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A growing amount of research suggests that behavioral economics can be very helpful in improving care plan adherence and health outcomes. The behavioral economics principles of Loss Aversion, Present Bias, the Endowment Effect, and the Intent-Action behavior gap have all been leveraged to create lasting behavior change related to health. These principles help us understand and respond to how people actually behave, as opposed to how they should behave.

Some cases where behavioral economics has been used for healthcare include:

  • Medication adherence

  • Forming an exercise habit

  • Getting a flu shot

  • Increasing urgent referrals for cancer treatment

  • Increasing the number of organ donors

Click below for an article from the New York Times, "How Behavioral Economics Can Produce Better Health Care":

Here's a video with Susan Michie (Professor of Health Psychology and Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at UCL), Nick Chater (author and psychology researcher ), and Toby Park (Behavioural Insight Team) about the science of behavior change in health and sustainability.


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