Feb 5, 2014
In the social sector, it’s not always possible to test the impact of a designed solution. This often leaves us wondering whether resources are spent in ways that have real effects on welfare. The BETA Projectwas a unique opportunity to design behavioral solutions for three partner sites and test each solution to see whether or … Read more.
Feb 5, 2014
What organization doesn’t want to describe itself as “outcome oriented” and “data driven”? These two buzz phrases highlight a growing interest in the social sector for measuring and tracking concrete outputs in order to demonstrate organizational impact. Beyond the usual metrics, however, is the need to measure the impact of specific program changes or initiatives. … Read more.
Feb 5, 2014
How do we understand the world around us? As individuals, we have five senses that will reveal some truth about the world, and they serve us pretty well when we’re trying to survive. But how do you see an atom? Can you touch a burgeoning social movement? Can you hear the migratory behavior of the … Read more.
Jan 7, 2014
Reflecting back, 2013 was an exciting year for ideas42, CFED and the Citi Foundation. Through the BETA (Behavioral Economics Technical Assistance) Project, we worked with Accion Texas, the Cleveland Housing Network, and Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners to design and test new solutions for their programs using insights from behavioral economics. We defined the problems to be … Read more.
Oct 8, 2013
Take a look at your to-do list. Which task do you expect to complete first? Probably something fairly simple and concrete: “Buy groceries,” “Pay phone bill,” “Clean bathroom.” Now, which task always gets pushed to the bottom of the list? Learning conversational Spanish would be fun and would make you a stronger job candidate, but … Read more.
Sep 30, 2013
“Make It Easy” – it’s not just a Staples advertising gimmick, but a key design principle from behavioral economics. How can we make sure people sign up for 401(k) savings accounts? Make it easy by setting a default plan. How can we get people to eat right? Make it easier by designing an intuitive food … Read more.
Sep 24, 2013
Have you ever meant to do something so important or so forgettable that you created a reminder for yourself, only to find that you still failed to follow through? Maybe you wrote a note reminding yourself to pick up the dry cleaning on the way home from work, but you completely forgot after a busy … Read more.
Aug 5, 2013
At what point can we say that we understand another person’s behavior? “Before you abuse, criticize and accuse,” singer Joe South told us, “Walk a mile in my shoes.” If we walked a mile in the shoes of every client that our three BETA test sites serve, we would need to cover approximately 3,797 miles. … Read more.
Jul 29, 2013
Part of diagnosing a behavioral problem is realizing that you don’t always know where to look for the “symptoms.” In medical diagnosis, symptoms are at least limited to the physical human body. Human behavior, on the other hand, is shaped by a complex blend of contextual details and internal neuro-cognitive processes into which we have … Read more.
Jul 22, 2013
Sometimes it’s good to make mistakes. As soul singer Joss Stone says, “I’ve got a right to be wrong. My mistakes will make me strong.” In behavioral diagnosis, as in life, being wrong is sometimes helpful – especially when it stimulates new insights on the problem. One of our favorite strategies to test hypotheses in … Read more.