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BEAR Webinar Series

BEAR Webinar: Julian House

  • Speaker: Julian House, Behavioural Scientist, Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU), Government of Ontario
    Julian House is a scientist with the Ontario government's Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU). He also teaches behavioural economics and marketing at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, where he is a research fellow. His research into how behavioural science can be applied to advance public policy and social welfare aims appears in top academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Behavioural Science and Policy Journal.
  • Date: January 17, 2019 12PM ET
  • Topic: Behavioural Insights into Student Vaccination: Iterative field trials
  • Description: Ontario’s Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) applies the knowledge and methodologies of behavioural insights to improve government services offered to the people of Ontario. Earlier this year, the BIU released the first draft of its Workbook, designed to layout their approach in a series of hands-on exercises. To introduce this approach with a concrete example, this seminar will describe an ongoing research project in partnership with Toronto Public Health. In Ontario, students are required to have up-to-date vaccine records in order to attend school. While this policy contributes to achieving important public-health targets of immunization against childhood diseases, it also results in tens of thousands of students being suspended from school each year. Two consecutive field trials explore whether behavioural insights can improve this process by improving efficiency, increasing vaccine coverage, and decreasing suspensions in the province’s largest public health unit.

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Questions? Please contact Liz Kang




BEAR Webinar Series: Carey K. Morewedge

BEAR Webinar: Carey K. Morewedge

  • Speaker: Carey K. Morewedge, Professor or Marketing, Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Boston University

    Carey K. Morewedge is a Professor of Marketing and Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Boston University. His research examines the psychological causes, consequences, and correction of bias in judgment and decision making. Using a mix of laboratory, field, and longitudinal experiments, he tackles basic and applied problems from why people won’t bet on the failure of their child or favorite team to developing interventions that improve decision making by producing long-term reductions in cognitive bias. He has published over 40 papers in top academic journals including Science, Psychological Science, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and Management Science, and contributed to popular outlets including Harvard Business Review and the New York Times. Awards for his work include recognition as a Marketing Institute Scholar in 2018, one of the Top 40 Under 40 MBA Professors by Poets & Quants in 2016, writing the Most Theoretically Innovative Article of the Year as judged by the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in 2010, and receipt of an Ideas of the Year from the New York Times in 2009. Prior to joining the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, Professor Morewedge was a Postdoc at Princeton University in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and served on the faculty as the Director of the Center for Behavioral and Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University. His PhD is in Social Psychology from Harvard University.

  • Date: December 6, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Improved Decision Making with One-Shot Training Interventions
  • Description: From failures of intelligence analysis to misguided beliefs about vaccinations, biased judgment and decision making creates problems in public and private life. Early failures to improve decision making through training led to its abandonment, and the current focus on debiasing through nudges and incentives. I report laboratory, field, and longitudinal experiments that find one-shot debiasing training interventions are effective. Participants (N = 1,076) received a single 30 to 90 minute training intervention that addressed three of six biases critical to intelligence analysis (i.e., anchoring, bias blind spot, confirmation bias, correspondence bias, representativeness, and social projection). Interventions ranged from instructional videos to serious games. Longitudinal experiments found medium to large immediate debiasing effects (games d ≥ 1.68; videos d ≥  .69) that persisted at least 2 months later (games d ≥ 1.11; videos d ≥ .66). In a field study where participants didn’t know their biases were measured, training reduced confirmatory hypothesis testing by 29% in a complex case. Debiasing effects of training transferred across problems in different contexts and formats. The results provide exciting new evidence that training can improve decision making. 

BEAR Webinar Series: World Bank

BEAR Webinar: World Bank

  • Speakers: Zeina Afif, Senior Social Scientist, World Bank, & Iman Sen, Research Analyst, World Bank

    Zeina Afif is a Senior Social Scientist with the Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank. Zeina is currently working on applying behavioral insights to improve women’s access to finance and jobs, reduce youth unemployment, reduce gender based violence, promote social cohesion, and improve access to public services and programs. Prior to joining the team, Zeina provided operational communication and behavioral insights support to World Bank projects and has worked in countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, and Yemen in the areas of taxes, social protection, social accountability, and citizen engagement. Zeina holds a MBA from George Washington University, and a M.Sc. in Behavioral Science from London School of Economics.

    Iman Sen is a Research Analyst at the World Bank working with projects on tax compliance, financial management, energy, and understanding social norms through the support of behavioral interventions. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked on randomized evaluations in governance, energy, health, and gender in South Asia, in different capacities for Innovations for Poverty Action(IPA), and the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Iman holds Masters degrees in Economics and Computer Science from New York University.

  • Date: November 14, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Understanding and Reducing Barriers to Female Labour Force Participation
  • Description:The World Bank eMBeD team is testing ways to increase young female participation in the private sector through a multi-dimensional approach, targeting legal, social and psychological barriers women currently face. For example, in Jordan, female labour force participation rates remains extremely low at around 14%, while women are increasingly more educated. The eMBeD team studied in detail the social and cultural norms that may impede greater participation by women in the work force.

BEAR Webinar Series: Camielle Headlam

BEAR Webinar: Camielle Headlam

  • Speaker: Camielle Headlam, Research Analyst, MDRC
    Camielle Headlam is a research analyst at MDRC, an education and social policy research organization. She specializes in projects that apply insights from behavioral science to mitigate pressing postsecondary education issues. She currently leads qualitative diagnostic and implementation research for MDRC’s Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) and Finish Line: Graduation by Design projects. She also conducts implementation research for the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio Demonstration and Developmental Education Acceleration projects. Previously, Camielle served as a college success adviser for a community-based organization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University.
  • Date: October 18, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Making Summer Pay Off: Using Behavioral Science to Encourage Postsecondary Summer Enrollment 
  • DescriptionIn the U.S., a pressing public policy concern is low postsecondary graduation rates, especially at community colleges which often serve low-income and nontraditional students. Research has shown that enrolling in summer courses could improve student success, but few students enroll. Can behavioral science be used to encourage summer enrollment? If so, will students experience improved academic outcomes? This webinar will examine how behavioral insights were used to diagnose barriers to summer enrollment and encourage more students to enroll. Broader implications for applying behavioral science to higher education issues will also be discussed.
  • Click here to view the full recording of the webinar session

BEAR Webinar Series: Jess Leifer   

BEAR Webinar: Jess Leifer

  • Speaker: Jess Leifer, Vice President, ideas42
    Jessica Leifer is a Vice President at ideas42 where she leads projects applying behavioral science insights to address challenges in health and health care. Her current work spans using behavioral science insights to prevent diabetes, build and sustain healthy habits in areas including nutrition and medication adherence, improve treatment of opioid use disorder, and build resilience in aging. Prior to joining ideas42, Jess was a fellow at the Mars Centre for Impact Investing in Toronto where she designed a technical assistance program for nonprofits interested in setting up Social Impact Bond programs. Jess previously worked for Success Academy Charter Schools, a large and growing network of public charter schools in New York City, where she collaborated on the design and implementation of their data-driven education management system. Jess received an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and her B.A in Psychology (with honors) from the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn she researched self-control, willpower, and educational achievement with Dr. Angela Duckworth. 
  • Date: September 13, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Improving Health with Applied Behavioural Design
  • Description: Health is more than what happens at a doctor’s office. A variety of factors influence how long and how well we live, chief among them our health behaviors and practices. This webinar will illustrate an approach for identifying barriers to health and designing solutions that can make us healthier, using insights from behavioral science.
  • Click here to view the full recording of the webinar
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