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FAQ - About Commit to Change

What is Commit to Change?

The Commit to Change programme has been developed to help people in the UK achieve their health goals, whether that's by stopping smoking, losing weight or by setting another health challenge. The site is based on a model created by US company stickK.com, LLC. stickK developed their approach by combining personal experience with research findings from Yale University. The US site first launched in 2008 and has been successful in helping thousands of people to reach their health goals by encouraging them to create Commitment Contracts. The Commitment Contract concept is based on two well known principles of behavioral economics:

  1. People don't always do what they claim they want to do, and
  2. Incentives get people to do things

So far almost 200,000 people globally have created Commitment Contracts, and over 11 million dollars have been put on the line. Over 300,000 workouts have been successfully completed and over 2.5 million cigarettes not smoked. The model has been adapted for the first time for a UK audience, and within the NHS, and is supported by Surrey University and NHS Kingston Clinical Commissioning Group.

What is stickK?

stickK is a free goal-setting platform created by behavioral economists at Yale University. Unlike other goal-setting platforms, our methodology is specifically structured to help people leverage the power of incentives and accountability and is empirically proven to increase people’s chances of success by up to 3x.

How does stickK work?

stickK works by providing people with the tools they need to fight back against human nature. By asking users to define their goal (whatever it is!), pick a timeline to accomplish it, and put something at stake (whether it’s money or their reputation), stickK allows users to create a custom plan-of-action for how they’re going to turn their goal into a reality.

So whether you’d like to lose weight, quit smoking or spend more time with your grandkids, stickK is the go-to goal-setting tool for you.

Is there proof that Commitment Contracts work?

Years of rigorous academic research conducted by the founders of stickK have proven that using Commitment Contracts can more than triple your chances of success!

And it makes sense. We all start off wanting to achieve our goal, but most of the time there's simply nothing out there to make us stickK to our word. By entering into a Commitment Contract, backing out on that promise just got a whole lot harder. If drinking a can of soda meant you'd have to fork over $10 to your friend, just about anyone would look for something else to drink.

Why does stickK work? What's the science behind it?

What behavioral science tells us is that we are loss-averse, social animals that make decisions in a time-inconsistent manner. What…? Simply put, we hate losing things and often give into immediate gratification (e.g. eating a donut) at the expense of our long term goals (e.g. losing weight).

The good news is that research has discovered two factors that effectively help people achieve the behavior change they desire: incentives and accountability.

Studies show that financial incentives and accountability get people to do stuff. That’s why stickK works so well—stickK helps its users leverage the power of incentives and accountability and is empirically proven to increase our users’ chances at success by up to three-fold.

Who founded stickK?

stickK was founded by Dean Karlan, an Economics professor at Yale University, Ian Ayres, a Law professor at Yale University and Jordan Goldberg, a student at Yale School of Management.

Click here to learn more about each of them.
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