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BEAR Webinar Series

Past BEAR Webinar Sessions 2018-2019

BEAR Webinar Series: Avni Shah

BEAR Webinar: Avni Shah


  • Speaker: Avni Shah, Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Toronto

    Avni Shah is an Assistant Professor of Marketing in the Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough with a cross-appointment to the Marketing area at the Rotman School of Management and the Munk School of Global Affairs. Using a multi-method approach combining field and lab experiments as well as empirical modeling, she investigates what motivates consumer decision-making, spending and well-being in household financial settings. Her research focuses on how financial technology (e.g., payment method, mobile payment, SMS reminders for savings) as well as cultural and social forces (e.g., thinking about one’s family, word-of-mouth) influences short-term spending decisions such as buying a product or choosing a healthy versus unhealthy menu item as well as more consequential, long-term financial decision-making (i.e., saving for retirement, choosing a mortgage lender or whether to refinance). Her work has been published in the Journal of Consumer Research, Journal of Marketing Research, and Psychological Science. Shah is a research fellow at the Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman research cluster as well as a research affiliate at Ideas42, a non-profit design organization that uses behavioural insights to address complex social problems. Shah pursued her doctorate in Marketing at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business and earned her bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College, double majoring in Psychological and Brain Sciences and Religion. Prior to beginning her career in academia, she worked as a research assistant at Dartmouth College’s Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, and was a research fellow at the National Institutes of Health.

  • Date: April 17, 2019 12PM ET
  • Topic: The Death of Cash, the Growth of Debt? How Shifts in Financial Technology Affect Our Spending (and Why it Isn’t all Bad!)
  • Description: Over the last 30 years, we have seen a rapid shift in how consumers pay for goods. From cash and cheques to cards and digital wallets, the physical act of spending has never been quicker, easier, and more convenient than ever before. But is this a good thing? In this webinar, we will discuss how shifting payment forms can influence the pain we experience when paying, and subsequently the way we spend and think about our money. We will also discuss ways that we can use this information and financial technology in order to bolster our savings and take back financial control.


BEAR Webinar Series: Anjali Chainani

BEAR Webinar: Anjali Chainani



  • Speaker: Anjali Chainani, Director of Policy, Office of the Mayor, City of Philadelphia  

    Anjali Chainani is Director of Policy and GovLabPHL at the mayor’s office in the City of Philadelphia. As Director of Policy, she coordinates policy development to ensure the success of important long-term city investments, including the passage of the sugar sweetened beverage tax. As Director of GovLabPHL, Anjali leads a multi-agency team centered on embedding evidence-based and data-driven practices into City programs and services through cross-sector collaboration. GovLabPHL experiments with how evidence-based methods can intersect to address common municipal challenges to enhance the City's policy-making and service redesign efforts. Anjali was also a Local Government Fellow with Results for America (R4A) from 2016 to 2019. This program was founded in September 2014 to implement strategies that consistently use data and evidence to drive policy and budget decisions on major policy challenges. Anjali holds dual graduate degrees from Temple University in Public Health and Social Work, and is currently completing her PhD in Health Policy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. 

  • Date: March 13, 2019 12PM ET
  • Topic: The Value of a Policy Lab within Local Government
  • Description: In February of 2017, the Mayor’s Office launched GovLabPHL, a multi-agency team centered on embedding evidence-based and data-driven practices into City programs and services through cross-sector collaboration. GovLabPHL has three streams of work: 1) creating learning opportunities for city employees; 2) piloting innovative programs and prototypes using evidence-based research; and 3) ensuring the public has access to learn about new initiatives and best practices. GovLabPHL also manages the Philadelphia Behavioral Science Initiative in partnership with local academics to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of taxpayer funded programs using the latest behavioral science research.

BEAR Webinar Series: Tanjim Hossain

BEAR Webinar: Tanjim Hossain

  • Speaker: Tanjim Hossain, Associate Professor, Department of Management, University of Toronto Missisauga with a cross-appointed to Rotman School of Management; Chief Scientist, Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR)     

    Tanjim Hossain is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management - UTM at the University of Toronto. He is also cross appointed to the Rotman School of Management, the Department of Economics, and the Institute for Management & Innovation. He serves as the Director of the Master of Management of Innovation (MMI) program and as a Chief Scientist at the Behavioural Economics in Action at Rotman (BEAR) centre. His main research interests include behavioural economics, applied microeconomics, and quantitative marketing, especially using field and laboratory experiments to test the validity of theoretical predictions in the real world. His research has been published inAmerican Economic Review,Management Science,Marketing Science,Quarterly Journal of Economics, and theReview of Economic Studies, and has been featured in The Economist, USA Today, and other news outlets. He serves as an associate editor of the journalManagement Science.

