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Small Interventions with Large Effects: The Psychological Foundations of Effective Policies

Friday, November 14, 2003


This one-day conference, sponsored by the Center for Basic Research in the Social Sciences (CBRSS) at Harvard University and NIA, convened a multidisciplinary group of social scientists to explore the potential for small, inexpensive and noncoercive psychological and sociological interventions to influence human behavior in a range of policy settings. Changing human behavior, even for someone's own good, can be a huge undertaking. This conference featured research from the fields of economics, social psychology, and public health. The purpose was to shed light on the particular mechanisms and conditions under which simple psychologically-styled methods of changing behavior can provide easier and more effective ways of aligning good intentions with actions.