GrayPath Behaviors Preview

By the Stanford Behavior Wizard Team


An overview of GrayPath behaviors and techniques for achieving them.

GrayPath Behavior Overview

Gray Path behaviorIf you want someone to reduce a behavior for the long term, you are seeking a Gray Path Behavior.

Examples include:

  • Health: Eat less often at restaurants.
  • Environment: Use less water when showering from now on.
  • Commerce: Stock up on fewer products to reduce waste.

Gray Path Behaviors are common in interventions for health (“eat less”), environment (“consume less”), and personal financial security (“spend less”).

In a typical case, the behavior being reduced is not desirable, but stopping the behavior completely may not be practical or possible. That’s when Gray Path is the appropriate target behavior.

To achieve a Gray Path Behavior, all successful interventions work by altering at least one element from the Fogg Behavior Model:

  1. Remove the trigger that leads to the undesirable behavior
  2. Reduce ability to perform the behavior (make it harder to do)
  3. Replace motivation for doing the behavior with de-motivators:  pain, fear, or social rejection

Our Resource Guide for Gray Path Behaviors explains specific techniques and tools for achieving a reduction for the long term. It also highlights successful programs and online systems that exist for this purpose.

About Resource Guides

Our Stanford team created these Resources Guides to help people working on behavior change projects. We can make it easier for you to:

1. Learn about a specific type of behavior change

2. Create solutions for achieving that behavior

In the past, most designers and researchers guessed at solutions for changing behavior. And frankly most attempts failed. Today, rather than guessing at solutions, people who use our Resource Guides will have clear guidance.

Our Stanford team will continue to improve each of the 15 Resource Guides.  We welcome your input.

BJ Fogg, Ph.D. (
Director, Persuasive Tech Lab @ Stanford University



The Behavior Guides were created in 2010 and we are no longer updating or selling them.

There is still lots of useful information in these guides. If you’re interested in obtaining a specific guide, please email us ( and let us know in which guide you’re interested and why. We may be able to share a copy with you.

We hope you’ll also benefit from our more recent behavior design projects at:

–BJ Fogg, Ph.D. (
Director, Persuasive Tech Lab @ Stanford University


To view a sample guide, please fill out the form below.