  • Date: February 21, 2019 12PM ET
  • Topic: Carrots vs. Sticks and Other Incentive Stories
  • Description: How do behavioural biases affect the impact of incentive schemes in the workplace and how can we utilize these behavioural biases in designing better incentive schemes?

BEAR Webinar Series:Julian House

BEAR Webinar: Julian House

  • Speaker: Julian House, Behavioural Scientist, Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU), Government of Ontario
    Julian House is a scientist with the Ontario government's Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU). He also teaches behavioural economics and marketing at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, where he is a research fellow. His research into how behavioural science can be applied to advance public policy and social welfare aims appears in top academic journals, including the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the Behavioural Science and Policy Journal.
  • Date: January 17, 2019 12PM ET
  • Topic: Behavioural Insights into Student Vaccination: Iterative field trials
  • Description: Ontario’s Behavioural Insights Unit (BIU) applies the knowledge and methodologies of behavioural insights to improve government services offered to the people of Ontario. Earlier this year, the BIU released the first draft of its Workbook, designed to layout their approach in a series of hands-on exercises. To introduce this approach with a concrete example, this seminar will describe an ongoing research project in partnership with Toronto Public Health. In Ontario, students are required to have up-to-date vaccine records in order to attend school. While this policy contributes to achieving important public-health targets of immunization against childhood diseases, it also results in tens of thousands of students being suspended from school each year. Two consecutive field trials explore whether behavioural insights can improve this process by improving efficiency, increasing vaccine coverage, and decreasing suspensions in the province’s largest public health unit.
  • Click here to view the full recording of the webinar.

BEAR Webinar Series: Carey K. Morewedge

BEAR Webinar: Carey K. Morewedge

  • Speaker: Carey K. Morewedge, Professor or Marketing, Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar, Boston University

    Carey K. Morewedge is a Professor of Marketing and Everett W. Lord Distinguished Faculty Scholar at Boston University. His research examines the psychological causes, consequences, and correction of bias in judgment and decision making. Using a mix of laboratory, field, and longitudinal experiments, he tackles basic and applied problems from why people won’t bet on the failure of their child or favorite team to developing interventions that improve decision making by producing long-term reductions in cognitive bias. He has published over 40 papers in top academic journals including Science, Psychological Science, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, and Management Science, and contributed to popular outlets including Harvard Business Review and the New York Times. Awards for his work include recognition as a Marketing Institute Scholar in 2018, one of the Top 40 Under 40 MBA Professors by Poets & Quants in 2016, writing the Most Theoretically Innovative Article of the Year as judged by the Society of Personality and Social Psychology in 2010, and receipt of an Ideas of the Year from the New York Times in 2009. Prior to joining the Questrom School of Business at Boston University, Professor Morewedge was a Postdoc at Princeton University in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, and served on the faculty as the Director of the Center for Behavioral and Decision Research at Carnegie Mellon University. His PhD is in Social Psychology from Harvard University.

  • Date: December 6, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Improved Decision Making with One-Shot Training Interventions
  • Description: From failures of intelligence analysis to misguided beliefs about vaccinations, biased judgment and decision making creates problems in public and private life. Early failures to improve decision making through training led to its abandonment, and the current focus on debiasing through nudges and incentives. I report laboratory, field, and longitudinal experiments that find one-shot debiasing training interventions are effective. Participants (N = 1,076) received a single 30 to 90 minute training intervention that addressed three of six biases critical to intelligence analysis (i.e., anchoring, bias blind spot, confirmation bias, correspondence bias, representativeness, and social projection). Interventions ranged from instructional videos to serious games. Longitudinal experiments found medium to large immediate debiasing effects (games d ≥ 1.68; videos d ≥  .69) that persisted at least 2 months later (games d ≥ 1.11; videos d ≥ .66). In a field study where participants didn’t know their biases were measured, training reduced confirmatory hypothesis testing by 29% in a complex case. Debiasing effects of training transferred across problems in different contexts and formats. The results provide exciting new evidence that training can improve decision making. 

BEAR Webinar Series: World Bank

BEAR Webinar: World Bank

  • Speakers: Zeina Afif, Senior Social Scientist, World Bank, & Iman Sen, Research Analyst, World Bank

    Zeina Afif is a Senior Social Scientist with the Poverty and Equity Global Practice at the World Bank. Zeina is currently working on applying behavioral insights to improve women’s access to finance and jobs, reduce youth unemployment, reduce gender based violence, promote social cohesion, and improve access to public services and programs. Prior to joining the team, Zeina provided operational communication and behavioral insights support to World Bank projects and has worked in countries such as Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, and Yemen in the areas of taxes, social protection, social accountability, and citizen engagement. Zeina holds a MBA from George Washington University, and a M.Sc. in Behavioral Science from London School of Economics.

