggled to find motivation.  It wasn’t until I decided to take a systematic approach to the routine, that my motivation and therefore my behaviour changed.  Not only did I become motivated, but I also improved my ability to systematically improve on routine processes.

Small Steps

For many years now I have studied how to make changes in my life.  When certain factors are in place then change can happen with little resistance.  Foggs behaviour Model is based on taking “baby steps” to build confidence.  Through my coaching practice, I have helped others to make changes.  The most successful are those who take small steps, to begin with.  They then build on those small steps, gaining confidence to take more adventurous steps.  BJ Fogg is currently hosting a personal email product around Tiny Steps


A cornerstone of Foggs Behaviour Model is around motivation.  There will be no change without motivation.  Finding one’s purpose, whether for a few months or a lifetime is vital.  It does not matter that motivation does not always last.  As long as motivation provides the leverage to make that change.


Prompts in Foggs Behaviour Model can be events signs or situations which trigger a behaviour change.  In my own life, when I gave up smoking, I experienced a prompt.  I remember reading a book which made me realise how much I detested the habit.  Within a month I had planned the systematic approach which would ensure I kicked the habit forever.

Foggs Behaviour Model and Neuroscience

Foggs Behavior Model elegantly intersects with neuroscience, revealing the intricate dance between motivation, ability, and triggers in shaping human behaviour. First, let’s delve into motivation. Neuroscience identifies it as the result of dopamine release in the brain. This neurotransmitter, often linked to pleasure and reward, plays a pivotal role. Foggs Behaviour Model leverages this principle. When motivation is high, even challenging tasks seem surmountable.

Next, consider ability. The prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making and cognitive control, comes into play here. When a task is easy, this brain region faces less strain. Consequently, the likelihood of action increases. Foggs Behaviour Model capitalizes on this by emphasizing simplicity in tasks.

Finally, triggers are crucial. They activate the brain’s reticular activating system, which filters information and alerts us to what’s important. Effective triggers, as per Foggs model, grab our attention, thereby increasing the chance of a behavioural response.

In essence, the model aligns seamlessly with our understanding of neuroscience. It harnesses the brain’s natural processes, making it an effective tool for understanding and influencing human behaviour.

Making behavioural changes can be one of the most difficult challenges we face.  However, the Foggs Behaviour Model sets out the necessary components which must be in place for behaviour change to occur.

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I help leaders develop self- mastery, helping them to become confident in their own inner guidance.

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