Thoughts and insights from our work applying behavioral science to social problems.

For a behind-the-scenes look at our analytical process, visit our data42 blog.

Can a Personalized Overview of Past Giving Make Us More Generous?

by Samantha Hammer and Eleni Fischer

Think about your charitable giving over the past year or so. Did you donate to a friend’s cause? Did you volunteer your time? Did you support a friend, family member, acquaintance, or stranger in need? Looking back on it now, does your giving reflect who you are and what you care about?  These are probably […]

Introducing the Student Success Academy: Developing Behavioral Design Capacity in Higher Education

by Cassie Taylor

This fall, for the first time in over a year, many colleges and universities invited students back to campus. The opportunity to return to campus offered some semblance of a more traditional college experience, and importantly, helped address the disproportionate burden that campus closures placed on low-income, first-generation, and international students, among others. However, significant […]

Building Behavioral Science Capacity 60 Minutes at a Time: Improving Communications

by Laura Wolff

In recent decades, behavioral scientists around the world have partnered with government agencies and large institutions to enhance program impact and solve pressing societal problems. However, this body of empirical research and its practical applications have not usually been accessible to the multitude of people on the front lines of service delivery, crisis response, and […]

Changing Harmful Narratives About Poverty

by Allison Yates-Berg

When was the last time you watched a movie about poverty? Our Economic Justice team recently kicked off a new tradition of regularly watching movies about poverty to critically examine how the people who experience it are depicted, and what narratives are told. The first film we chose was The Florida Project, an award-winner about […]

Designing for Inclusion: Lessons from the Venture Studio’s Entrepreneur Recruitment

by Blessing Ogunyemi and Harrison Neuert

Application processes—whether for jobs, funding, or other opportunities—are full of potential moments for bias to occur. In launching our venture studio, Ventures for Shared Prosperity, we knew that recruiting the right people to join our cohort as entrepreneurs was going to be crucial, and we saw a responsibility to create and conduct our application process […]

Let’s Make Voting a Habit

by Tom Tasche

I picked up a lot of new habits over the past year. With the pandemic scrambling “life as usual,” everything from how I eat, sleep, and exercise to how I work, relax, and socialize looks different these days. It’s an open question to what extent this new way of life will stick once the world […]

A Nudge to Reconnect: Boosting College Persistence Rates Among Adult Students in Tennessee

by Katherine Flaschen

This is part of a series of posts about our ongoing partnership with the University of Virginia’s Nudge4 Solutions Lab and the community college systems of Tennessee and Virginia to increase degree attainment among adult students in the U.S. by designing and testing behaviorally informed solutions. Click here to read more about this partnership. In […]

Our Ongoing Commitment to Racial Justice

A year ago, we listed seven concrete ways we would support racial justice in our work, as calls for racial justice rang not only in the United States but around the world. Now, a year later, we are holding ourselves accountable to those commitments, and taking a moment to report on the initial progress we […]

On the Road to Justice: Reducing Fines and Fees for Low-Income Drivers

by Dinardo Rodriguez and Samantha Hammer

High levels of fines and fees imposed by traffic courts have become a major strain on low-income drivers in California. In 2020, Californians had $8.6 billion in delinquent court debt, imposing potentially disastrous economic consequences. These impacts fall disproportionately on people of color, who are both more likely to be low-income and more likely to […]

Reimagining the Workplace with Behavioral Science

by Tina Tchen, TIME's UP Foundation, and Katy Davis, ideas42

  In the past year, nearly 3 million women have left the labor force due to the pandemic and resulting economic recession. At the same time, due to the pandemic, many organizations have adopted new policies regarding work from home and flexible hours, which can positively impact women’s earnings and labor force participation. Now that […]