The End of the Beginning: Behavioural economics has entered a new era of application

Crawford Hollingworth
The Behavioural Architects


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Behavioural economics (BE) has become a very familiar term and you're more than likely to find a copy of 'Nudge' on someone's coffee table these days. I'm sure you've come across Kahneman, Knetsch and Thaler's mug study1 about the concept of endowment bias or Ariely, Loewenstein and Prelec's social security number study2 looking at the subconscious effects of anchors and while these and many other studies have been essential in the development of the behavioural sciences, research is now moving on and becoming more applied with real life field trials; we are in a new era of real world application. This is an important development, since it will mean even more accurate insights into behaviour, and more precise application to different industry sectors, contexts, environments and demographics.