Michael Schrage

Even though we frequently underestimate the significance of this “automatic” aspect of our conduct, it significantly impacts how we act. As a result, organizations provide subpar goods, governments adopt poor policies, and people develop irrational plans. On the other hand, the behavioral insights approach utilizes data about actual human behavior—rather than presumptions about it—to real-world issues. This book in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series, written by two of the foremost authorities on the subject, provides an approachable overview of behavioral discoveries by outlining their main characteristics, historical contexts, and real-world applications.

Since 2010, these revelations have made it possible to address some of the most significant societal problems in new ways, altering the operations of businesses, organizations, and the public sector. This book demonstrates how the strategy is based on a concern with real-world issues, the application of research on human behavior to these issues, and testing to assess the effectiveness of the solutions. It provides a summary of the approach’s psychological and behavioral economics roots, early adoption by the UK’s trailblazing “nudge unit,” and most recently, its extension into other fields. Additionally, the book offers project management advice as well as examples from several policy fields. The book concludes by discussing the approach’s drawbacks, moral ramifications, and prospects for this rapidly developing field.