Behavioral Finance Blog Behavioral Amplification

By Jason Hreha
June 21, 2017

Most applied behavioral science projects are behavior amplification projects

How should we think about behavior change in light of our strong, biologically-determined predispositions?
To answer that, we first need to talk about some research I did with BJ Fogg.
Back in 2011, BJ Fogg and I came up with what we called “The Behavior Wizard” (great name, I know). It was based on our work on the “Behavior Grid” — which was a taxonomy of human behavior that we used to orient our thinking re: which behavior-change strategies would work best for specific types of behavior. More...

  Behavioral Finance Blog Savings Plans

By James Saft
September 6, 2017

Saving Hurts, and So Do the Errors of Self-Invested Plans

A little thought experiment for retirement savers:

Pretend we are at the race track and I pick your pocket, take a 10-dollar bill, replace the wallet surreptitiously and then 'give' you the money with instructions to put the funds on a horse. Now pretend that I also instruct you to take another 10 dollars of your own money and make a second bet. More...

  Behavioral Finance Blog Selling Your Soul

By Koen Smets


Selling your soul -- The trade-offs we don’t want to make (but believe others should)

Not much is known with any certainty about Johann Georg Faust. Wikipedia describes him as an alchemist, astrologer and magician, who was born in either 1466 or 1480, and who may even have been two different people. However, after his death in 1541, he became the subject of legend, immortalized by numerous writers including Christopher Marlowe and Goethe... Faust’s claim to fame was that he is assumed have sold his soul in exchange for unlimited knowledge and worldly pleasures. Read more...

  Behavioral Finance Behavioral Economists

By Erik Angner
Behavioral Scientist

We’re All Behavioral Economists Now

Today behavioral economist Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2017. This makes him at least the third person working on behavioral economics to win the prize, after Herbert Simon in 1978 and Daniel Kahneman in 2002. Behavioral economics has long defined itself, in part, in opposition to standard (neoclassical) economics. Read more...

  Behavioral Finance Blog Saving For Your Boy

By Christopher Robbins
FA Magazine

Do Parents Favor Boys When Saving For College?

A child’s gender may presage how his or her parents will save for college, a new survey says. Parents who only have boys as children are putting more emphasis on saving and funding college education than the parents of only girls, according to a national survey of parents of children aged 8 to 14 that was sponsored by Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price. Read more...

The big news, of course, in the Behavioral world is the awarding of the Nobel Prize for Economics to Richard Thaler, giving three such prizes to the field in the last 15 years. this decision speaks volumes about the importance of behavioral science to finance and economics. This article in Forbes was one of the best in our opinion.

  Behavioral Finance Blog Richard Thaler Nobel

By Brian Domitrovic

Richard Thaler's Behavioral Economics Changed The Subject

After the 1970s, the stagflation decade, we learned something big about economics—very big. We learned that extended periods of economic sluggishness, under-employment, diminished opportunity, pessimism about the future, severe inequality, and major inflation are wholly unnecessary. Read more...