Behavioral Scientist

Behavioral Scientist Original and thought-provoking reports from the front lines of behavioral science. Learn more: behavioralscientist.org

Self-control in our evolutionary past was not what it is today, explains Bill von Hippel in  his recent conversation wit...
05/15/2019
Making the Social Leap: A Conversation on How Our Psychology Evolved - Behavioral Scientist

Self-control in our evolutionary past was not what it is today, explains Bill von Hippel in his recent conversation with us: "Our ancestors never avoided eating tasty things. They never worried about retirement. They barely even worried about tomorrow."

How we conceive of behaviors like self-control, overconfidence, and happiness today bears little resemblance to their evolutionary origins, argues psychologist William von Hippel.

How we conceive of behaviors like self-control, overconfidence, and happiness today bears little resemblance to their ev...
05/14/2019
Making the Social Leap: A Conversation on How Our Psychology Evolved - Behavioral Scientist

How we conceive of behaviors like self-control, overconfidence, and happiness today bears little resemblance to their evolutionary origins, argues psychologist William von Hippel.

How we conceive of behaviors like self-control, overconfidence, and happiness today bears little resemblance to their evolutionary origins, argues psychologist William von Hippel.

“To solve problems and suggest solutions on behalf of others is to have power. As a result, we behavioral scientists h...
04/23/2019
Broadening the Nature of Behavioral Design - Behavioral Scientist

“To solve problems and suggest solutions on behalf of others is to have power. As a result, we behavioral scientists have a heightened responsibility.”

How might our sense about what we should solve, or even what qualifies as a problem worth solving, be biased by how we think about what we can solve?

On our reading list: Is Superintelligence Impossible? On Possible Minds: Philosophy and AI
04/23/2019
Is Superintelligence Impossible? | Edge.org

On our reading list: Is Superintelligence Impossible? On Possible Minds: Philosophy and AI

To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves.

Who Cares About the Environment? New research reveals that the general public is largely under the (incorrect) impressio...
04/22/2019
Who Cares About the Environment? - Behavioral Scientist

Who Cares About the Environment? New research reveals that the general public is largely under the (incorrect) impression that whites are more concerned than nonwhites about environmental issues. #EarthDay

New research reveals that the general public is largely under the (incorrect) impression that whites are more concerned than nonwhites about environmental issues.

When trying to curb behavior that contributes to climate change, we often target individual actions. But these approache...
04/22/2019
Fight Climate Change with Behavior Change - Behavioral Scientist

When trying to curb behavior that contributes to climate change, we often target individual actions. But these approaches have too often missed the mark. #EarthDay

When trying to curb behavior that contributes to climate change, we often target individual actions. But these approaches have too often missed the mark.

On our reading list: "Legalizing Gay Marriage Reduced Homophobia" by Tom Jacobs for Pacific Standard:
04/21/2019
Legalizing Gay Marriage Reduced Homophobia

On our reading list: "Legalizing Gay Marriage Reduced Homophobia" by Tom Jacobs for Pacific Standard:

A new study finds that state laws sent a strong message about how norms were changing—and homophobia declined as a result.

There's a mismatch between who causes environmental degradation and who experiences it. https://buff.ly/2FJ7KkI
04/21/2019

There's a mismatch between who causes environmental degradation and who experiences it. https://buff.ly/2FJ7KkI

Who do you picture when you think on an environmentalist? New research suggestions there's a large misperception regardi...
04/21/2019

Who do you picture when you think on an environmentalist? New research suggestions there's a large misperception regarding who cares about the environment: https://buff.ly/2FJ7KkI

How nations set policies on resettling refugees is often framed as a measure of their compassion. New research suggests ...
04/21/2019
Why Are Americans So Divided on Refugee Policy? - Behavioral Scientist

How nations set policies on resettling refugees is often framed as a measure of their compassion. New research suggests another explanation.

How nations set policies on resettling refugees is often framed as a measure of their compassion. New research suggests another explanation.

Failing benefits claims are troubling, not reassuring argues ideas42's Anthony Barrows: https://buff.ly/2UEqWe3
04/21/2019

Failing benefits claims are troubling, not reassuring argues ideas42's Anthony Barrows: https://buff.ly/2UEqWe3

"When introducing defaults into complex real-world environments, choice architects thus need to be mindful that defaults...
04/20/2019
Defaults Are Not the Same by Default - Behavioral Scientist

"When introducing defaults into complex real-world environments, choice architects thus need to be mindful that defaults are not the same by default."

A new meta-analysis reveals when and where one of behavioral science's most successful nudges works best (or not at all).

"If we want to provide economic security and health insurance programs in a behaviorally informed way, work requirements...
04/20/2019
Work Requirements Are (Socially) Toxic Sludge - Behavioral Scientist

"If we want to provide economic security and health insurance programs in a behaviorally informed way, work requirements are not the answer."

Work requirements for anti-poverty programs don’t encourage work. Instead, their principal effect is stripping people of the benefits they rely on to survive.

How can we design better defaults? Jon Jachimowicz, Shannon Duncan, Elke U. Weber, and Eric J. Johnson suggest focusing ...
04/20/2019

How can we design better defaults? Jon Jachimowicz, Shannon Duncan, Elke U. Weber, and Eric J. Johnson suggest focusing on the following factors and questions: https://buff.ly/2v8IvUk

"To End Racial Disparities in Policing, We Must Look Beyond the Data" by Jennifer Eberhardt in The Guardian, plus more o...
04/20/2019

"To End Racial Disparities in Policing, We Must Look Beyond the Data" by Jennifer Eberhardt in The Guardian, plus more of what we're reading this weekend: https://buff.ly/2IeHrG8

#Sludge alert: Arkansas's benefits website closes for maintenance everyday 9pm to 7am making it that much more difficult...
04/18/2019

#Sludge alert: Arkansas's benefits website closes for maintenance everyday 9pm to 7am making it that much more difficult for residents to get help. Yes, it is 2019 (although the copyright on the site says 2009). https://buff.ly/2UEqWe3

"Attaching work requirements to benefits programs disempowers people by fueling harmful false narratives about poverty."
04/18/2019
Work Requirements Are (Socially) Toxic Sludge - Behavioral Scientist

"Attaching work requirements to benefits programs disempowers people by fueling harmful false narratives about poverty."

