Like many of you, I work in problem domains that are bedeviled by complexities, often in dispersed teams of people with different skills. New technologies are thrown into this problem solving mix with an accompaniment of overwhelming hyperbole on a daily basis. It soon becomes a case of struggling to see the forest for the trees. How exactly do we marry behavioral science, app design and engineering in an organized, coherent and repeatable manner in such a workplace?
Changing one’s mind is a difficult, painful process. What kind of appeals are effective at changing the minds of others? How can you work on evaluating information objectively, such that you would reconsider your previous ideas?
What goes through your head when choosing between different payment options?
Our fourth annual BE Guide is out!
Every year, millions of people invest money in projects they may not fully understand and, by choosing to do so, they reveal one of the most important values that holds our society and our economy together: trust. What do we know about trust? Read this post to find out.
Stocks yield much higher returns than bonds and other riskless securities. In fact, in the last 100 years US equities have seen an 8% average annual real return, compared to only a 1% return for more riskless securities. This gap is called the equity premium puzzle – why are equities valued so much higher than securities? One behavioral theory attributes the equity premium puzzle to what’s known as myopic loss aversion (MLA) – the idea that loss-averse investors (as all investors are) take too short-term a view of their investments, leading them to react overly negatively to short-term losses. We designed the first natural field experimental evidence to show that MLA exists for professional traders.
Ignorance is bliss: How much would you pay to avoid threatening information?
The interconnection of devices within the “Internet of Things” (IoT) creates new data sources. Companies can now better observe people’s choices and test the effectiveness of different mechanisms to activate and retain more customers. It may also help policymakers overcome one of the most frequent problems of policy design: the lack of personalized content. We argue that the IoT not only disrupts the way we track our actions and monitor our goals, but also allows the identification of effective methods to alter our behavior. This is optimized by the combination of IoT, data analytics and behavioral science.
Despite good intentions, environmentally friendly attitudes do not always translate into corresponding food choices (the so-called intention-behavior gap). To investigate the potential benefits of behavioral nudges, the Flemish government’s Environmental, Nature and Energy Department, together with its partners, conducted tests in several retail locations. The results of our research are reported in this post.
Planning our retirement is an endeavour we need to undertake sooner or later. A well thought-out pension plan must be able to ensure our well-being during a long period of professional inactivity. However, a striking finding is that people do not save enough for their retirement. They have difficulties to design a retirement plan tailored to their needs and end up with an insufficient pension income and an impoverished lifestyle. Behavioural economics has pointed out some of the problems that affect retirement planning.