1932

Abstract

Findings in behavioral science, including psychology, have influenced policies and reforms in many nations. Choice architecture can affect outcomes even if material incentives are not involved. In some contexts, default rules, simplification, and social norms have had even larger effects than significant economic incentives. Psychological research is helping to inform initiatives in savings, finance, highway safety, consumer protection, energy, climate change, obesity, education, poverty, development, crime, corruption, health, and the environment. No nation has yet created a council of psychological advisers, but the role of behavioral research in policy domains is likely to grow in the coming years, especially in light of the mounting interest in promoting ease and simplification (“navigability”); in increasing effectiveness, economic growth, and competitiveness; and in providing low-cost, choice-preserving approaches.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-psych-081914-124745
2016-01-04
2024-06-17
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

/deliver/fulltext/psych/67/1/annurev-psych-081914-124745.html?itemId=/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-psych-081914-124745&mimeType=html&fmt=ahah

Literature Cited

  1. Agarwal S, Chomsisengphet S, Mahoney N, Stroebel J. 2014. Regulating consumer financial products: evidence from credit cards SSRN. http://ssrn.com/abstract=2330942 [Google Scholar]
  2. Allcott H. 2011. Consumers' perceptions and misperceptions of energy costs. Am. Econ. Rev. 101:398–104 [Google Scholar]
  3. Banerjee A, Duflo E. 2012. Poor Economics New York: PublicAffairs [Google Scholar]
  4. Bar-Gill O. 2012. Seduction By Contract New York: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  5. Benartzi S. 2012. Save More Tomorrow: Practical Behavioral Finance Solutions to Improve 401(k) Plans New York: Portfolio/Penguin [Google Scholar]
  6. Benartzi S, Thaler R. 2013. Behavioral economics and the retirement savings crisis. Science 339:1152–53 [Google Scholar]
  7. Bettinger EP, Long BT, Oreopoulos P, Sanbonmatsu L. 2009. The role of simplification and information in college decisions: results from the H&R Block FAFSA experiment Work. Pap. 15361, Natl. Bur. Econ. Res., Cambridge, MA. http://www.nber.org/papers/w15361 [Google Scholar]
  8. Bohnet I, Bazerman M, Van Gean A. 2012. When performance trumps gender bias: joint versus separate evaluation. HKS Work. Pap. RWP12-009. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2087613
  9. Brehm JW, Brehm R. 1981. Psychological Reactance: A Theory of Freedom and Control Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum [Google Scholar]
  10. Bubb R. 2015. TMI? Why the optimal architecture of disclosure remains TBD. Mich. Law Rev. 113:6 http://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol113/iss6/13 [Google Scholar]
  11. Bubb R, Pildes R. 2014. How behavioral economics trims its sails and why. Harv. Law Rev. 127:1593–678 [Google Scholar]
  12. Carroll GD, Choi JJ, Laibson D, Madrian BC, Metrick A. 2009. Optimal defaults and active decisions. Q. J. Econ. 124:41639–74 [Google Scholar]
  13. Chetty R, Friedman J, Leth-Petersen S, Nielsen T, Olsen T. 2012. Active versus passive decisions and crowdout in retirement savings accounts: evidence from Denmark. Work. Pap. 18565, Natl. Bur. Econ. Res., Cambridge, MA. http://www.nber.org/papers/w18565 [Google Scholar]
  14. Chetty R, Looney A, Kroft K. 2009. Salience and taxation: theory and evidence. Am. Econ. Rev. 99:41145–77 [Google Scholar]
  15. Chiteji N, Walker L. 2009. Strategies to increase the retirement savings of African American households. See Gale et al. 2009b 10231–60
  16. Cialdini RB, Demaine LJ, Sagarin BJ, Barrett DW, Rhoads K, Winter PL. 2006. Managing social norms for persuasive impact. Soc. Influ. 1:13–15 [Google Scholar]
  17. Conly S. 2012. Against Autonomy Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  18. Dir. Gen. Health Consum. (DG SANCO) 2010. Consumer Behaviour: The Road to Effective Policy-Making Brussels: DG SANCO http://ec.europa.eu/consumers/docs/1dg-sanco-brochure-consumer-behaviour-final.pdf [Google Scholar]
