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

2024: The year of behaviorally informed narrative change for good

by Eva Matos and Maya Faulstich-Hon

In the United States, there are deep-seated narratives about who deserves what, and why. One of the most pervasive (and false) narratives in American society is that people experiencing poverty have only themselves to blame—that their circumstances are the result of individual choices, rather than flawed social policies and programs that reinforce inequality.

Smart Court Appearance Strategies: Court Date Reminders

by Samantha Hammer, Alissa Fishbane, and Shannon McAuliffe

Court date reminders are becoming a go-to tool for many courts, and for good reason: the more rigorous evaluations have found that reminders reduce nonappearance by 20-40%. Just like the reminders we’ve come to expect from our doctors, dentists, and hair salons, court reminders—whether sent by text message, email, phone call, or mail—work by making the court date details and consequences for nonappearance clear and top of mind.

Don’t Forget to Remind People to Vote

by Nick O'Donnell

Across the 2018, 2020, and 2022 elections, only 70% of eligible voters participated at least once, and a meager 40% voted in all three.

It’s easy to look at these figures and think Americans don’t actually care about voting. Behavioral science tells a more nuanced story.

Don’t Be Anti-Social: How to Use Social Media to Boost Your Nonprofit’s Mission

by Eleni Fischer

These days, social media is often the first place organizations turn to spread the word about their work. Nonprofits dream of a campaign that goes viral, or an influx of donations based on a compelling human story they tell.  The reality is less rosy. For many nonprofits, social media is time consuming and too often […]

Changes in Election Laws Derail Voters

by Meghan Ingerick

Change is difficult, whether we’re adapting to small changes in our routine or seismic shifts in our environment. One reason for this struggle is as humans, we rely on a collection of prior knowledge and experiences to form mental models that help us navigate the world. When those mental models are disrupted, we’re easily derailed, […]

Smart Court Appearance Strategies: Behaviorally Designed Court Forms

by Samantha Hammer, Alissa Fishbane, and Shannon McAuliffe

Around the country, courts are focused on improving appearance rates—to move cases forward efficiently, reduce warrants for nonappearance, and increase access to justice. To help courts and partners discover and adopt effective approaches, the (Un)warranted team at ideas42 has crafted this four-part series breaking down leading practices. This first installment will focus on behaviorally designed court […]

ideas42 at 15: A Decade and a Half of Impact Driven by Applied Behavioral Science

by The ideas42 Team

Fifteen years ago, ideas42 was founded on the belief that many of the world’s greatest challenges could benefit from harnessing a deep understanding of human behavior.

Since then, we’ve been at the forefront of pioneering a new approach: centering insights about how people actually make decisions, and reflecting sensitivity to the unique contexts that shape people’s everyday lives.

ideas42 Applauds Biden Administration Executive Order on Safe, Secure, and Trustworthy Artificial Intelligence

by Merage Ghane and Ted Robertson

As a leader in creating strategies and validated solutions around bias evaluation and mitigation in artificial intelligence (AI), ideas42 welcomes the Biden Administration’s recent actions to promote guidelines for the responsible use of AI in healthcare. Advances in behavioral science offer powerful tools to guide the management and use of algorithms across the entire life-cycle.  […]

Sowing Sustainability: Behavioral Insights Shaping Farmers’ Decisions to Plant Cover Crops

by Jessica Li and Cecilia Shang

Record high temperatures, droughts, floods, and other severe weather events are more than headlines for the people that feed our populations. For farmers, these events are a direct threat to their livelihoods. A harsh weather event or an unusual change of the season can ruin an entire season’s crops. How can we protect farmers and […]