Blog

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

Helping Small Business Owners Plan for their Financial Futures in Mexico

by Ariadna Vargas

Virginia owns a small business outside of Mexico City. Her brother, whom she cares for, suffers from a chronic health problem, so Virginia needs to have some cash available for covering expenses from sudden medical emergencies if they arise. Until recently, she maintained her savings with an informal community savings group, run by her neighbor, […]

Bringing Behavioral Design to NYC Non-profits: Nine Months with the Behavioral Design Center

by Laura Wolff

Last year, with support from W.T. Grant Foundation, The New York Community Trust, and the Booth Ferris Foundation, we launched the NYC Behavioral Design Center (BDC) to bring behavioral science insights and design strategies to New York non-profit organizations with a focus on strengthening service delivery and civic engagement. By offering support through multiple channels including in-depth […]

Of Mice and Mountains: The Case for a Pragmatic Evaluation

by Morgan Yucel

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray.” An 18th century poet like Robert Burns could scarcely have imagined something akin to the model that ideas42 and our partners at IntraHealth International designed to integrate family planning services with immunization days at health posts in Senegal, but he couldn’t have offered a […]

ideas42 Seminar Series: A Talk with Emily Balcetis

With the ideas42 Seminar Series, we invite leading scholars to share their insights and what inspires their exploration into human behavior. Our New York office was pleased to host Emily Balcetis, an Associate Professor of Psychology at New York University. Emily is interested in the conscious and nonconscious ways people orient to the world. She […]

Social Norms for Social Good: 3 Insights to Apply

by Liana Johnson

Social norms are a powerful tool for improving lives—they have helped people get healthier, save more money, and take positive environmental actions. While social norms sound simple—“tell people what others are doing and they’ll change their behavior!”—there are plenty of nuances to leveraging them for social good. Apply these three insights to optimize your social […]

Work Requirements Don’t Work

by Anthony Barrows

In 2015, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) prevented 8.4 million people from living in poverty. This essential and effective safety net program helps people with low incomes purchase food for themselves and their families—an estimated 40.8 million Americans were living in poverty in 2015; absent SNAP benefits, that number would have been 49.1 million. Despite its […]

Behavioral Science + Machine Learning = More Social Impact

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?” […]

Making Behavioral Innovation Accessible to Every City with the CityNudge Accelerator

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 […]

The (Behavioral) Magic of Tidying Up

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, […]

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