The Next Decade of Behavioural Science

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I recently finished Richard Thaler's excellent Misbehaving which left me with a hankering for more on behavioural economics, psychology and more.

That's where the Behavioral Scientist website comes in, they've recently published the results of a call to leading behavioural scientists around the world, asking them to share their fears, hopes, big ideas and more.

Covering everything from technology, healthcare, climate change and everything in between, this is well worth a read to see what interests some of the luminaries in this area. In particular, I think the emerging area of ethical concerns around optimising for behaviour are well worth a read as there is tremendous potential for misuse here.

Behavioral science has confronted ethical dilemmas before: whether to help governments torture, whether to speak up about the consequences of discrimination. But never before has the essence of the field been so squarely in the wheelhouse of corporate interests. Like engineering and biomedical research, behavioral science will need to construct strong ethical guardrails to protect the science against the corrupting influence of powerful, monied interests in the next decade.



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