Research group at imec & Vrije Universiteit Brussel

Research Result

Behavioral change research for the digital age

You have probably heard of some promising initiatives to make cities smarter. However, way too often after a short time the initiatives vanish in thin air…But why? Many great initiatives simply fail to prove that they can make an actual impact which benefits the public. We want to make this impact measurable.

Modular Behavioral Analysis Approach: Making the impact of smart cities on human behaviour measurable

We developed a methodological framework, which makes it possible to delineate a suitable approach for behavioral impact measurement together with interested parties in the public and private sector. This framework called Modular Behavioral Analysis Approach (MBAA) transfers behavioral research in the digital age. By integrating the use of digital technologies in the set-up of behavioural research, it is possible to overcome the limitations of lab experiments, while still being able to maintain control over a number of basic parameters related to sampling, interaction and assignments. Specifically, the framework facilitates a translation of behavioural change experiments to a large-scale setting (randomized control trials with A/B testing) that is supported by ICT ( mobile devices) and Internet of Things (sensors and wearables), which provide rich real-life data. This makes it possible to identify more reliably which smart city initiatives can really make an impact in real-life and how they can be tailored to be more successful.

Part of the High Impact Initiative

The framework was developed and is continuously developed further as part of the High Impact Initiative (HII) Behavioral Change at imec-SMIT. Interested parties are welcome to contact us and make an impact.