In other words, it’s not a question of consumer choices being made that are bad, but of whether consumer choice exists.
So when we ask why we ‘choose (or not)' highly energy efficient products, maybe we should ask instead if we're actually ‘picking (or not)' super energy efficient products.
Picking vs. choosing. This is not a question of semantics. Far from it.
BETA hosted Australia’s first ever Form-a-Palooza on 28 June 2019. It was a one-day festival of forms, designed to share the latest in form design with public servants from across the Australian Government.
Forms are the most common interaction between people and the government, and there are thousands of them—most still in paper. Improving forms is a simple but important way to improve service delivery and increase public satisfaction with government.
Over 200 participants from 38 agencies came along to Form-a-Palooza to learn new techniques and put them into practice.
We also launched a brand new framework to guide the development of good forms—the WISER framework. It’s based on the latest research, as well as our own experience working with government agencies on forms, letters and communication.
I’m often asked for my top tips for managing Human Risk.
Over the next five weeks, I’m going to reveal the Five Rules of Human Risk, beginning, appropriately enough with the first:
Rule 1: Human Risk can be managed but not eliminated
On the face of it, this is a statement of the blindingly obvious. Yet it is fundamentally important; if we really want to manage Human Risk, then we need to accept that we can’t control every aspect of human decision-making. No matter how hard we try.
When people make decisions with a pre-selected choice option – a ‘default’ – they are more likely to select that option. Because defaults are easy to implement, they constitute one of the most widely employed tools in the choice architecture toolbox. However, to decide when defaults should be used instead of other choice architecture tools, policy-makers must know how effective defaults are and when and why their effectiveness varies. To answer these questions, we conduct a literature search and meta-analysis of the 58 default studies (pooled n = 73,675) that fit our criteria. While our analysis reveals a considerable influence of defaults (d = 0.68, 95% confidence interval = 0.53–0.83), we also discover substantial variation: the majority of default studies find positive effects, but several do not find a significant effect, and two even demonstrate negative effects. To explain this variability, we draw on existing theoretical frameworks to examine the drivers of disparity in effectiveness. Our analysis reveals two factors that partially account for the variability in defaults’ effectiveness. First, we find that defaults in consumer domains are more effective and in environmental domains are less effective. Second, we find that defaults are more effective when they operate through endorsement (defaults that are seen as conveying what the choice architect thinks the decision-maker should do) or endowment (defaults that are seen as reflecting the status quo). We end with a discussion of possible directions for a future research program on defaults, including potential additional moderators, and implications for policy-makers interested in the implementation and evaluation of defaults.
Wellth does this by “giving” patients money at the start of each month to take their pills. To prove they’re on track, they use the Wellth app to take a photograph of their medicines in the palm of their hand. But every day that they miss, they are penalized in the form of fee, which nets them less money at the end of the month. This loss-contract model is gaining notoriety and it should be: Wellth discovered that positive incentives accounted for adherence rates around 60% while loss-contract models account for better than 90% adherence rates.
In a meta-analysis of real-life experiments drawn from food science, nutrition, health economics, marketing and psychology, the authors find that behavioural nudges - facilitating action rather than providing knowledge or inducing feelings - can reduce daily energy intake by up to 209 kcal, the same number of calories as in 21 cubes of sugar.
***Psychology offers three general propositions for understanding and intervening to increase uptake where vaccines are available and affordable. The first proposition is that thoughts and feelings can motivate getting vaccinated. Hundreds of studies have shown that risk beliefs and anticipated regret
about infectious disease correlate reliably with getting vaccinated; low confidence in vaccine effectiveness and concern
about safety correlate reliably with not getting vaccinated. We were surprised to find that few randomized trials have
successfully changed what people think and feel about vaccines, and those few that succeeded were minimally effective
in increasing uptake. The second proposition is that social processes can motivate getting vaccinated. Substantial
research has shown that social norms are associated with vaccination, but few interventions examined whether
normative messages increase vaccination uptake. Many experimental studies have relied on hypothetical scenarios
to demonstrate that altruism and free riding (i.e., taking advantage of the protection provided by others) can affect
intended behavior, but few randomized trials have tested strategies to change social processes to increase vaccination
uptake. The third proposition is that interventions can facilitate vaccination directly by leveraging, but not trying to
change, what people think and feel. These interventions are by far the most plentiful and effective in the literature.
