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  Subjects -> ANTHROPOLOGY (Total: 398 journals)
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Behavioural Public Policy
Number of Followers: 6  
 
  Hybrid Journal Hybrid journal (It can contain Open Access articles)
ISSN (Print) 2398-063X - ISSN (Online) 2398-0648
Published by Cambridge University Press Homepage  [353 journals]
  • Taking the New Year's Resolution Test seriously: eliciting individuals’
           judgements about self-control and spontaneity

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      Authors: Grubiak; Kevin P., Isoni, Andrea, Sugden, Robert, Wang, Mengjie, Zheng, Jiwei
      Pages: 1 - 23
      Abstract: Self-control failure occurs when an individual experiences a conflict between immediate desires and longer-term goals, recognises psychological forces that hinder goal-directed action, tries to resist them but fails in the attempt. Behavioural economists often invoke assumptions about self-control failure to justify proposals for policy interventions. These arguments require workable methods for eliciting individuals’ goals and for verifying occurrences of self-control failure, but developing such methods confronts two problems. First, it is not clear that individuals’ goals are context-independent. Second, facing an actual conflict between a desire and a self-acknowledged goal, a person may consciously choose not to resist the desire, thinking that spontaneity is more important than self-control. We address these issues through an online survey that elicited individuals’ self-reported judgements about the relative importance of self-control and spontaneity in conflicts between enjoyment and health-related goals. To test for context-sensitivity, the judgement-elicitation questions were preceded by a memory recall task which directed participants’ attention either to the enjoyment of acting on desires or to the satisfaction of achieving goals. We found little evidence of context-sensitivity. In both treatments, however, judgements that favoured spontaneity were expressed with roughly the same frequency and strength as judgments that favoured self-control.
      PubDate: 2022-01-31
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2021.41
       
  • On the limited policy relevance of evolutionary explanations

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      Authors: Sunstein; Cass R.
      Pages: 184 - 190
      Abstract: Evolutionary explanations for behavioral findings are often both fascinating and plausible. But even so, they do not establish that people are acting rationally, that they are not making mistakes, or that their decisions are promoting their welfare. For example, present bias, optimistic overconfidence, and use of the availability heuristic can produce terrible mistakes and serious welfare losses, and this is so even if they have evolutionary foundations. There might well be evolutionary explanations for certain kinds of in-group favoritism, and also for certain male attitudes and actions toward women, and also for human mistreatment of and cruelty toward nonhuman animals. But those explanations would not justify anything at all. It is not clear that in Darwinia (a nation in which departures from perfect rationality have an evolutionary explanation), policymakers should behave very differently from Durkheimian policymakers (a nation in which departures from perfect rationality have a cultural explanation).
      PubDate: 2022-02-28
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2022.4
       
  • On the importance of attempting to know the causes of things: a reply to
           Sunstein

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      Authors: Oliver; Adam
      Pages: 191 - 195
      Abstract: Cass Sunstein's contention that evolutionary explanations for behavioural economic phenomena are of limited relevance to public policy – and his support for soft paternalism – rests on his view that policymakers ought to be pursuing increases in some overarching social planning conception of welfare. In this reply to Sunstein, I argue that people have differing and multifarious desires in life, with the social planner's conception of welfare being, at best, perhaps only a partial consideration for most people. The phenomena that behavioural economists and psychologists have empirically observed may well facilitate people in the pursuit of their own desires in life. Consequently, paternalistic manipulation or coercion to save people from themselves is questionable in the behavioural public policy space, but government intervention is warranted when one party implicitly or explicitly uses these phenomena to exploit others.
      PubDate: 2022-02-18
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2022.5
       
