The Nudge Is Not Enough! The Love Story Between Behavioral Science and Practical Applications

Nudges are great, but they aren’t enough. While they are elegant, nudges are (often) just tweaks augmenting a pre-existing service or policy regardless of its quality, appropriateness or fitness. It is time to go from nudging to behavioral design.

By | September 7th, 2015|

Behavioral Economics and Healthcare: A Match Made in Heaven

By Benjamin Voyer   Out of all the areas of public life that can benefit from the applications of behavioural economics (BE) principles, healthcare is probably the one where it can make the biggest societal contribution. There are two main reasons why the healthcare industry should welcome (more!) BE insights. The first reason is that many [...]

By | September 3rd, 2015|

Using Psychology to Comprehend War

By Tom Wein   Behaviour depends on context - and conflict is the most extreme context of all. There have been a series of attempts, of varying value, to understand behaviour in that scenario - by academics, governments and NGOs seeking to predict and reduce conflict, and by combatants seeking an advantage. In recent years, [...]

By | August 22nd, 2015|

Three Surprising Ways Language Affects Net Worth

It is no secret that the way we speak to others has a strong impact on how we are perceived, and how successful our interactions will be. The lesson from cognitive science is this: When it comes to money, the way we speak to ourselves is equally important.

By | August 20th, 2015|

How I Taught Prospect Theory to My Son

By Diogo Gonçalves   Dear son, today I want to talk to you about how people make decisions. Many choices in our lives have uncertain outcomes. Choosing between two alternatives often involves a risk, such as whether you should spend your birthday money on a new bicycle or on a PlayStation. Each choice is like two sides of a coin: there is a [...]

By | July 2nd, 2015|

No I Won’t, but Yes We Will: How the Social Side of Decision-Making and Behavior Is Worthy of a Closer Look

By Guy Champniss   I still have vivid memories of when I was little and I started to misbehave, my mother would bend down and whisper something in my ear. Each time, it was the same thing. And each time, it stopped me dead in my tracks. ‘People are watching you’ she’d say. I’d look around [...]

By | July 2nd, 2015|

Why Do People Behave the Way They Do?

By Eyal Winter   Many of us tend to think of decision making as a process in which two separate and opposite mechanisms are engaged in a critical struggle, with the emotional and impulsive mechanism within us tempting us to choose the “wrong” thing, while the rational and intellectual mechanism that we also carry inside us [...]

By | June 29th, 2015|

Behavior Change Is Political Change

When it comes to behaviour, politics is never absent, argued Mike Kelly, at a UCL Centre for Behaviour Change seminar on policy and evidence.

By | June 26th, 2015|

New Journal: Behavioral Science & Policy

The new journal Behavioral Science & Policy just published a PDF of its inaugural issue. You can download it at: Here's what the editors have to say about the first issue: This first issue is representative of our vision for BSP. We are pleased to publish an outstanding set of contributions from leading scholars who have [...]

By | June 24th, 2015|

Rationality and Affective Biases. Do You Know What They Are?

A common interpretation in behavioural finance is that rationality is the result of a pure cognitive process which can be behaviourally biased. While cognitive biases are influences that affect rationality from within the cognitive system, affective biases refer to those influences that affect the cognitive system from outside. Unfortunately, the assumption that rationality is a pure cognitive process is not well motivated. Rationality results from the intrinsic interaction between cognition and emotions.

By | June 21st, 2015|

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