To increase vaccine uptake, these interventions build on existing favorable intentions by facilitating action (through
reminders, prompts, and primes) and reducing barriers (through logistics and healthy defaults); these interventions also
shape behavior (through incentives, sanctions, and requirements). Although identification of principles for changing
thoughts and feelings to motivate vaccination is a work in progress, psychological principles can now inform the
design of systems and policies to directly facilitate action.
Luckily, behavioral science can help close the intention-action gap, offering a toolkit to help change behavior for the better. Here are three ways we can apply lessons from behavioral science to drive sustainable engagement:
How does design work?
We’re asked this question often and we’ll always be curious about it. The reality is that design is useful, a bit mysterious, and forever in flux. Right now, this is a guide to some of what we know—and don’t know—about how design works.
This chapter illustrates how the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) and
the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP) have successfully employed behavioural
insights. Using such learning, the chapter lays out an ambitious agenda for
social change: (i) from BBBP to BADLAV (Beti Aapki Dhan Lakshmi Aur Vijay
Lakshmi); (ii) from Swachh Bharat to Sundar Bharat; (iii) from “Give it up” for
the LPG subsidy to “Think about the Subsidy”; and (iv) from tax evasion to tax
compliance. First, a key principle of behavioural economics is that while people’s
behaviour is influenced significantly by social norms, understanding the drivers of
these social norms can enable change. In India, where social and religious norms
play such a dominant role in influencing behaviour, behavioural economics can
therefore provide a valuable instrument for change. So, beneficial social norms
can be furthered by drawing attention to positive influencers, especially friends/
neighbours that represent role models with which people can identify. Second,
as people are given to tremendous inertia when making a choice, they prefer
sticking to the default option. By the nearly costless act of changing the default
to overcome this inertia, desired behaviour can be encouraged without affecting
people’s choices. Third, as people find it difficult to sustain good habits, repeated
reinforcements and reminders of successful past actions can help sustain changed
Consider three levels: literal, liberal & lateral.
Example: social proof...
Literal: share the percentage of people who follow the norm in general
Liberal: tailor the claims to what “people like them“ do
Lateral: suggest popularity rather than stating it
Co-design with young people is the act of co-creating alongside stakeholders and young people to ensure that the results of the design meet the needs of those young people. Here are four key resources for background information to co-design.
Download this visualisation (PDF, 4.3 MB) to learn where co-design sits on the spectrum of approaches to program design
Use this template (PDF, 13 MB) as a reminder for the five principles of co-design
This article contains historical and modern case studies of co-design in action
The Outer East Children and Youth Area Partnership Co-design [OECYAP] has created a detailed resource of the theoretical and practical workshop content by co-design expert, Ingrid Burkett
I started with the raw list of the 175 biases and added them all to a spreadsheet, then took another pass removing duplicates, and grouping similar biases (like bizarreness effect and humor effect) or complementary biases (like optimism bias and pessimism bias). The list came down to about 20 unique biased mental strategies that we use for very specific reasons.
I made several different attempts to try to group these 20 or so at a higher level, and eventually landed on grouping them by the general mental problem that they were attempting to address. Every cognitive bias is there for a reason — primarily to save our brains time or energy. If you look at them by the problem they’re trying to solve, it becomes a lot easier to understand why they exist, how they’re useful, and the trade-offs (and resulting mental errors) that they introduce.
Nudges span an exceedingly wide range, and their number and variety are constantly growing. Here is a catalogue of ten important nudges — very possibly, the most important for purposes of policy — along with a few explanatory comments.
Consumers, employees, students, and others are often subjected to “sludge”: excessive or unjustified frictions, such as paperwork burdens, that cost time or money; that may make life difficult to navigate; that may be frustrating, stigmatizing, or humiliating; and that might end up depriving people of access to important goods, opportunities, and services. Because of behavioral biases and cognitive scarcity, sludge can have much more harmful effects than private and public institutions anticipate. To protect consumers, investors, employees, and others, firms, universities, and government agencies should regularly conduct Sludge Audits to catalogue the costs of sludge, and to decide when and how to reduce it. Much of human life is unnecessarily sludgy. Sludge often has costs far in excess of benefits, and it can have hurt the most vulnerable members of society.
an interesting case study, even outside of the IT issues, of what can happen when something designed for one culture is not adapted appropriately for another. From the very beginning, they should have had Danish doctors, nurses and designers involved in identifying the modifications that needed to be made. Just translating the words is not sufficient (and even that didn't seem to work very well).