Decision making in everyday life

Policy communication

Ethical public policy

Environmentally-relevant decision making in everyday life

We measure economic-decision making in everyday life using of the Day Reconstruction Method (DRM). The DRM has been developed to measure everyday emotions. We are the first to use it to measure behavioural economic concepts such as biased decision making. We use the DRM to measure time preferences and self-control problems in everyday life, focusing on the relevance for environmentally relevant decision-making (e.g. which mode of travel do people use to commute). The method allows us to identify which situational factors that influence decision-making (e.g. pollution and congestion, time of the day, social norms), and to specify the emotional correlates of these decisions (e.g. happiness and frustration during different ways of commuting). We will publish review documents and policy briefs here that will facilitate the use of the DRM in the future.

Further reading

Delaney, L., and Lades, L. K. (2017). Present Bias and Everyday Self-Control Failures: A Day Reconstruction Study. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 30: 1157–1167

Kahneman, D., Krueger, A. B., Schkade, D. A., Schwarz, N., & Stone, A. A. (2004). A survey method for characterizing daily life experience: The day reconstruction method. Science, 306(5702), 1776-1780

Applying behavioural insights to environmental policy communication

In order to improve existing policy communications, we will utilize behavioural insights to effectively translate opportunities for mitigation and adaptation into actionable policies. The project will identify “last mile problems” which arise when citizens’ judgments and decisions are biased so that they do not realise the availability and benefits of environmentally friendly choices. The project will suggest changes in communications and policy designs that improve the effectiveness of existing investments in sustainable behaviours in the areas of transport and the residential investments.

Applying behavioural insights ethically

In order to raise awareness of the importance to apply behavioural insights in ethical ways, the project will develop an ethical framework that highlights the most typical ethical problems related to the use of behavioural insight in behavioural change interventions. The project will develop a short and actionable checklist that will make potential ethical problems transparent and suggests ways to resolve ethical issues without condemning the use of behavioural science as a whole.

Further reading

Binder, M., & Lades, L. K. (2015). Autonomy‐Enhancing Paternalism. Kyklos, 68(1), 3-27.

Readings on ethics