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Read more about the work we do and our interests across behavioural science, design and data science.

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Automatic Enrolment: A New Application in Savings Automatic Enrolment: A New Application in Savings

One of the most cited applications of behavioural science in practice is the powerful effect of automatically enrolling people into schemes like pension plans. With a simple change in the sign-up process, these interventions show that we can move from a world in which the minority of people save for retirement to one in which...

Jan 8 2024 • 3 min read

Jan 8 2024 • 3 min read

New Year, Same Old Predictions New Year, Same Old Predictions

At the beginning of a New Year, financial journalists churn out articles about how the markets are likely to perform over the next 12 months. Their sources are often the forecasts published by industry analysts. According to one report published in December 2023, for example, analysts have on average predicted that the value of the...

Jan 3 2024 • 3 min read

Jan 3 2024 • 3 min read

What Could Your Partner Do To Improve Your Relationship? What Could Your Partner Do To Improve Your Relationship?

If you’ve ever been in a long-term relationship, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to think of a few things your partner could do (or could have done) to improve the relationship. Perhaps they could listen more, for example, or be more attentive? At CogCo, we wanted to see whether our new platform –...

Sep 20 2023 • 3 min read

Sep 20 2023 • 3 min read

How Might We Motivate Employees? Answers from Economics and Psychology How Might We Motivate Employees? Answers from Economics and Psychology

Imagine that you founded a company a few years ago and now find yourself grappling with a difficult question: how might I continue to motivate my employees? You turn to your trusty co-founders: Erin (who has an economics background) and Paolo (who studied psychology at university). And you soon learn that they have very different...

Jul 10 2023 • 3 min read

Jul 10 2023 • 3 min read

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Friends of Friends Closer Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Friends of Friends Closer

Imagine that you are looking to change jobs. And you think that there might be people in your social network who can help you to get into a new industry. Who do you think is going to be most useful at helping you out? Do you think it might be someone who is close to...

Oct 3 2022 • 4 min read

Oct 3 2022 • 4 min read

Join The Thousands of Others Who Have Already Read This Post on Social Norms Join The Thousands of Others Who Have Already Read This Post on Social Norms

Would you adjust your alcohol intake if you were told that most people drink less than you? Have you ever opted for something labelled ‘most popular’ when you were unsure which option to choose? The above tactics are examples of descriptive social norms, which in recent years have become a go-to marketing method across the...

Sep 6 2022 • 3 min read

Sep 6 2022 • 3 min read

What Do 19th Century Farmers Tell Us About Smartphone Notifications? What Do 19th Century Farmers Tell Us About Smartphone Notifications?

Imagine that you are a 19th century cattle farmer whose herd grazes on common land shared by many other farmers (and many other cows). You are trying to decide whether to add one more cow to your herd. On the positive side, an extra animal would bring you additional income. On the negative side, another...

Jul 28 2022 • 3 min read

Jul 28 2022 • 3 min read

What Does the Virtual Property Market Tell us About the Psychology of Ownership? What Does the Virtual Property Market Tell us About the Psychology of Ownership?

How much would you pay for a virtual property? Not one of those ones made of bricks and mortar, but a digital one made of pixels that exists only in the virtual world. If your answer is around £375,000, then you have something in common with the person who recently purchased Mars House – a...

Mar 28 2022 • 3 min read

Mar 28 2022 • 3 min read

What’s in a Name? How Naming Something Changes the Way We Think About It What’s in a Name? How Naming Something Changes the Way We Think About It

Have you ever wondered why so many peoples across the world and through the ages have decided that they need a God of Thunder or Lightning? Be it Thor in Norse mythology, Zeus in Ancient Greece, Vajrapani in Buddhism, or Indra in Hinduism, the gods of extreme weather often play a particularly powerful and prominent...

Feb 22 2022 • 3 min read

Feb 22 2022 • 3 min read

Great Expectations: Comets, Cures, and Culture Great Expectations: Comets, Cures, and Culture

Adam McKay’s latest film, Don’t Look Up, tells the story of our response to a comet heading directly for Earth. One of the film’s main storylines is the battle between two tribes: those who believe in the threat posed by the comet, and those who do not. In the end, these contrasting beliefs both become...

Feb 11 2022 • 3 min read

Feb 11 2022 • 3 min read

Why Don’t We Give Cash at Christmas? Why Don’t We Give Cash at Christmas?

Take a moment to sift through your memories of Christmas past. What’s the best present you’ve ever received? It is unlikely that your answer is cash. And from an economic perspective, the fact that it is unlikely to be cash is interesting. That’s because a core tenet of classical economics is that people generally make...

Dec 15 2021 • 4 min read

Dec 15 2021 • 4 min read

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