Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

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Podcast Episodes

What is behavioral economics? Why does it matter to you?

399. Engaging Minds: How Clear Communication Can Drive Better Choices with Max Mawby

In this insightful episode of The Brainy Business podcast, host Melina Palmer welcomes Max Mawby, a seasoned expert in applied behavioral science at Thinks Insight & Strategy. Max shares his unique journey from working in the UK government to founding the financial behavior team at the Behavioral Insights Team, exploring the significant impact of behavioral science in both private and public sectors. With a focus on simplifying complex information for better consumer understanding, Max discusses his collaboration with plain numbers, a social enterprise dedicated to making numerical communications more accessible. 

Delve into practical strategies like the EAST framework to enhance decision-making processes. Max emphasizes the necessity of clear, effective communication to empower informed choices without compromising freedom. This episode is a treasure trove of insights for anyone interested in how behavioral science can drive positive financial behaviors and facilitate informed, sustainable decisions. Tune in to learn how to implement these practices in your organization and make a lasting impact. Don’t miss this episode’s engaging discussion on the power of behavioral insights in real-world applications. 

In this episode:

  • Apply behavioral science principles to drive business success and enhance customer understanding.
  • Influence positive financial behaviors to unlock new opportunities for financial growth and stability.
  • Conduct online experiments to inform strategic business decisions and optimize customer experiences.
  • Utilize behavioral insights to design inclusive products that resonate with diverse consumer needs and preferences.
  • Simplify financial communication to empower consumers and foster better financial decision-making.
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00:00:00 – Introduction
Max Mawby, managing director of applied behavioral science at Thinks Insight & Strategy, shares his insights on driving positive change using behavioral science in various sectors.

00:05:58 – Starting in Behavioral Science
Max shares a personal story about his early attempts to introduce behavioral science in the UK civil service. He emphasizes the importance of perseverance and finding opportunities to apply behavioral science.

00:10:30 – Experimental Projects
Max discusses a project on improving financial decision-making for pensions in the UK. By using personalized guidance in a digital journey, they were able to significantly increase the number of people making good financial decisions.

00:14:46 – Behavior and Technology
Max highlights the potential of leveraging technology to provide personalized advice, reducing the need for expensive human resources. He emphasizes the importance of using empirical evidence to make an investable case for implementing behavioral science solutions.

00:16:34 – Importance of Persuasive Evidence in Experiments
Max discusses the importance of persuasive evidence in experiments, highlighting the need to understand the context and literature. He emphasizes the significance of high confidence in experiment results.

00:17:22 – Designing Experiments Based on Context
Max emphasizes the importance of understanding contextual pieces when designing experiments. He discusses the need to translate research findings to different situations and adapt methods accordingly.

00:18:30 – Structuring Problem Solving in Projects
Max explains the process of structuring problem-solving in projects, including setting a structure around the specific problem, forming research questions, and selecting appropriate methods to answer those questions.

00:22:13 – Exploring Behavioral Interventions
Max discusses the exploration of behaviorally informed interventions and projects, highlighting the importance of frameworks like EAST (Easy, Attractive, Social, Timely) for driving change and evaluating impact.

00:28:57 – Discovering New Research
Max shares his approach to discovering new research through social media platforms like Twitter, emphasizing the importance of engaging with a community to stay updated on the latest research in a specific field.

00:31:43 – The Power of Plain Numbers Approach
Max discusses the effectiveness of the plain numbers approach in simplifying complex information for consumers, citing examples from water bills and credit card statements. The approach focuses on making financial outcomes understandable to customers.

00:32:30 – Impact of Plain Numbers Approach in Regulation
Max highlights the impact of the plain numbers approach in UK regulation, specifically the consumer duty, which shifts regulatory duties to focus on the financial outcomes of customers rather than broad disclosures. The approach simplifies complex algorithms and information for better customer understanding.

00:33:05 – Making Information Easier to Understand
Max emphasizes the importance of simplifying information for consumers, especially in financial and utility companies. The approach aims to make it easier for people to understand complex calculations, such as interest rates and water bills, in a minimal amount of time.

00:34:17 – Humanizing Communication in Finance
Melina and Max discuss the importance of humanizing communication in the financial industry and the role of behavioral science in helping people make better choices. They emphasize the need to communicate in plain language and numbers to empower consumers.

00:35:51 –  Conclusion
What stuck with you while listening to the episode? What are you going to try? Come share it with Melina on social media — you’ll find her as @thebrainybiz everywhere and as Melina Palmer on LinkedIn.

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