There are many fields related to incentive design, and upon which ID will draw theoretical foundations and methodologies.
Progress Studies is the study of the causes of civilizational progress, e.g., the combination of economic, technological, scientific, and cultural advancements that have transformed human life and raised standards of living over the past couple of centuries. Proposed by Tyler Cowan and Patrick Collison, and explained in their article in The Atlantic.
Organizational behavior draws upon both sociology and psychology to understand behavior and management within complex organizations.
Psychology is the study of mind and behavior. A foundational aspect of incentive design is how individuals weigh decisions, and what forces affect their behavior even underneath the layer of conscious thought.
Business Administration as a formal field of study emerged at the turn of the 20th Century with Frederick Winslow Taylor’s seminal work, Principles of Scientific Management. At the time, most people learned how to manage a business through apprenticeships and business practice varied widely from one organization to the next.
Human Decision Science
A Masters program offered by Maastricht University combines economic decision analysis and game theory with psychology.
Complex Systems Science
Complex Systems Science endeavors to understand and unify the underlying, shared patterns in complex physical, biological, social, cultural, technological, and even possible astrobiological worlds. See the Santa Fe Institute, founded by David Krakauer and Murray Gell-Mann.
- Note reference to Gell-Mann here:
Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and the social causes and consequences of human behavior. Social incentives — desire for relationship or status within a group — are an important aspect of what motivates people to take action.
Behavior analysis is the science of behavior, with a history extending back to the early 20th century. Its guiding philosophy is behaviorism, which is based on the premise that attempts to improve the human condition through behavior change (e.g., education, behavioral health treatment) will be most effective if behavior itself is the primary focus.