9th Annual Behavioral Science & Health Symposium

This past November, Donaghue attended the 9th Annual Behavioral Science & Health Symposium hosted by the Center for Health Incentives & Behavioral Economics (CHIBE) at the University of Pennsylvania. As in the past, CHIBE offers this symposium to bring together leading researchers and clinicians in the field of behavioral economics and health to strengthen relationships between researchers across institutions as well as having an opportunity to share their latest research where they receive feedback from their peers.

Over a dozen researchers presented their behaviorally informed research on topics such as distracted driving, commitment contracts, food choice, and sleep habits. After each presentation, there was time for others to react to, comment on, and offer feedback to the presenter. In addition, there were keynote presentations by Betsy Levy Paluck, PhD, Professor of Psychology and Public Affairs at Princeton and Deputy Director of the Kahneman-Treisman Center for Behavioral Science & Public Policy, and David Cutler, PhD, the Otto Eckstein Professor of Applied Economics at Harvard. Dr. Paluck addressed normative motivation as it applies to sexual violence. One of her overarching points was that there is more to norms theory in behavioral science than is currently being used to design behavioral interventions. Dr. Cutler’s keynote was based on the question “is aging a luxury good?” and focused on the disparities in mortality rates by socioeconomic status. Dr. Cutler noted that life expectancy has been declining for lower income people and that the gap in survival rates between the highest income people and the lowest income is about 10-15 years.

Considering all of the informative presentations, thoughtful conversation, and exchanging of ideas that occurred at the symposium, it is clear there is a commitment to moving the field of behavioral economics and health forward and it is being done in a collaborative way. Thank you to CHIBE for hosting another successful symposium.