  • Nudge plus: incorporating reflection into behavioral public policy

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      Authors: Banerjee; Sanchayan, John, Peter
      Pages: 69 - 84
      Abstract: Nudge plus is a modification of the toolkit of behavioral public policy. It incorporates an element of reflection – the plus – into the delivery of a nudge, either blended in or made proximate. Nudge plus builds on recent work combining heuristics and deliberation. It may be used to design prosocial interventions that help preserve the autonomy of the agent. The argument turns on seminal work on dual systems, which presents a subtler relationship between fast and slow thinking than commonly assumed in the classic literature in behavioral public policy. We review classic and recent work on dual processes to show that a hybrid is more plausible than the default-interventionist or parallel-competitive framework. We define nudge plus, set out what reflection could entail, provide examples, outline causal mechanisms, and draw testable implications.
      PubDate: 2021-04-16
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2021.6
       
  • Experiencing default nudges: autonomy, manipulation, and
           choice-satisfaction as judged by people themselves

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      Authors: Michaelsen; Patrik, Johansson, Lars-Olof, Hedesström, Martin
      Pages: 85 - 106
      Abstract: Criticisms of nudging suggest that nudges infringe on decision makers’ autonomy. Yet, little empirical research has explored whether people who are subjected to nudges agree. In three between-group experiments (N = 2083), we subject participants to contrasting choice architectures and measure experiences of autonomy, choice-satisfaction, perceived threat to freedom of choice, and objection to the choice architecture. Participants who received a prosocial opt-out default nudge made more prosocial choices but did not report lower autonomy or choice satisfaction than participants in opt-in default or active-choice conditions. This was the case even when the presence of the nudge was disclosed, and when monetary choice stakes were introduced. With monetary choice stakes, participants perceived the threat to freedom of choice as slightly higher in the nudge condition than in the other conditions, but objection to the choice architecture did not differ between the conditions. Taken together, our results suggest that default nudges are less manipulative and autonomy-infringing than sometimes feared. We recommend that policymakers include measures of choice experiences when testing out new interventions.
      PubDate: 2021-03-19
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2021.5
       
  • Do nudges crowd out prosocial behavior'

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      Authors: Gråd; Erik, Erlandsson, Arvid, Tinghög, Gustav
      Pages: 107 - 120
      Abstract: Both theory on motivational crowding and recent empirical evidence suggest that nudging may sometimes backfire and actually crowd out prosocial behavior, due to decreased intrinsic motivation and warm glow. In this study, we tested this claim by investigating the effects of three types of nudges (default nudge, social norm nudge, and moral nudge) on donations to charity in a preregistered online experiment (N = 1098). Furthermore, we manipulated the transparency of the nudges across conditions by explicitly informing subjects of the nudges that were used. Our results show no indication that nudges crowd out prosocial behavior; instead, all three nudges increased donations. The positive effects of the nudges were driven by the subjects who did not perceive the nudges as attempts to manipulate their behavior, while donations among subjects who felt that the nudges were manipulative remained unaffected. Subjects’ self-reported happiness with their choice also remained unaffected. Thus, we find no indication that nudges crowded out warm glow when acting altruistically. Generally, our results are good news for the proponents of nudges in public policy, since they suggest that concerns about unintended motivational crowding effects on prosocial behavior have been overstated.
      PubDate: 2021-03-26
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2021.10
       
  • All by myself' Testing descriptive social norm-nudges to increase flood
           preparedness among homeowners

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      Authors: Mol; Jantsje M., Botzen, W. J. Wouter, Blasch, Julia E., Kranzler, Elissa C., Kunreuther, Howard C.
      Pages: 121 - 153
      Abstract: Nudges based on social norms (norm-nudges) can be compelling behavioral interventions compared with traditional interventions such as taxes and regulations, but they do not work in all circumstances. We tested two empirical norm-nudge frames in an online experiment on taking measures for flood preparedness with large samples of homeowners (N = 1805) in two European countries, to evaluate the possible interactions between norm-nudge effectiveness, individual characteristics, and intercultural differences. We contrasted these norm-nudge treatments with a control and norm-focusing treatment by asking respondents to express their beliefs about what other respondents would do before making a decision relevant to their own payoff. We find no evidence of a treatment effect, suggesting that our social norm-nudges do not affect flood preparedness in the context of a flood risk investment game.
      PubDate: 2021-05-03
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2021.17
       
  • Reflecting on reflection: prospect theory, our behaviors, and our
           environment

