Can’t decide between DBC and EDP?

Here’s my advice

I’ve developed my educational system around two radically different approaches to behavior change.

Most students should start with DBC before taking EDP. However, depending on your background, learning goals, and what you’re passionate about, EDP may be a better starting point.

The two classes in our training system

Here’s a more technical description of each course and recommendations on where to start.

Psychology for Digital Behavior Change

Psychology for Digital Behavior Change (DBC)

Classroom in 3-days or online in 5-weeks

In DBC you’ll learn the core principles of digital psychology and many of the key behavior change approaches, and gain experience translating psychology into digital products, campaigns, content etc. You’ll learn over 50 behavior change principles, psychological design patterns, and I’ll help you move from behavioral science to behavioral design, where evidence inspires creativity.

One of the key things we’ll cover is the behavioral design process, where I’ll take you through a step-by-step process so that you’ll leave the class with the knowledge, skills and experience required to start applying behavioral science as soon as you finish the course.

Emotional Design Psychology & Neuroscience

Emotional Design Psychology & Neuroscience (EDP)

Classroom in 2-days or online in 3-weeks

In EDP, we’ll take a deeper dive into neuroscience, covering perception, memory and schemas, with the primary focus on how emotions drive behavior. We’ll go deep into emotions, what they are, how they work and how they shape the way your users feel, think and behave. We’ll delve into different motivational systems and emotions, with specific design patterns hyper-focused on different systems.

For example, you’ll learn how dopamine works, followed by competitive wireframing, where teams produce different dopamine-driven design solutions. You’ll master stress management – not too little and not too much stress. We’ll cover numerous motivational systems, in plain language, and learn how to hyper-focus your design on specific emotions.

How the courses differ

Whereas DBC is focused on classic behavioral science approaches that use external behavior change techniques, EDP is about the internal drivers of behavior. In DBC, you’ll learn simple psychological models and lots of principles; in EDP, you’ll learn about neurotransmitters, hormones and motivational systems along with numerous specific emotions.

Whether you use the external techniques in DBC or target the internal drivers in EDP, you’ll probably do well. But if you develop your knowledge in both areas, you’ll more likely do great.

For practical applications, DBC is structured around my standard approach to behavioral science projects, which I’ve perfectly mapped to popular approaches like design thinking, lean startup, design sprints and more. And with the step-by-step design process, you’ll have a proven formula you can use on your own, with teams, clients, or wherever. Also, I use standard prototyping tools from fields like information architecture, user experience design, graphic design, digital marketing, advertising, copy editing and more.

You’ll gain different practical skills in EDP, which is about developing emotion-focused design strategies, then fine-tuning your copy, visual design and polishing your mocks.

DBC will give you the psychological models, principles, process and tools. EDP will give you deep human insight and fine-tuning.

Which learning path should I take?

Here’s what I recommend, depending on your background and learning goals:

Beginners in digital media

If you are new to digital media, you should start with DBC as it will give you a solid understanding of the fundamentals and help you develop basic skills in prototyping tools. After completing DBC, EDP will be straightforward.

Professionals with no or a little experience in applying psychology

If you’re a working professional – but perhaps not that familiar with behavior change psychology or you primarily knowledge is cognitive psychology (common in HCI and UX training) – then I recommend DBC to give you a broad perspective and solid foundation. However, if neuroscience and emotions are more your experience, then you’ll probably be fine starting out in EDP.

Professionals with some or significant experience applying psychology

If you’ve been working for many years and are taking classes or reading extensively on applied psychology, you’ll appreciate DBC for the broad framework and practical format. However, you may find EDP to be more cutting-edge, and insightful. My most advanced students tell me that they like both workshops but that EDP gives them something truly unique.

Experienced behavioral scientists

For anyone with a strong background in psychology or behavioral science but limited experience in online applications, then the best starting point depends on your interests. If you have extensive education, scientific or work experience in behavior change psychology, you’ll probably know many of the principles we cover in DBC. However, you’ll learn how I’ve unified all the major fields into a simple system and you’ll gain new insights into the unique way standard principles operate in digital media. The content in EDP is cutting edge, vetted by myself and Dr. Restivo, a behavioral neuroscientist, so EDP will give you a broad tour of the research on how neurochemicals shape users’ cognitive, emotional and behavioral traits in cyberspace.

Still have questions?

You may be interested in my FAQ page, which contains advice based on types of professions, or contact us.

Learn about our courses

Psychology for Digital Behavior Change (DBC)

Emotional Design Psychology (EDP)
Applied Behavioral Design (ABD)
Color Psychology for Behavioral & UXD (CBX)