This report discusses the use and reach of behavioural insights, drawing on a comprehensive collection of over 100 applications across the world and policy sectors.
But to be effective, nudges should be calibrated; “one size fits all” approaches tend to fall short of expectations. Instead, policymakers can tailor their nudges to align with these three dimensions: Spectrums of acceptability (and deviance). How strictly must targets adhere to the rule? While driving a couple of miles over the speed limit is unlikely to result in a traffic violation, attempting to bring a weapon onto an airplane requires zero-tolerance enforcement. Frequency of action. How often must the target group provide input? It may be easier to have targets make a single decision to contribute or obey, as opposed to encouraging them to repeatedly make the same decision over time. For example, people usually only need to choose to be an organ donor once, but drivers put their seat belt on every time they get into a car. Target group diversity. How heterogeneous is your target group? People may come from different socioeconomic backgrounds, have different interests, or may speak another language, all of which makes it challenging to apply a blanket rule with universal success. Moreover, targets can be geographically scattered or online, making it difficult for policymakers to surveil the target group. For example, all vehicle owners must register their cars, but not everyone should seek the same preventative medical treatments. And even those that do require similar treatments may have different motivations for doing so.
Our work published this week analyses all 111 cases studies of behavioral techniques used by governments compiled by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Our analysis demonstrates that none of the techniques used have scientific proven effectiveness.
To provide practitioners with useful information about how to promote proenvironmental behavior (PEB), a meta-analysis was performed on 87 published reports containing 253 experimental treatments that measured an observed, not self-reported, behavioral outcome. Most studies combined multiple treatments, and this confounding precluded definitive conclusions about which individual treatments are most effective. Treatments that included cognitive dissonance, goal setting, social modeling, and prompts provided the overall largest effect sizes (Hedge’s g > 0.60).
A new study published in Science has quantified the number of people who need to take a stand before they can affect societal change on important topics like sexual harassment and human rights. And that number? It’s a mere 25% of any group. Only 25% of people need to adopt a new social norm to create an inflection point where everyone in the group follows.
Our results show that 48% of people who were exposed to the ads made future searches for weight loss information, compared with 32% of those in the control group—a 50% increase. The advertisements varied in efficacy. However, the effectiveness of the advertisements may be greatly improved by targeting individuals based on their lifestyle preferences and/or sociodemographic characteristics, which together explain 49% of the variation in response to the ads. These results demonstrate that online advertisements hold promise as a mechanism for changing population health behaviors.
An August 2017 survey from CivicScience, a next-generation consumer and media analytics company, found that very few US internet users have made a purchase based on ads they saw on social platforms, like Facebook or Snapchat.
From my own experience, there appears to be a scientific trend (that I have not systematically evaluated) that successful behavior change programs tend to run for approximately 2-months, and that after this point, there is a large drop in adherence and impact. The big statistical meta-analysis that I carried out a few years back (http://www.jmir.org/2011/1/e17/), showed that online programs lasting more than 4 months, all failed. So as a rule of thumb, for most general purposes, 8-weeks is not a bad approximate time duration for many programs.
The results lead to some useful messaging recommendations, such as active publics being more effectively moved to action through motivational frames, rather than diagnostic (i.e. problem-focused) or prognostic (i.e. solution-focused) frames.
A negatively framed message (i.e. which describes the behavior that should not be done) is more effective, at least in this context, than a positive framed message that describes the preferred behavior.
If you want a child to eat more vegetables, it might help to use plates illustrated with pictures of vegetables.
The table below provides guidance for thinking through when specific policy tools are useful and when choice architecture or nudging can be used to complement or enhance a particular strategy.
If you or a small group of colleagues are the ones trying to bring a new practice to your organization, you are an innovator. You are inspired by a new practice you discovered, but will likely face problems getting it accepted. Consider that the challenges you experience when spreading a new practice are totally normal. It doesn’t mean you are failing, should stop trying, or there is anything “wrong” with staff and colleagues. It just means that your role is to plan how to motivate other members of the system
You need to show the other party that his beliefs are actually in conflict with his own values and goals, all without making him defensive. It sounds like a tall order, but Tsipurksy insists it is possible. Offering concrete examples of people who have changed their minds can help. So can suggesting that a person's previous opinion was understandable given the information he or she had at the time.
Sometimes it’s necessary to override the subconscious, and switch customers to a conscious state of having to make a decision. Rational override interventions prompt moments of reflection and stimulate customers to be active, aware and engaged. Although friction is generally perceived as a barrier, some situations require a micro moment of friction, carefully built-in at the right moment.
Typically, cascades are based on HIV treatment moni-toring data, which focus on getting people living with HIVto a point of viral suppression. HIV prevention cascadesfocus on the steps required to prevent HIV infection andsuccessfully implement HIV prevention programs. Preven-tion cascades include demand-side interventions that focuson increasing awareness, acceptability and uptake of pre-vention interventions, supply-side interventions that makeprevention interventions more accessible and available, andadherence interventions thatsupport ongoing adoption andcompliance with prevention behaviours or products...
29 videos of sessions on behavior change
A 'one size fits all' approach is often the fundamental flaw of these programs, say Wharton and Penn researchers.
As social marketers and change agents, our theories drive how we understand and describe problems and propose and test different solutions to them. What is a theory? In science, it is a way in which we think about how the...
New research finds that people tend toward appeals that aren't simply more positive or negative but are infused with emotionality, even when they're trying to sway an audience that may not be receptive to such language. The findings appear in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science
In a study, people ate less meat and conserved more water when they thought those behaviors reflected how society is changing.
In that study, gender and ethnicity information was removed from descriptions of potential job candidates. It was a study designed to interrupt unconscious biases against women and ethnic minorities. The results were surprising - blind recruitment made things worse for women and members of ethnic minorities. These results illustrate the limits of behavioural economics in action.