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 better reflect human nature. CEO is testing the application of behavioral insights, with the goal of improving the performance and outcomes within selected DOL programs and populations.
Many DOL programs and policies are designed to encourage people, firms, and organizations to voluntarily behave in ways that help them meet legal and regulatory requirements. The foundational principle of behavioral economics, marketing, and behavioral social science lies in the understanding of the idea that the context around which decisions are made and actions are taken has important effects on behavior and outcomes. Applications of behavioral economics vary widely, from the near-trivial (the placement of items in a grocery store affects the popularity of items), to the ubiquitous (providing information about the energy use of neighbors influences people to reduce their own use), to the profound (introducing a lottery helps at-risk patients to increase the regularity at which they take heart medicine).