Use of behavioral economic approaches to “nudge” people towards healthier decisions

bbag-icon-decThe Why and How of Behavioral Economic Strategies to Promote Healthy Behaviors

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Behavioral economics is a relatively new behavioral science discipline that applies principles from both economics and psychology to better understand, predict, and shape human behaviors. Insights from the field of behavioral economics have given rise to new behavior change strategies like financial incentives, choice architecture modifications, and commitment devices. These strategies have shown promise in combatting major public health problems such as obesity, smoking, and medication non-adherence. Consequently, employers, health insurance plans, and policymakers are increasingly using these and other behavioral economic approaches to “nudge” people towards healthier decisions. Yet there remain many important questions about the effectiveness, equity, and sustainability of such strategies. In this seminar, we will examine health-related applications of behavioral economic strategies, identify challenges these applications pose, and explore how these challenges might be overcome to optimize the effects of behavioral economic strategies on population health.

jan-21-bbagJoin us for Jeffrey T. Kullgren’s lecture on Wednesday, January 21, 2015 from noon till 1 pm in person or online.

Jeffrey T. Kullgren, MD, MS, MPH, is a Research Scientist in the Center for Clinical Management Research at the Veterans Affairs Ann Arbor Healthcare System and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan Medical School. Dr. Kullgren holds undergraduate and medical degrees from Michigan State University and a master of public health degree from the University of Michigan. He completed his residency at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania. The main focus of Dr. Kullgren’s research is identifying innovative and scalable approaches to improve patient engagement in preventive behaviors. Most recently this work has involved randomized controlled trials of behavioral economic interventions, like financial and social incentives, to promote weight loss, physical activity, and cancer screening. A secondary focus of his research is understanding how consumer-directed health care plans and health care price transparency affect patient decisions about use of health care.

In person: This lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.

Online: Here are some instructions for your first time joining the webinar, or if you have attended or viewed them before, go to the meeting!

Can’t make it? All webinars are recorded! View our archive of recorded lectures (over 30 lectures and counting!).

About Michigan State Bioethics

Devoted to understanding and teaching the ethical, social and humanistic dimensions of illness and health care since 1977.
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