  19. Dolan P. 2014. Happiness By Design London: Hudson Str. Press [Google Scholar]
  20. Eur. Comm 2012. Science for Environment Policy, Future Brief: Green Behavior. Brussels: Eur. Comm http://ec.europa.eu/environment/integration/research/newsalert/pdf/FB4_en.pdf [Google Scholar]
  21. Eur. Parliam., Counc. Eur. Union 2011. Directive 2011/83/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2011 on consumer rights. Off. J. Eur. Union 54:L 30464–88 [Google Scholar]
  22. Fed. Reserve Syst 2009. Electronic fund transfers; final rule. Fed. Regist. 74:59033–54 [Google Scholar]
  23. Finkelstein A. 2009. E-ZTax: tax salience and tax rates. Q. J. Econ. 124:3969–1010 [Google Scholar]
  24. Gale W, Iwry J, Walters S. 2009a. Retirement savings for middle- and lower-income households: the Pension Protection Act of 2006 and the unfinished agenda. See Gale et al. 2009b 211–27
  25. Gale G, Iwry JM, John DC, Walker L. 2009b. Automatic: Changing the Way America Saves Washington, DC: Brookings Inst. Press [Google Scholar]
  26. Glaeser E. 2006. Paternalism and psychology. Univ. Chic. Law Rev. 73:133–56 [Google Scholar]
  27. Hallsworth M, List J, Metcalfe R, Vlaev I. 2014. The behavioralist as tax collector: using natural field experiments to enhance tax compliance Work. Pap. 20007, Natl. Bur. Econ. Res., Cambridge, MA. http://www.nber.org/papers/w20007 [Google Scholar]
  28. Hardin R. 2002. The crippled epistemology of extremism. Political Extremism and Rationality A Breton, G Galeotti, P Salmon, R Wintrobe 3–22 Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  29. Healthcare.gov 2011. Providing clear and consistent information to consumers about their health insurance coverage. Baltimore, MD: CMS.gov https://www.cms.gov/CCIIO/Resources/Fact-Sheets-and-FAQs/labels08172011a.html [Google Scholar]
  30. Heath C, Heath D. 2010. Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard New York: Broadway Books [Google Scholar]
  31. Hirshleifer D. 1995. The blind leading the blind: social influence, fads, and informational cascades. The New Economics of Human Behavior M Tommasi, K Ierulli 188–215 Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  32. Howarth RB, Haddad BM, Paton B. 2000. The economics of energy efficiency: insights from voluntary participation programs. Energy Policy 28:6–7477–86 [Google Scholar]
  33. Huh YE, Vosgerau J, Morewedge C. 2014. Social defaults: Observed choices become choice defaults. J. Consum. Res. 41:741–57 [Google Scholar]
  34. Kahneman D. 2011. Thinking, Fast and Slow New York: Farrar, Straus & Giroux [Google Scholar]
  35. Kamenica E, Mullainathan S, Thaler R. 2011. Helping consumers know themselves. Am. Econ. Rev. 101:3417–22 [Google Scholar]
  36. Keys BJ, Pope DG, Pope JC. 2014. Failure to refinance. NBER Work. Pap. 20401, Natl. Bur. Econ. Res., Cambridge, MA. http://www.nber.org/papers/w20401 [Google Scholar]
  37. Intern. Revenue Serv. (IRS) 2009. Retirement & Savings Initiatives: Helping Americans Save for the Future Washington, DC: IRS http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/rne_se0909.pdf [Google Scholar]
  38. Larrick R, Soll JB. 2008. The MPG illusion. Science 320:1593–94 [Google Scholar]
  39. Loewenstein G, Bryce C, Hagmann D, Rajpal S. 2014a. Warning: You are about to be nudged Work. Pap., SSRN. http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2417383 [Google Scholar]
  40. Loewenstein G, Sunstein CR, Golman R. 2014b. Disclosure: Psychology changes everything. Annu. Rev. Econ. 6:391–419Provides an overview of what is known, and what is not known, about the effects of disclosure requirements. [Google Scholar]
  41. Low D. 2011. Behavioural Economics and Policy Design: Lessons from Singapore Singapore: World Sci. Publ. [Google Scholar]
  42. Lunn P. 2014. Regulatory Policy and Behavioural Economics Paris: OECD Publ. [Google Scholar]
  43. Madrian BC, Shea DF. 2001. The power of suggestion: inertia in 401(k) participation and savings behavior. Q. J. Econ. 116:41149–87 [Google Scholar]
