Posts tagged behavioral science
The #1 behavior-change strategy used by Obama's Behavioral Science Team

About a year and a half ago, I was talking with a former member of President Obama’s Social and Behavioral Sciences Team.

This was a small group that was, more or less, a roaming behavioral economics consultancy during the final three years of O’s presidency. They worked on various projects, big and small, across various agencies.

Whenever I encounter someone who works in a different area of applied behavioral science (like public policy), I always make sure to ask them as many questions as possible—to see if I can learn anything new.

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Cheaper ways to change (than moving)

After the last article, I received a bunch of stories from readers. Some of you wrote me about your experiences “wiping the slate clean”, while others regaled me with tales of transformation after moving to a new city.

But I also received a couple of notes from people asking me whether there’s a less intense, more cost-effective way of shaking things up and building new habits.

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As dangerous as a toddler with a katana

If you hire someone who actually knows the literature inside and out, and has gone through it with a critical mind, they’ll be a huge help. However, based on my experience, only 2-5% of the behavioral scientists out there fall into this camp. Most are walking around with laughably bad beliefs and completely inaccurate models of how people operate and why they do what they do.

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