    Iman Sen is a Research Analyst at the World Bank working with projects on tax compliance, financial management, energy, and understanding social norms through the support of behavioral interventions. Prior to joining the World Bank, he worked on randomized evaluations in governance, energy, health, and gender in South Asia, in different capacities for Innovations for Poverty Action(IPA), and the Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). Iman holds Masters degrees in Economics and Computer Science from New York University.

  • Date: November 14, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Understanding and Reducing Barriers to Female Labour Force Participation
  • Description:The World Bank eMBeD team is testing ways to increase young female participation in the private sector through a multi-dimensional approach, targeting legal, social and psychological barriers women currently face. For example, in Jordan, female labour force participation rates remains extremely low at around 14%, while women are increasingly more educated. The eMBeD team studied in detail the social and cultural norms that may impede greater participation by women in the work force.

BEAR Webinar Series: Camielle Headlam

BEAR Webinar: Camielle Headlam

  • Speaker: Camielle Headlam, Research Analyst, MDRC
    Camielle Headlam is a research analyst at MDRC, an education and social policy research organization. She specializes in projects that apply insights from behavioral science to mitigate pressing postsecondary education issues. She currently leads qualitative diagnostic and implementation research for MDRC’s Encouraging Additional Summer Enrollment (EASE) and Finish Line: Graduation by Design projects. She also conducts implementation research for the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) Ohio Demonstration and Developmental Education Acceleration projects. Previously, Camielle served as a college success adviser for a community-based organization. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Cornell University.
  • Date: October 18, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Making Summer Pay Off: Using Behavioral Science to Encourage Postsecondary Summer Enrollment 
  • DescriptionIn the U.S., a pressing public policy concern is low postsecondary graduation rates, especially at community colleges which often serve low-income and nontraditional students. Research has shown that enrolling in summer courses could improve student success, but few students enroll. Can behavioral science be used to encourage summer enrollment? If so, will students experience improved academic outcomes? This webinar will examine how behavioral insights were used to diagnose barriers to summer enrollment and encourage more students to enroll. Broader implications for applying behavioral science to higher education issues will also be discussed.
  • Click here to view the full recording of the webinar session

BEAR Webinar Series: Jess Leifer   

BEAR Webinar: Jess Leifer

  • Speaker: Jess Leifer, Vice President, ideas42
    Jessica Leifer is a Vice President at ideas42 where she leads projects applying behavioral science insights to address challenges in health and health care. Her current work spans using behavioral science insights to prevent diabetes, build and sustain healthy habits in areas including nutrition and medication adherence, improve treatment of opioid use disorder, and build resilience in aging. Prior to joining ideas42, Jess was a fellow at the Mars Centre for Impact Investing in Toronto where she designed a technical assistance program for nonprofits interested in setting up Social Impact Bond programs. Jess previously worked for Success Academy Charter Schools, a large and growing network of public charter schools in New York City, where she collaborated on the design and implementation of their data-driven education management system. Jess received an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School and her B.A in Psychology (with honors) from the University of Pennsylvania. At Penn she researched self-control, willpower, and educational achievement with Dr. Angela Duckworth. 
  • Date: September 13, 2018 12PM ET
  • Topic: Improving Health with Applied Behavioural Design
  • Description: Health is more than what happens at a doctor’s office. A variety of factors influence how long and how well we live, chief among them our health behaviors and practices. This webinar will illustrate an approach for identifying barriers to health and designing solutions that can make us healthier, using insights from behavioral science.
  • Click here to view the full recording of the webinar


BEAR Webinar Series: Marcie McLean-McKay

BEAR Webinar: Marcie McLean-McKay

  • SpeakerMarcie McLean-McKay, Senior Research & Policy Officer, Financial Consumer Agency of Canada 
  • Date: May 9, 2018 12:00-1:00 PM ET
  • Topic: Initiating Budgeting Behaviour through Targeted Financial Education

BEAR Webinar Series: Lisa Kramer

BEAR Webinar: Lisa Kramer


  • Speaker: Lisa A. Kramer, Professor of Finance, University of Toronto
  • Date: April 11, 2018 12:00-1:00 PM ET
  • Topic: How Emotions Influence Financial Markets: Building a Constellation of Evidence
  • Description: Financial market participants, including investors and practitioners alike, are humans. And humans, of course, experience emotions. This webinar will explore how specific moods and emotions can have important implications for the way financial markets work, for better or worse. The talk will include an overview of a collection of research projects that together build a constellation of evidence that serves as a more convincing way to test a hypothesis than might any single study in isolation.