  44. Mani A, Mullainathan S, Shafir E, Zhao J. 2013. Poverty impedes cognitive function. Science 341:976–80 [Google Scholar]
  45. Mullainathan S. 2007. Psychology and development economics. Behavioral Economics and Its Applications P Diamond, H Vartiainen 85–113 Princeton, NJ: Princeton Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  46. Mullainathan S, Shafir E. 2013. Scarcity: Why Having So Little Means So Much New York: Times Books [Google Scholar]
  47. Nickerson DW, Rogers T. 2010. Do you have a voting plan? Implementation intentions, voter turnout, and organic plan making. Psychol. Sci. 21:2194–99 [Google Scholar]
  48. Norman D. 2013. The Design of Everyday Things New York: Basic Books [Google Scholar]
  49. Obama B. 2009a. Weekly Address: President Obama Announces New Initiatives for Retirement Savings Washington, DC: White House Off. Press Secr http://www.whitehouse.gov/the_press_office/Weekly-Address-President-Obama-Announces-New-Initiatives-for-Retirement-Savings [Google Scholar]
  50. OECD (Organ. Econ. Coop. Dev.) 2010. Consumer Policy Toolkit Paris: OECD http://www.oecd.org/sti/consumerpolicy/consumerpolicytoolkit-9789264079663-en.htm [Google Scholar]
  51. OMB (Off. Manag. Budg.) 2010. Information Collection Budget of the United States Government Washington, DC: OMB http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/inforeg/icb/icb_2010.pdf [Google Scholar]
  52. Orszag PR, Rodriguez E. 2009. Retirement security for Latinos: bolstering coverage, savings, and adequacy. See Gale et al. 2009b 8173–98
  53. Papke LE, Walker L, Dworsky M. 2009. Retirement savings for women: progress to date and policies for tomorrow. See Gale et al. 2009b 9199–230
  54. Pichert D, Katsikopoulos KV. 2008. Green defaults: information presentation and pro-environmental behaviour. J. Environ. Psychol. 28:63–73Provides an empirical treatment of how green default rules have very large effects on social outcomes. [Google Scholar]
  55. Rebonato R. 2012. Taking Liberties: A Critical Examination of Libertarian Paternalism London: Palgrave MacmillanProvides an ethical critique of uses of psychology to steer people in preferred directions, with a strong emphasis on liberty and active choosing. [Google Scholar]
  56. Rozin P, Scott S, Dingley M, Urbanek JK, Jiang H, Kaltenbach M. 2011. Nudge to nobesity I: Minor changes in accessibility decrease food intake. Judgm. Decis. Mak. 6:4323–32 [Google Scholar]
  57. Schwartz B. 2012. Move over economists: We need a council of psychological advisers. The Atlantic Nov. 12. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2012/11/move-over-economists-we-need-a-council-of-psychological-advisers/265085/ [Google Scholar]
  58. Sharot T. 2011. The Optimism Bias: A Tour of the Irrationally Positive Brain New York: KnopfExplores how people suffer from or benefit from unrealistic optimism. [Google Scholar]
  59. Shu L, Mazar N, Gino F, Ariely D, Bazerman M. 2012. Signing at the beginning makes ethics salient and decreases dishonest self-reports in comparison to signing at the end. PNAS 109:3815197–200 [Google Scholar]
  60. Sunstein CR. 2009. Going to Extremes New York: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  61. Sunstein CR. 2011a. Memorandum for Chief Information Officers: Minimizing Paperwork and Reporting Burdens. Washington, DC: OMB [Google Scholar]
  62. Sunstein CR. 2011b. Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Agencies and Departments: Informing Consumers Through Smart Disclosure. Washington, DC: OMB [Google Scholar]
  63. Sunstein CR. 2013a. Simpler New York: Simon & SchusterProvides a detailed treatment of how psychology works inside government, with discussion of psychology and behavioral science in general. [Google Scholar]
  64. Sunstein CR. 2013b. Deciding by default. Univ. PA Law Rev. 162:11–57 [Google Scholar]
  65. Sunstein CR. 2014. Valuing Life: Humanizing the Regulatory State Chicago: Univ. Chicago Press [Google Scholar]
