Resetting the Clock: Dynamic Goal Setting Using Behavior Tracking Technology

Shannon Duncan, PhD Candidate at the Wharton School

Abstract: Can companies providing goal-tracking technology innovate their products to better enable consumers to keep going when they inevitably fail (i.e., skip a workout or overeat calories)? Our research aims to fill this gap by testing the effectiveness of one type of goal tracking design: dynamic goal setting. Most traditional goal tracking apps focus on static goals – goals where the consumer aims to complete the same amount of goal behavior each day (i.e., working out 30 minutes a day or walking 10,000 steps a day). However, we suggest behavior tracking apps that use AI technology to vary the amount of goal behavior the consumers engage in from day to day (i.e., work out an average of 30 minutes a day, with some days being 15, some days 45, etc.) will be more effective, a type of goal tracking we term dynamic goal setting.