BEAR Webinar Series: Spike W. S. Lee     

BEAR Webinar Series: Spike Lee


  • Speaker: Spike Lee, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto
  • Date: March 14, 2018 12:00-1:00 PM ET
  • Topic: How Sensory Cues Shape Our Goal Pursuit, Decision Making, and Policy Preference
  • Description: Incidental tactile experiences (i.e., touch) promote people’s ability to pursue their goals with flexibility and reduces their biases in decision making. Incidental olfactory cues (i.e., smell) can change people’s investment in economic games and improve their error detection capability. Even a brief exposure to visual and auditory cues of disease threat (e.g., sneezing and coughing) has a noticeable impact on people’s risk perception and related policy preference.

BEAR Webinar Series: Liam Delaney       

BEAR Webinar Series: Liam Delaney


  • Speaker: Liam Delaney, Professor of Economics, University of College Dublin; Visiting Professor of Economics, Stirling University
  • Date: February 22, 2018 12:00-1:00 PM ET
  • Topic:Using Naturalistic Research Methods in Behavioural Science Applications
  • Description: How can we use the detailed survey diary methods and data pioneered by researchers such as Daniel Kahneman and Arthur Stone to understand more about experienced well-being but also how people are making decisions in real-time? The talk will provide data from several studies conducted by the authors group in Dublin looking at how people make every-day decisions and provide examples in domains such as social media usage, TV binge-watching, and food consumption. The talk will be relevant to people thinking about how to design and evaluate interventions and projects across a wide range of business and policy settings.

    BEAR Webinar Series: Kelly Peters       

    BEAR Webinar Series: Kelly Peters


    • Speaker: Kelly Peters, CEO & Co-Founder, BEworks
    • Date: January 17, 2018 12:00-1:00 PM ET
    • Topic:Driving Innovation by Bringing Behavioral Science to the Boardroom
    • Description: Most organizations list innovation as one of their core values to help ensure the organization becomes or stays strategically advantaged. However, leaders complain that even with encouragement, employees and management still seem reluctant to experiment and some even let risk aversion squash potentially good ideas. This webinar will feature the work, philosophy and methodology of BEworks, led by Kelly Peters, its CEO and Co-Founder. BEworks has helped Fortune 500 policy makers understand how to incorporate behavioral insights and the scientific method to drive innovation to solve strategy, marketing, and operations challenges.
    • Registration Deadline: January 16, 2018 3:59 PM ET
    • View the full recording of the webinar

      BEAR Webinar Series: Dena Gromet                 

      BEAR Webinar Series: Dena Gromet


      • Speaker: Dena Gromet, Executive Director, Behavior Change for Good (BCFG) Initiative, University of Pennsylvania
      • Date: December 7, 2017 12:00-1:00 PM ET
      • Topic:Behaviour Change for Good
      • Description: This webinar will feature the work of the Behavior Change for Good (BCFG) Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania, led by Katherine Milkman and Angela Duckworth. BCFG is developing a digital platform to conduct large-scale field experiments designed to promote sustained behavior change in education, health, and savings.

        BEAR Webinar Series: Sonia K. Kang                   

        BEAR Webinar Series: Sonia Kang


        • Speaker: Sonia K. Kang
        • Date: November 9, 2017 12:00-1:00 PM ET
        • Topic: Nudging for Diversity 
        • Description: Most organizations list Diversity and Inclusion at the forefront of their goals and values. However, not all efforts to increase diversity are successful, and some even end up doing more harm than good. This webinar will provide an overview of the current landscape of diversity and inclusion research and practice, and a discussion of how insights from behavioural science might help us to achieve these goals.  

        BEAR Webinar Series: Faisal Naru                       

        BEAR Webinar Series: Faisal Naru



        • Speaker: Faisal Naru
        • Date: October 12, 2017 12:00-1:00 PM ET
        • Topic:Myth-busting: Behavioural Science across the world
        • Description: Behavioural science is being used increasingly in public policy, but how is it being implemented? What are the institutional arrangements? What are the challenges and future opportunities? Based on the 2017 OECD publication “Behavioural Insights in Public Policy: Lessons from across the world”, this webinar will provide practitioners, researchers and policy makers with the key trends.

        BEAR Webinar Series: Nico Lacetera                         

        BEAR Webinar Series: Nicola Lacetera


        • Speaker: Nicola Lacetera (Bio)
        • Date: September 13, 2017 12:00-1:00 PM EDT
        • Topic: Motivating prosocial behaviour: Economic incentives and moral concerns
        • Download the webinar presentation slides (PDF)
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