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BiteSCIze with Eden Brownell
  • Who are you?

My name is Eden Brownell and I am Director of Behavioral Science and mPulse. I am a giant nerd who loves learning and doing research. I have a background in psychology, sociology, and anthropology. I completed a master’s in public health with a focus on behavioral science at Boston University. I am also a certified yoga teacher and I live in Boston with my two French bulldogs. 

  • How did you get into Behavioural Science?

My path to behavioral science was a bit roundabout. I started my undergraduate degree in Theatre, to become a dramaturg. For those who may not be familiar, a dramaturg’s role is to assist the director and production team in bringing a play to life, by studying the play’s structure, language, themes, and more. I found myself particularly drawn to studying the motivations of characters and their relationships, which sparked my fascination with human behavior. This led me to switch my major to psychology and sociology.

After completing my undergraduate degree, I pursued a master’s in public health with a focus on social and behavioral sciences. From there, I continued to learn about the field through various articles, courses, and books. Overall, while my journey to behavioral science wasn’t a direct one, I’m grateful for the diverse experiences that have shaped my perspective and approach to the field.

  • What are you working on right now? 

I am designing digital health solutions for population health. We partner with health insurance plans to design and implement modern engagement programs that make healthy behaviors easier to learn, do and sustain.

  • What do you like most about what you do?

Healthcare is always changing, there are always regulatory changes as well as changes in screening recommendations so I like that we are constantly working on new things. 

  • What role is there for communications in changing behaviour?

Our work is really centered around communications for behavior change and we see incredible results. Most people don’t have their health top of mind, or if they do it’s probably because they have a condition or health issue that they are trying to manage. That is all to say that most people aren’t thinking about when they are supposed to get screenings. Our solutions really try to bring these health behaviors top of mind for members.   

  • If you could work on / research any topic what would it be and why? 

I am currently really fascinated by behavioral science and AI. I am interested in society’s acceptance of AI and how to make it less scary. I just finished the book co-intelligence and there was a great point about keeping humans in the loop when it comes to AI and that point resonated with me. 

  • What is your favorite behavioral science paper/book/resource and why?

I would have to say Engaged: Designing for Behavior Change by Amy Bucher. The book has helped me so much and I am always going back to reference it. 

  • Who do you think is interesting in the general field?

There are probably too many to name but I always recommend people follow Robert Meza, Samuel Salzer and Habit Weekly, Kristin Berman and Irrational Labs

  • What haven’t we asked you that we should have? 

Maybe a question about where behavioral science is going or how I use behavioral science in my daily life. I have seen these in other interviews and think it is always interesting. 

  • Who is one person that we can speak to for our next interview and if you could ask them one question, what would it be? 

I’d suggest speaking with Rachel Foster. I’d ask, “As we navigate the digital health transformation, how do you envision behavioral science shaping the development of health technologies to ensure they truly enhance, rather than impede, our well-being?”

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