1️⃣ Joining forces. In the past three decades, psychologists and economists have united to study how people process information and make decisions. The result? The field of Wharton Global Youth essay featuring high school students interested in behavioral economics. Rachit S., a student at La Martiniere for Boys in Kolkata, India, takes an experience from his own life to illustrate behavioral economics: “I’ve made an interesting observation when I go shopping with my grandmother. The available products are always changing. But I realize that we stop more often in the shops that offer wider selections of things to buy. That is expected, right? But here’s where it gets curious. We actually buy more often from the shops that provide fewer choices. This theory is called decision paralysis. Whenever our brain is faced with a complex decision, it either tries to take a shortcut or to avoid the decision entirely — so, when shopping we might buy less. In contrast, the shop with fewer options presents a simpler decision, and thus better conversion.”
3️⃣ The key to change. Katy Milkman, a Wharton School professor of How to Change: The Science of Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be and is the co-founder and co-director of the Behavioral Change for Good Initiative, a research center at the University of Pennsylvania that works to advance the science of lasting behavior change. Dr. Milkman’s research, in Planet Money.
5️⃣ The decision three-step. Economic and psychology insights into brain science to examine the decision process and prepare to apply what they learn to issues in the business world. Sophia Feldman, a University of Pennsylvania sophomore studying cognitive science with a minor in this approach from Angela Duckworth, a Wharton and Penn professor who is also co-director of the Behavior Change for Good Initiative.
One of Global Youth’s most popular essays of all time is cited in No. 2 of this article. A high school student discusses how she is exploring her deep interest in behavioral economics. Are you also interested in this topic? What steps have you taken to learn more about behavioral economics? Share your story in the comment section of this article.