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Central banking: when communication is the policy

“Sometimes, the explanation is the policy” — Janet Yellen, Chair of the Federal Reserve 2014-2018 The psychological and behavioural economics literatures have had a transformative impact on how we understand people’s financial and personal decision-making. Studies have shown that more information isn’t always better, that defaulting people into saving can help them save more, and […]

August 15, 2018

Improving communications using behavioural insights – new results from TEST + Build

TEST + Build, one of our growing range of BI Ventures, draws on behavioural insights to improve communications. Since launching last year, we have worked with nine organisations to send out over 55,000 communications. One of those organisations was Mansfield Council. Using TEST + Build to encourage more households to pay their Council Tax by […]

August 2, 2018

New for employers: the latest evidence on What Works to reduce the Gender Pay Gap

Imagine a four-person shortlist that has three women and one man on it. With this shortlist, a woman will be hired only 67% of the time. If you’ve got two women and two men on the shortlist, a woman will be hired 50% of the time – the odds you would expect if people were […]

August 1, 2018

Encouraging retirement planning through behavioural insights

Think about yourself the day after you retire. Will you be spending more time with your friends and family? Does this question make retirement feel closer, more real? In a recent study with over 70,000 people, this simple prompt substantially increased engagement with retirement planning. It was more effective than stating the benefits of retirement […]

July 27, 2018

Improving the annual electoral canvass

At BIT, we are constantly on the look-out for interventions that can scale dramatically at low or even no cost. That’s why we’re excited that some of our evidence-based interventions will hit millions of letter boxes across England, Scotland and Wales this summer. The Household Enquiry Form (HEF) plays a key role in keeping the […]

July 20, 2018

BX is coming back to London for 2019

Football’s not coming home (yet), but we’re delighted to confirm that the annual Behavioural Exchange (BX) conference will be held in London next year. Technically BX isn’t coming home either. The inaugural 2014 conference was held in Sydney, where it returned last month for BX2018. But it was London where BIT was established in 2010 […]

July 19, 2018

What do evidence and olives have in common?

People can learn in a number of ways – through direct instruction, such as early lessons from parents; through watching what other people do and learning from their actions; or through our own experiences and trial and error. Psychologists have long studied the way in which we learn from our experience as well as from […]

July 5, 2018

Symbolic rewards, real benefits

Many foundational studies in behavioural economics showed that the relationship that people have with financial incentives or penalties isn’t quite what is predicted by the standard economic model. People value losses more than they value equivalently sized gains, disproportionately prefer today over tomorrow, and love large gambles while avoiding smaller ones. We’ve seen that when […]

July 4, 2018

Antimicrobial Resistance and BI – What’s Next?

In their book “Super-bugs, the arms race against bacteria”, William Hall and colleagues highlight that an estimated 1.5 million deaths a year are attributable to drug resistant bugs caused by antimicrobial resistance (AMR). They describe AMR as “a truly global problem that has the potential to affect every person on the planet”. Indeed, a great […]

July 3, 2018

Apposite apologies

Sorry, as Elton John memorably (and Blue not so memorably) sang, seems to be the hardest word. People and organisations very often miss out on chances to make amends by refusing to apologise, or worse still, offering a “non-apology”- saying that they’re sorry if people were offended, for example, instead of apologising for saying something […]

July 2, 2018