Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mind, Society and Behaviour: new 236 page report from the World Bank

Christmas has come early for Behavioural Science nerds in the form of this 236 page report by the World Bank entitled "Mind, Society and Behaviour". This report will likely end up being a staple of reading lists in Behavioural Science masters programs everywhere. The overview and index are highlighted below:

Overview [p21-22]
"This Report aims to integrate recent findings on the psychological and social underpinnings of behavior to make them available for more systematic use by both researchers and practitioners in development communities. The Report draws on findings from many disciplines, including neuroscience, cognitive science, psychology, behavioral economics, sociology, political science, and anthropology. In ongoing research, these findings help explain decisions that individuals make in many aspects of development, including savings, investment, energy consumption, health, and child rearing. The findings also enhance the understanding of how collective behaviors - such as widespread trust or widespread corruption—develop and become entrenched in a society. The findings apply not only to individuals in developing countries but also to development professionals, who are themselves prone to error when decision-making contexts are complex.

From the hundreds of empirical papers on human decision making that form the basis of this Report, three principles stand out as providing the direction for new approaches to understanding behavior and designing and implementing development policy. First, people make most judgments and most choices automatically, not deliberatively: we call this “thinking automatically.” Second, how people act and think often depends on what others around them do and think: we call this “thinking socially.” Third, individuals in a given society share a common perspective on making sense of the world around them and understanding themselves: we call this “thinking with mental models.

The mind, society, and behavior framework points to new tools for achieving development objectives, as well as new means of increasing the effectiveness of existing interventions. It provides more entry points for policy and new tools that practitioners can draw on in their efforts to reduce poverty and increase shared prosperity. This Report discusses how taking the human factors more completely into account in decision making sheds light on a number of areas: the persistence of poverty, early childhood development, household finance, productivity, health, and climate change. The framework and many examples in the Report show how impediments to people’s ability to process information and the ways societies shape mindsets can be sources of development disadvantage but also can be changed."

Overview: Human decision making and development policy
5 Three principles of human decision making
13 Psychological and social perspectives on policy
18 The work of development professionals
21 References

24 Part 1: An expanded understanding of human behavior for economic development: A conceptual framework
25 Introduction
26 Chapter 1: Thinking automatically
26 Two systems of thinking
29 Biases in assessing information
34 Biases in assessing value
36 Choice architecture
37 Overcoming intention-action divides
38 Conclusion
38 Notes
39 References

42 Chapter 2: Thinking socially
43 Social preferences and their implications
49 The influence of social networks on individual decision making
51 The role of social norms in individual decision making
54 Conclusion
55 Notes
55 References
60 Spotlight 1: When corruption is the norm

62 Chapter 3: Thinking with mental models
63 Where mental models come from and why they matter
63 How mental models work and how we use them
65 The roots of mental models
67 The effects of making an identity salient
68 The staying power of mental models
70 Policies to improve the match of mental models with a decision context
72 Conclusion
72 Notes
73 References
76 Spotlight 2: Entertainment education

79 Part 2: Psychological and social perspectives on policy
80 Chapter 4: Poverty
81 Poverty consumes cognitive resources
84 Poverty creates poor frames
85 Social contexts of poverty can generate their own taxes
86 Implications for the design of antipoverty policies and programs
90 Looking ahead
91 References
94 Spotlight 3: How well do we understand the contexts of poverty?

98 Chapter 5: Early childhood development
99 Richer and poorer children differ greatly in school readiness
100 Children need multiple cognitive and noncognitive skills to succeed in school
101 Poverty in infancy and early childhood can impede early brain development
101 Parents are crucial in supporting the development of children’s capacities for learning
103 Parents’ beliefs and caregiving practices differ across groups, with consequences for children’s developmental outcomes
104 Designing interventions that focus on and improve parental competence
108 Conclusion
108 Notes
109 References

112 Chapter 6: Household finance
113 The human decision maker in finance
117 Policies to improve the quality of household financial decisions
123 Conclusion
123 Notes
123 References

128 Chapter 7: Productivity
129 Improving effort among employees
134 Recruiting high-performance employees
135 Improving the performance of small businesses
136 Increasing technology adoption in agriculture
139 Using these insights in policy design
140 Notes
140 References
144 Spotlight 4: Using ethnography to understand the workplace

146 Chapter 8: Health
146 Changing health behaviors in the face of psychological biases and social influences
149 Psychological and social approaches to changing health behavior
151 Improving follow-through and habit formation
153 Encouraging health care providers to do the right things for others
155 Conclusion
155 Notes
156 References

160 Chapter 9: Climate change
161 Cognitive obstacles inhibit action on climate change
167 Psychological and social insights for motivating conservation
171 Conclusion
171 Notes
171 References
176 Spotlight 5: Promoting water conservation in Colombia

179 Part 3: Improving the work of development professionals
180 Chapter 10: The biases of development professionals
181 Complexity
182 Confirmation bias
185 Sunk cost bias
186 The effects of context on judgment and decision making
189 Conclusion
190 Notes
190 References

192 Chapter 11: Adaptive design, adaptive interventions
194 Diagnosing psychological and social obstacles
195 Designing an intervention
198 Experimenting during implementation
199 Conclusion: Learning and adapting
199 References
202 Spotlight 6: Why should governments shape individual choices?

205 Index

No comments: