Insights from the annual SJDM Conference in Montreal!
6 December 2019
Two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to jet off to snowy Montreal to attend the annual Society for Judgement & Decision Making (SJDM) conference on behalf of The Behavioural Architects. It was an excellent event, with a number of fascinating studies presented by leading academics, and multiple breakout sessions during which attendees were encouraged to discuss the latest findings and trends within the field. Not to make you all too jealous, but I did find myself sitting next to George Loewenstein during one of these…!
It would be impossible to try and summarise all 38 talks, but I wanted to write this blog post to highlight the key findings from five super interesting presentations. However, if this has whet your appetite and you’re interested in finding out more, please get in touch and I’d be happy to share more!
Global BE Intelligence Consultant
Encouraging pro-environmental behaviour with identity labelling - Schwartz, Daniel (University of Chile); Loewenstein, George (Carnegie Mellon University); Aguero, Loreto (University of Chile)
Labelling products as ‘green’ and using messages that tap into consumers’ social identities as green consumers (e.g. If you are a green consumer, you’ll like this product!) was found to increase the purchase of reusable bags by 8%.
An illusion of mutual knowledge and its effects on pro-sociality - Shah, Anuj K. (University of Chicago Booth School of Business); Furstenberg-Beckman, Hannah (ideas42); LaForest, Michael (Crime Lab New York)
Our sense of anonymity appears to depend not only on what others know about us but also what we know about others. Giving households personal details about their local police officer lead them to believe that the officer was more likely to know about their behaviour and instances of criminal activity marginally decreased.
‘Good’ people don’t need medication - Scott, Sydney E. (Washington University in St Louis); Landy, Justin F. (Nova Southeastern University)
People tend to view taking medication as a poor reflection of character, i.e. it is the ‘easy way out’. Re-framing this - framing taking medication as a signal of personal strength, reduced people’s negative beliefs, and increased preferences for taking medication.
Testing the role of motivation and procrastination in colorectal cancer screening - Lieberman, Alicea (University of California, San Diego); Gneezy, Ayelet (University of California, San Diego); Gupta, Samir (University of California, San Diego)
One potential explanation for low participation in cancer screening is present bias, and our tendency to procrastinate. Imposing a short deadline (1 week) in the letter inviting people to participate in screening lead to a significant increase in participation rates.
Behavioural insights in action - Mažar, Nina (Presidential Address)
Nina Mazar, president of SJDM, presented 3 examples of how behavioural insights have had real and substantial impacts in the field. She demonstrated how a behavioural approach lead to 450,000 new registered organ donors in Ontario, firms in Ontario filing their taxes in 4.4 fewer days, and a significant improvements in individual tax compliance in Poland.
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