BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES WORKSHOP
Synopsis: I will discuss three field research projects examining when and why social comparison information affects behavior. This research will involve home energy efficiency, student success in a massive open online course, and student attendance in a large urban school district. Each project generates a different response to social comparison: from motivation to conform, to discouragement that leads to quitting, to no effect at all. I will speculate about when conformity may emerge from social comparison, and when it may not.
Speaker: Todd Rogers is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. He is a behavioral scientist who runs the Student Social Support R&D Lab at Harvard. His research sits at the intersection of education, psychology, judgment and decision-making, and behavioral economics. It uses data and behavioral science to develop and prove scalable, high ROI interventions that mobilize and empower students’ social support systems to improve achievement. This work takes place in hundreds of educational settings including K-12 schools, online universities, state and community colleges, test prep programs, and MOOCs. His research appears in top academic journals including Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Psychological Science, American Economic Review, Management Science, Organizational Behavioral and Human Decision Processes, and The Journal of Politics. He is a Senior Researcher at the think tank ideas42. Prior to joining the faculty at HKS, Todd Rogers was founding Executive Director of the Analyst Institute, LLC, which uses randomized field experiments and behavioral science insights to understand and improve voter communications (see New York Times Magazine profile, and book Victory Lab: the secret science of winning campaigns).
This workshop series is held jointly between the Yale departments of Economics, Political Science, Psychology, and the School of Management (SOM).