The ideas42 Blog

Behavioral Science + Machine Learning = More Social Impact

Mar 5, 2019 by Rachel Rosenberg & Michael Stern

Imagine entering college for the first time. In addition to starting day one in a completely new environment, you have countless decisions to make within just a couple of weeks that will determine your path for the next two to four years: “What do I want to study?” “Which courses do I need to take?” … Read more.

Making Behavioral Innovation Accessible to Every City with the CityNudge Accelerator

Mar 2, 2019 by ideas42

It’s not exactly breaking news that water shortages and electricity cuts are emerging as critical challenges for cities around the world. Stories of strain on water supplies and power grids abound as populations grow and extreme weather events occur with increasing regularity. At the same time, as well-meaning policymakers strive to take action, many city … Read more.

The (Behavioral) Magic of Tidying Up

Feb 28, 2019 by Liam Speranza

We’re already heading into March of this new year, 2019, which means we’ve all made new years resolutions and the fresh start effect is driving many of us to make some changes in our lives, and we’re definitely sticking to them now… right? While we are usually all about sticking to goals and creating new, … Read more.

Helping People Vote Isn’t a “Power Grab.” It’s Democracy.

Feb 11, 2019 by Dan Connolly

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell recently described new legislation designed to increase voter turnout as a “power grab.” The legislation, known as H.R. 1, proposes nationwide same-day voter registration, early voting periods for federal elections, automated voter registration, and instituting a federal holiday on Election Day. What should we expect from these reforms? Evidence about … Read more.

Building Reading Habits at Home with Behavioral Insights

Feb 7, 2019 by ideas42

Early reading habits are predictive of a number of later life outcomes, including higher education attainment and income, yet more than two-thirds of fourth graders in U.S. public schools are not reading proficiently. We often think of education as taking place entirely at school, but fourth graders only spend about 13% of their waking hours in the … Read more.

5 Impactful Behavioral Insights from 2018

Dec 19, 2018 by ideas42

A significant part of our work at ideas42 is learning, constantly, about people—how they make decisions and how their actions are impacted by the world around them. Through a deeper understanding about our often-quirky tendencies, we can more effectively design solutions that can positively impact the lives of millions of people. In this process, each … Read more.

Bringing Behavioral Design to NYC Non-profits

Dec 13, 2018 by ideas42

We’ve spent more than a decade applying behavioral science to complex social problems, all in the service of improving the lives of millions of people. Part of our mission is to dramatically expand the use of behavioral science as a problem-solving tool, and that’s why we’ve recently broadened our efforts to bring this approach to … Read more.

Before Banning Plastic Straws, Try a Nudge

Dec 5, 2018 by Erin Sherman and Liam Speranza

“Plastic Straw Bans are Spreading.” “Here are the U.S. cities that have banned plastic straws so far.” “San Francisco board passes plastic straw ban.” You’ll find dozens of headlines like these in the news announcing the spread of plastic straw bans across the United States. Reducing unnecessary consumption has seemed increasingly urgent as a series … Read more.

More Opportunities to Support Student Financial Health

Nov 28, 2018 by Maya Alper

The start of a new academic year should be an exciting time for the 19.9 million students who recently began or are continuing in college. But for many students, college also brings stressful financial decisions. These decisions weigh on many students, but the burden is often heaviest for those who are balancing school with full … Read more.