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      Authors: Oliver; Adam
      Pages: 173 - 183
      Abstract: In a previously published article, I reported some tests of prospect theory's reflection effect over outcomes defined by money and life years gained from treatment. Those results suggested qualified support for the reflection effect over money outcomes and strong support over longevity outcomes. This article reruns those tests while accounting for the intensity of individual risk attitudes, and, overall, show consistency with the reflection effect. However, I argue that these results do not necessarily offer support for the explanatory power of prospect theory. Rather, the results may be driven by evolved responses to circumstances that provoke perceptions of scarcity and abundance. Therefore, from an ecological perspective, behavioral patterns such as those that are consistent with the reflection effect, which, by extension, tend to be considered as erroneous or biased by most behavioral economists because they conflict with the postulates of rational choice theory, may not be unreasonable. Recognizing as such is important when considering how behavioral insights ought to inform public policy design and implementation.
      PubDate: 2021-10-05
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2021.31
       
  • Motivated numeracy and active reasoning in a Western European sample

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      Authors: CONNOR; PAUL, SULLIVAN, EMILY, ALFANO, MARK, TINTAREV, NAVA
      Pages: 24 - 46
      Abstract: Recent work by Kahan et al. (2017) on the psychology of motivated numeracy in the context of intracultural disagreement suggests that people are less likely to employ their capabilities when the evidence runs contrary to their political ideology. This research has so far been carried out primarily in the USA regarding the liberal–conservative divide over gun control regulation. In this paper, we present the results of a modified replication that included an active reasoning intervention with Western European participants regarding both the hierarchy–egalitarianism and individualism–collectivism divides over immigration policy (n = 746; considerably less than the preregistration sample size). We reproduce the motivated numeracy effect, though we do not find evidence of increased polarization of high-numeracy participants.
      PubDate: 2020-08-05
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2020.32
       
  • Motivated reasoning and policy information: politicians are more resistant
           to debiasing interventions than the general public

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      Authors: CHRISTENSEN; JULIAN, MOYNIHAN, DONALD P.
      Pages: 47 - 68
      Abstract: A growing body of evidence shows that politicians use motivated reasoning to fit evidence with prior beliefs. In this, they are not unlike other people. We use survey experiments to reaffirm prior work showing that politicians, like the public they represent, engage in motivated reasoning. However, we also show that politicians are more resistant to debiasing interventions than others. When required to justify their evaluations, politicians rely more on prior political attitudes and less on policy information, increasing the probability of erroneous decisions. The results raise the troubling implication that the specialized role of elected officials makes them more immune to the correction of biases, and in this way less representative of the voters they serve when they process policy information.
      PubDate: 2020-11-24
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2020.50
       
  • Simple nudges that are not so easy

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      Authors: DE RIDDER; DENISE, FEITSMA, JORAM, VAN DEN HOVEN, MARIËTTE, KROESE, FLOOR, SCHILLEMANS, THOMAS, VERWEIJ, MARCEL, VENEMA, TINA, VUGTS, ANASTASIA, DE VET, EMELY
      Pages: 154 - 172
      Abstract: In this paper, we critically review three assumptions that govern the debate on the legitimacy of nudging interventions as a policy instrument: (1) nudges may violate autonomous decision-making; (2) nudges lend themselves to easy implementation in public policy; and (3) nudges are a simple and effective mean for steering individual choice in the right direction. Our analysis reveals that none of these assumptions are supported by recent studies entailing unique insights into nudging from three disciplinary outlooks: ethics, public administration and psychology. We find that nudges are less of a threat to autonomous choice than critics sometimes claim, making them ethically more legitimate than often assumed. Nonetheless, because their effectiveness is critically dependent on boundary conditions, their implementation is far from easy. The findings of this analysis thus suggest new opportunities for identifying when and for whom nudge interventions are preferable to more conventional public policy arrangements.
      PubDate: 2020-08-11
      DOI: 10.1017/bpp.2020.36
       
 
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  Subjects -> ANTHROPOLOGY (Total: 398 journals)
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