Behavioral Insights and DOL

Behavioral insights involve the application of behavioral sciences - or understanding how people make and act on decisions - to improve the design of public policies and programs in ways that reflect a deeper understanding of human nature. The Behavioral Interventions (BI) Program team in the Chief Evaluation Office works with Department of Labor offices and agencies to use behavioral insights to test strategies aimed at improving the effectiveness of Departmental programs and strategies.

Trials offer new tools to improve outcomes by combining what we know from psychology and economics, which suggest that a deeper understanding of decision-making and behavior could improve program design and operation. For example, small changes in the environment, program operations, or default rules can reduce barriers to engagement or facilitate desired behaviors.

Learn more about CEO’s Behavioral Interventions Program, including: current and completed trials, the Practitioner’s Playbook, and other resources for practitioners to get started with behavioral insights.

Behavioral Interventions Design Process

Five circles with arrows pointing to the right containing titles in this order: Understand, Diagnose, Design, Support, Test.  These arrows end on a sixth circle with the tile: Learn

Learn How to Use Behavioral Interventions

The Practitioner’s Playbook is designed to give program administrators and managers at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and other social programs an overview of how they can use insights from behavioral science to improve the effectiveness of their programs and services. Learn the six steps to identify behavioral problems and use strategies informed by behavioral science.

Learn About Past Trials

Employer Compliance and Enforcement topic icon OFCCP Community-Based Organization Outreach Evaluation Employer Compliance


Strategies and approaches for partnerships between OFCCP and Community-Based Organizations. View the report.

Employer Compliance and Enforcement topic icon OSHA On-site Consultation Program (OSC) Evaluation Employer Compliance


High rate letters increase requests for OSHA’s On-site Consultation (OSC) program. View the report.

Employment and Training topic icon Improving Customer Experiences at the American Job Center Employment and Training


Increasing understanding of customer experiences to improve outcomes. View the report and literature scan.

Learn About Current Trials

Behavioral Interventions topic icon Behavioral Interventions in Labor Programs Behavioral Interventions


Exploring behavioral science to improve the performance and outcomes of DOL programs and populations. Learn about the trial.

Employment and Training topic icon Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Study Employment and Training


Evaluating behavioral interventions and determining design options for long-term TAA evaluation. Learn about the trial.

Get Started With Behavioral Insights

Practitioner’s Playbook
A step-by-step guide on how to identify behavioral problems and use strategies informed by behavioral science

Quick Steps to Improve Programs
Tips to motivate people, address limited attention, and streamline operations

Communications Checklist
Tips to create impactful documents

A Literature Scan and Synthesis of Research on Labor-Related Behavioral Science
A literature scan highlighting promising applications of behavioral insights to challenges relevant to DOL programs, workers, job seekers, and employers.

Department of Labor Behavioral Interventions Podcast
Insights from researchers about the implementation and findings from the three BI trials