Tag Archives: behavioral economics

Carrots and Sticks Wielded at the RSA

In doing a little research for some behavioural change theory as part of my day-job I came across this wonderfully brief talk that Ian Ayres did at the RSA back in April. I’ve been toying with carrots and sticks (I think both approaches can be wonderfully split-tested online) in my own work particularly around financial services. However, Ian introduces the idea of the anti-incentive and it’s a bit of a head-scratcher that I’m going to spend some time exploring for my clients. I think it’s got some potential but it’s perilous in terms of setting oneself up for quite the outlay should it be implemented incorrectly. So, without further ado, take a moment:

> More on anti-incentives found by Liz Danzico

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A very special persuasion brief

Screengrab of the OpenIDEO brief

As an advocate of the trendy field of behavioural economics & persuasive psychology, it’s rather humbling to read a brief that plays in this space but is a little more worthy than trying to get people to spend a little more. Open IDEO have posted their latest brief:

How might we increase the number of registered bone marrow donors to help save more lives?”

For all the right reasons anyone with a creative interest in the field of persuasion should take a look and start sketching. The basics are explained eloquently in this YouTube clip. For my part, this is the reason I haven’t joined the the register is pathetically:

1. I once heard/read that the donation process is incredibly painful
2. I one heard/read that the donation process leaves you immuno-supressed for some time.
3. The small number of registered donors means it’s much more likely your marrow will be called upon

But I know, without out ever having been in the position, that if I or close family needed marrow I would be out campaigning hard to get people to sign up and I would of course submit my own marrow.  It’s a big challenge, a worthy one and one where the answers elude me right now. I shall follow this with keen interest.

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Brands as Placebos


Placebo! by Akácio S. [ /photographyk ], on Flickr

There’s something quite lazy in blogging about a blog post that someone wrote about someone else’s blog post. But I think that it’s less lazy than having a blog and not blogging. And, in my meagre defence, I do have a proper post up my draft.

Besides, the post comes from Nick, a clever chap who I work with (more accurately underneath) at Dare. And it concerns that trendy Behavioural Economics stuff. The long and short of it is that placebos are hugely powerful things and if you take the idea of a placebo and apply it to a brand you can see the power of branding and experience bias on the apparent efficacy and tolerance of products and services. Take a look-see at Nick’s post (itself a reference of the original work by the Geary Institute)

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