Behavioral economics

The journal assignment will contain five weekly observations of how the principles of behavioral economics are used by the government or private companies. The observations do not have to relate to specific lecture content (you need 5 observations in total – a different one for each example). These observations need to include references to the relevant literature. This assignment will help your understanding of how behavioural economic (BE) principles are applied in the real world. Please note that the BE principles that you describe can be from any lecture; they do not have to refer to the content of any specific week. You won’t receive a high mark if every example is just about the use of a messenger in advertising and nothing else. Make sure that you show your familiarity with a number of BE principles, not just one or two. It is important to demonstrate a good grasp of BE principles and the relevant academic literature. Possible examples: a new advertising campaign that employs behavioural economic principles a new government policy a health campaign that nudges people to quit smoking Your examples can be very recent or from previous years. Do not choose examples that were discussed in class. The whole point of the journal is to find your own examples. For each observation (5 in total): briefly describe the campaign/policy describe which behavioural economics principles have been applied here refer to the relevant academic literature (correct referencing is important) Here are two short examples of a journal entry (you will need five of these). Please note that these are very short examples. Yours should be longer and should contain more references. Make use of the whole word count. Example 1: John Lewis 2015 Christmas commercial The 2015 John Lewis Christmas commercial shows a lonely old man on the moon. A little girl observes him from her home on Earth while her family is celebrating Christmas. The commercial mostly uses the principle of Affect (Dolan et al, 2010) as it evokes emotions in the viewer, such as empathy and sadness because it makes them think of their elderly relatives or other people they know who might be lonely. Emotions can have a large effect on decision-making (Dolan et al, 2010) and in the case of this commercial, viewers are encouraged to donate to the charity Age UK. Affect is a principle that is often used in commercials (Moore and Hutchinson, 1983). Example 2: Dry January The campaign: Dry January ( – participants pledge to not consume alcohol, or at least cut down their alcohol consumption, for 31 days in January. Behavioural Economics principles: This is an example of the foot-in-the-door technique (Carducci et al 1989) because once participants do not consume alcohol for 31 days, it is assumed that they might easily continue for the rest of the year. The campaign might be more effective if several friends participate in it at the same time – thus making use of norms. Norms, as described in MINDSPACE (Dolan et al, 2010) suggest that individuals are easily influenced by the behaviour of others. To encourage vicarious learning, it is emphasised that over 2 million people participated in the campaign last time. Don’t forget a correctly formatted full list of references! (you can use APA or any other style, as long as the style is consistent. Use a programme like Mendeley or RefWorks which will let you set a style). Please use examples from the United Kingdom Do not write an essay – have each example as self-contained and use different principles for each example. Use only one principle per example. Have a single References section at the end. The better the empirical evidence/support for the principle the better – so instead of, for example, referring to MINDSPACE refer instead to specific studies.