Nudging in Government


Dr David Halpern, Chief Executive, United Kingdom Behavioural Insights Team reflects on setting up the world’s first "Nudge Unit," and on the application of BI in the UK. 

  • View David Halpern's presentation (PDF) 
  • Dr Halpern outlines the genesis of the UK Behavioural Insights Team and its plans for the future. 
  • Throughout this video, Dr Halpern discusses a range of behavioural insights trials, including tax and income reporting, job centres, and organ donation (Hint: of the eight options, see if you can predict which one was the most effective in increasing sign-ups to the organ donation register). He also discusses some interventions seeking to have a deeper influence on policy, including MiDATA and e-cigarettes.
  • Dr Halpern outlines the approach of the Behavioural Insights Team, and the simple mnemonic framework “EAST”.

Dr Maya Shankar, Senior Adviser, White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (telepresence) talks about the use of behavioural insights in the White House.

  • Dr Shankar discusses her role in the formation of the US Social and Behavioural Sciences Team, within the White House, which was launched in January 2014.
  • Dr Shankar acknowledges that identifying testing platforms that allow for rigorous experimentation is no small feat in government.
  • The Social and Behavioural Sciences Team hopes to not only demonstrate the impact of behavioural science in policy, but also contribute to an ongoing evidence base and improve the quality of evaluation across government.