  66. Sunstein CR. 2015a. Active choosing or default rules? A dilemma for policymakers. Behav. Sci. Policy 1:129–34 [Google Scholar]
  67. Sunstein CR. 2015b. Choosing Not to Choose London: Oxford Univ. Press [Google Scholar]
  68. Sunstein CR, Hastie R. 2015. Wiser: Getting Beyond Groupthink to Smarter Decisions Cambridge, MA: Harvard Bus. Sch. Press [Google Scholar]
  69. Sunstein CR, Reisch L. 2014. Automatically green: behavioral economics and environmental protection. Harvard Environ. Law Rev. 38:127–58 [Google Scholar]
  70. Tasoff J, Letzler R. 2014. Everyone believes in redemption: nudges and overoptimism in costly task completion. J. Econ. Behav. Organ. 107A:107–22 [Google Scholar]
  71. Thaler RH. 2012. Watching behavior before writing the rules. New York Times July 7. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/08/business/behavioral-science-can-help-guide-policy-economic-view.html [Google Scholar]
  72. Thaler RH, Sunstein CR. 2008. Nudge New Haven, CT: Yale Univ. PressDiscusses approaches that preserve freedom of choice but that nonetheless channel people's decisions in directions that will improve their welfare. [Google Scholar]
  73. USDA (US Dep. Agric.) 2011a. Direct certification and certification of homeless, migrant and runaway children for free school meals. Fed. Regist. 76:22785–802 [Google Scholar]
  74. USDA (US Dep. Agric.) 2011b. Dietary Guidelines 2010: Selected Messages for Consumers. Washington, DC: USDA http://choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/downloads/MyPlate/SelectedMessages.pdf [Google Scholar]
  75. USDA (US Dep. Agric.) 2013. Direct Certification in the National School Lunch Program: State Implementation Progress, School Year 2012-2013: Report to Congress. http://www.fns.usda.gov/direct-certification-national-school-lunch-program-state-implementation-progress-school-year-2012
  76. US Dep. Educ 2010a. Program integrity issues. Fed. Regist. 75:66832–975 [Google Scholar]
  77. US Dep. Educ 2010b. Department of Education Establishes New Student Aid Rules to Protect Borrowers and Taxpayers. Washington, DC: US Dep. Educ http://www.ed.gov/news/press-releases/department-education-establishes-new-student-aid-rules-protect-borrowers-and-tax [Google Scholar]
  78. US Dep. HHS (Health Hum. Serv.) 2010. Health care reform insurance web portal requirements. Fed. Regist. 75:24470–82 [Google Scholar]
  79. US Dep. Treas 2009. Financial Regulatory Reform: A New Foundation. Washington, DC: Dep. Treas http://www.treasury.gov/initiatives/wsr/Documents/FinalReport_web.pdf [Google Scholar]
  80. US EPA (Environ. Prot. Agency) 2009. Fuel economy labeling of motor vehicles: revisions to improve calculation of fuel economy estimates. Fed. Regist. 74:61537–55 [Google Scholar]
  81. US EPA (Environ. Prot. Agency), US DOT (Dep. Transp.) 2010. Light-duty vehicle greenhouse gas emission standards and corporate average fuel economy standards. Fed. Regist. 75:25323–728 [Google Scholar]
  82. US FDA (Food Drug Admin.) 2014a. Preliminary Regulatory Impact Analysis: Nutrition Facts/Serving Sizes Washington, DC: US FDA http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/GuidanceRegulation/GuidanceDocumentsRegulatoryInformation/LabelingNutrition/UCM385669.pdf [Google Scholar]
  83. US FDA (Food Drug Admin.) 2014b. Deeming Tobacco Products to be Subject to the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, as Amended by the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act; Regulations Restricting the Sale and Distribution of Tobacco Products and Required Warning Statements for Tobacco Product Packages and Advertisements. Washington, DC: US FDA http://www.fda.gov/downloads/AboutFDA/ReportsManualsForms/Reports/EconomicAnalyses/UCM394933.pdf [Google Scholar]
  84. Wansink B. 2014. Slim By Design New York: William Morrow [Google Scholar]
  85. Willis LE. 2013. When nudges fail: slippery defaults. Univ. Chic. Law Rev. 80:1155–229 [Google Scholar]
/content/journals/10.1146/annurev-psych-081914-124745
Loading
  • Article Type: Review Article
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error