Behavioral Nudges Timed to Certain Days are Effective Motivators

Dai and colleagues have recently advanced the understanding of fresh starts as motivational tools. In 2014, while at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School, Dai and colleagues Katherine L. Milkman and Jason Riis conducted a series of archival studies and found that the beginning of a new week, a new month or other distinctive starting periods — such as a new semester for college undergraduates — serves as a motivational nudge. There’s no need to wait for January 1.

June 6, 2018
-UCLA Anderson Review

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When men rule the board

Perhaps the most revealing of the many excuses by board members was “we already have one woman on the board, so we are done”. A paper* by Katherine Milkman and colleagues at Wharton concluded that: “If organisations see gender diversity as a goal but tend to consider that goal satisfied once they match or just surpass the gender diversity levels of peers, then attaining true gender diversity may be jeopardised.”

May 31, 2018
-The Economist

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Commentary: True grit is a key predictor of success

Profs Duckworth and Milkman are using push notifications and micro-rewards to test the theory that grit can be cultivated in gym goers to stop them slacking off. But Prof Milkman says the findings will be applicable across a range of wider social problems — from persuading people to build savings to encouraging high-school students to study harder.

May 14, 2018
-Channel NewsAsia

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Can This Dream Team of 47 Top Scientists Finally Figure Out How to Change Bad Habits?

That's why Milkman and her Wharton colleague Angela Duckworth (best known for her work on grit) have assembled a dream team of no fewer than 47 top academics, with backgrounds ranging from medicine to economics to management (including recent Nobel laureate Richard Thaler), to try to crack it. Milkman recently explained the massive undertaking to 

May 14, 2018

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Angela Duckworth and Katy Milkman on Behavior Change

"We are running, to our knowledge, the largest random assignment study ever done on gym attendance," Milkman says. She notes that the project will have about 200,000 participants and 57 different treatment arms. "All with the goal of figuring out what kind of interventions can we build that will create enduring behavior change. In this case, we’re looking for enduring exercise habits," she says.

May 9, 2018
-Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group

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24 Hour Fitness Launches Behavior Change Program and Research Study

“Solving the problem of enduring behavior change is our single greatest opportunity to improve lives because countless daily acts like whether we show up for class, how we spend our money, whether we exercise, and what we consume cumulatively shape our life outcomes,” Milkman, co-director of BCFG, said in the release.

April 19, 2018
-Club Industry

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What Really Motivates People? 24 Hour Fitness and University of Pennsylvania’s Behavior Change for Good Initiative to Launch Groundbreaking Science-Based StepUp Program

Led by Angela Duckworth, Professor of Psychology in the Penn School of Arts and Sciences, and Katherine Milkman, Wharton School Associate Professor of Operations, Information and Decisions, the BCFG Initiative at the University of Pennsylvania unites leaders in the social sciences, medicine, computer science, and neuroscience to solve the problem of enduring behavior change. BCFG connects this world-class scientific team, including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academy of Sciences, with partner organizations to test and improve a behavior change program incorporating the latest insights from researchers. This program focuses on improving people’s daily health decisions.

April 16, 2018
-Business Wire

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Why your superstar coworker will probably give up before you do

“Those facing high expectations are more easily embarrassed by poor performance and, consequently, less persistent following early setbacks,” write UCLA Anderson’s Hengchen Dai, the University of Chicago’s Berkeley Dietvorst, American Express Global Business Travel’s Bradford Tuckfield and the University of Pennsylvania’s Katherine L. Milkman and Maurice E. Schweitzer.

April 6, 2018
-UCLA Anderson Review

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Why there is a downside to high expectations

“After exhibiting initial poor performance on a task, individuals who face high external expectations feel more embarrassed about violating public expectations and in turn are less persistent than individuals who face low external expectations,” write University of California at Los Angeles’s Hengchen Dai, Chicago Booth’s Berkeley J. Dietvorst, American Express GBT’s Bradford Tuckfield, and University of Pennsylvania’s Katherine L. Milkman and Maurice E. Schweitzer.

February 23, 2018
-Chicago Booth Review

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