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The Behavioral Insights Group (BIG), co-directed by Iris Bohnet and Max Bazerman, brings together Harvard’s outstanding group of decision research scholars, behavioral economists, and other behavioral scientists to focus their energies on improving how decisions are made, both by leaders, and by individuals. BIG is driven by the belief that improving the quality of our leaders’ decisions is a core lever we posses to improve the world. When leaders and individuals make better decisions, an amazing array of changes can happen, including:
Recent books such as Nudge, by Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, and Thinking, Fast and Slow, by Daniel Kahneman, have revealed how behavioral economics and other behavioral sciences shed light on decision making processes. These insights can do much more than improve how individuals make important personal decisions. They can also help leaders make better decisions about major policies—and ensure those policies effectively improve society.
BIG is fortunate that many of the world’s best decision research scholars, behavioral economists, and other behavioral scientists are at Harvard, and are eager to apply their expertise to our most challenging problems. Through their collaborative efforts, BIG will:
As a research program hosted by the Center for Public Leadership and Harvard Kennedy School (HKS), BIG will integrate its research with the teaching and social change initiatives of the Center and the School. A key outcome for BIG will be teaching HKS students in degree programs, executive education, and other seminars and workshops how to use behavioral insights to become more effective change agents, and to improve the state of organizations, policy, and the world.