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Salience, chains and anchoring. Reducing complexity and enhancing the practicality of behavioural economics

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  • Brendan Markey-Towler

    (School of Economics, University of Queensland)

Abstract

One problem facing "nudge units" is the lack in behavioural economics of a core unifying model of the mind and behaviour. Portable Extensions of Existing Models (Rabin, 2013a; 2013b) make it difficult to approach the problem of structuring choice architecture to "nudge" people (Thaler and Sunstein, 2008) into behavioural change in an integrated, holistic and systematic manner. The purpose of this essay is to advance a new proposal which might address this problem and make behavioural economics more "intellectually competitive" (Harstad and Selten, 2013) and its use more practical. We make use of a new theory of the mind as a network structure within which the psychological process operates. Within this structure we identify three properties -salience, chains and anchoring- by which behavioural change is brought about. This has both intellectual and practical value for policymakers by reducing the complexity of behavioural economics and making it more easily applied.

Suggested Citation

  • Brendan Markey-Towler, 2018. "Salience, chains and anchoring. Reducing complexity and enhancing the practicality of behavioural economics," Journal of Behavioral Economics for Policy, Society for the Advancement of Behavioral Economics (SABE), vol. 2(1), pages 83-90, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:beh:jbepv1:v:2:y:2018:i:1:p:83-90
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Behavioural economics; psychological economics; networks; anchors; salience; chains;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D04 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Policy: Formulation; Implementation; Evaluation
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • D90 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - General
    • D91 - Microeconomics - - Micro-Based Behavioral Economics - - - Role and Effects of Psychological, Emotional, Social, and Cognitive Factors on Decision Making

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