Work requirements for anti-poverty programs don’t encourage work. Instead, their principal effect is stripping people of the benefits they rely on to survive.

"Knowing when and why defaults work highlights the importance of actively, rather than passively, considering and applyi...
04/17/2019
Defaults Are Not the Same by Default - Behavioral Scientist

"Knowing when and why defaults work highlights the importance of actively, rather than passively, considering and applying choice-architecture tools."

A new meta-analysis reveals when and where one of behavioral science's most successful nudges works best (or not at all).

Do work requirement policies create a double-standard? Yes, argues Anthony Barrows: https://buff.ly/2UEqWe3
04/17/2019

Do work requirement policies create a double-standard? Yes, argues Anthony Barrows: https://buff.ly/2UEqWe3

On our reading list: The Tragedy of the Tragedy of the Commons by Matto Mildenberger for Scientific American
04/17/2019
The Tragedy of "The Tragedy of the Commons"

On our reading list: The Tragedy of the Tragedy of the Commons by Matto Mildenberger for Scientific American

The man who wrote one of environmentalism’s most-cited essays was a racist, eugenicist, nativist and Islamaphobe—plus his argument was wrong

It's time for the NFL Draft, which can only mean one thing: teams are about to make million dollar mistakes. How could t...
04/17/2019
How to Identify Talent: Five Lessons from the NFL Draft - Behavioral Scientist

It's time for the NFL Draft, which can only mean one thing: teams are about to make million dollar mistakes. How could they make better talent decisions? Cade Massey weighed in before last year's draft: How to Identify Talent: Five Lessons from the NFL Draft

If there is one consistent yet underappreciated principle for making good hires, it's that process beats technology.

A new meta-analysis reveals when and where one of behavioral science’s most successful nudges works best (or not at al...
04/17/2019
Defaults Are Not the Same by Default - Behavioral Scientist

A new meta-analysis reveals when and where one of behavioral science’s most successful nudges works best (or not at all).

A new meta-analysis reveals when and where one of behavioral science's most successful nudges works best (or not at all).

Work requirements for anti-poverty programs don’t encourage work. Instead, their principal effect is stripping people ...
04/17/2019
Work Requirements Are (Socially) Toxic Sludge - Behavioral Scientist

Work requirements for anti-poverty programs don’t encourage work. Instead, their principal effect is stripping people of the benefits they rely on to survive.

Work requirements for anti-poverty programs don’t encourage work. Instead, their principal effect is stripping people of the benefits they rely on to survive.

"This physicist is trying to make sense of the brain’s tangled networks" by Kelly Servick for Science Mag, plus more o...
04/16/2019

"This physicist is trying to make sense of the brain’s tangled networks" by Kelly Servick for Science Mag, plus more or what we're reading this week: https://buff.ly/2IeHrG8

This week's email edition is here: Work Requirements Don’t Work, Defaults Aren't the Same By Default, and a selection ...
04/16/2019

This week's email edition is here: Work Requirements Don’t Work, Defaults Aren't the Same By Default, and a selection of what we're reading - https://buff.ly/2UE9K8v

04/13/2019

From the archive: @Ogilvy's Rory Sutherland on the ways the marketing world demonstrates how a failure to replicate opens new windows into human behavior. https://buff.ly/2IwTsoz

04/13/2019

Have you ever been told to just "find your passion"? Easier said than done, right? Brad Stulberg, co-author of The Praise Paradox, unpacks our assumptions about passion and purpose in this week's QA with Jon Jachimowicz https://buff.ly/2UuVkan

On our reading list: Chelsea Ward investigates her self-diagnosed case of sidewalk rage in "Why Your Brain Hates Slowpok...
04/13/2019
Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes - Issue 71: Flow - Nautilus

On our reading list: Chelsea Ward investigates her self-diagnosed case of sidewalk rage in "Why Your Brain Hates Slowpokes" for @nautilus:

Not long ago I diagnosed myself with the recently identified condition of sidewalk rage. It’s most pronounced when it comes to a…

Wondering what others are reading? Take a look at our most popular articles from the last few months:
04/13/2019
Most Popular - Behavioral Scientist

Wondering what others are reading? Take a look at our most popular articles from the last few months:

2. Science What’s Wrong with Moral Foundations Theory, and How to get Moral Psychology Right Moral Foundations Theory has theoretical and empirical weaknesses argues Oliver Scott Curry. He proposes a new theory of morality.

Plastic bag bans are everywhere. Have they been helpful? Or is it a "classic tale of unintended consequences"? NPR Plane...
04/13/2019
Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

Plastic bag bans are everywhere. Have they been helpful? Or is it a "classic tale of unintended consequences"? NPR Planet Money's Greg Rosalsky explains.

A national movement to ban plastic bags is gaining steam, but these restrictions may actually hurt the environment more than help it.

Does encouraging people to find their passion set them up for failure or frustration? https://buff.ly/2UuVkan
04/12/2019

Does encouraging people to find their passion set them up for failure or frustration? https://buff.ly/2UuVkan

04/12/2019

What a Brazilian block party, a NYC subway ad and a New Orleans “chalk walk” have in common: all address the root causes of inequality in public space. @TheUnrealCity & Larissa Begault explain why this is so impt

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