Rotman School of Management

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The World of Behavioural Insights

Cognitive demands on people have skyrocketed in today’s complex world. People are bombarded with information, faced with an increasing number of choices, and options have become more difficult to assess.

Decades of behavioural research indicate that people often do not act according to the traditional economics-based decision-making model. Individuals in this model are assumed to be forward-looking, possess unlimited computational ability, and unaffected by context or emotions. The challenge is that many organizations mistakenly expect stakeholders to make decisions using this approach. With this gap in understanding, good strategies don’t always produce desired behavioural change.

BEAR conducts leading edge academic research in the field of behavioural economics that helps organizations better understand how real people act and in turn, design better products, services, and programs for them. In addition, we translate academic research into a digestible form practitioners can use. Our work ranges from publishing free How-To Guides on applying behavioural insights to sharing multimedia presentations that summarize the key insights from behavioural economics to domains like Consumer Privacy and Financial Well-Being.

We also educate students and professionals on the principles and applications of behavioural economics via the online course BE101X: Behavioural Economics in Action, and through offline courses at the University of Toronto.

consulting

How-To Guides

BEAR develops guides on how to apply insights from behavioural economics research to practice. For instance, our key publication, A Practitioner’s Guide to Nudging, is used by managers, practitioners, and academic institutions world-wide to develop effective “nudges”.

Business technology club

Multimedia

A collection of videos discussing behavioural insights and ways to apply them in the real world.

Business design club

Teaching and Training

BEAR faculty teach students and professionals the principles and applications of behavioural economics through courses, workshops, and training programs.

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