Richard Thaler: Contender for a Nobel Prize in Psychology?

Richard Thaler is an economist that is fluent in Psychology and has just won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Economics. His contribution, as recognised by the awarding committee, has been to apply the psychology of judgement and decision-making to economics. This has not only increased understanding sub-optimal financial decisions but also led to interventions to optimise these. The oft cited example is the Save More Tomorrow scheme in which rather than opting into a retirement saving scheme the default was switched so that employees would opt out. Savings with the latter increased four-fold from 3.5%. His contribution to psychology, less remarked upon, has also been remarkable. By highlighting the failures of subjective expected utility models – which are still the dominant models used in the health field – he drew attention to the many models in psychology that focus instead on habits, situations and non-conscious processes. To read the full blog click on the Read more button.

Cambridge@Hay: Professor Theresa Marteau on why risk information doesn’t change unhealthy behaviour

Featured Video Play Icon

New audiences learned about the links between behaviour and health – and how our non-conscious choices can be deadly – at this year’s Hay Festival with Professor Theresa Marteau, Director at the Behaviour and Health Research Unit (BHRU) at the Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge.

Professor Marteau made four appearances in 26 hours including a sold-out talk for 2000 people chaired by Hugh Muir at the Guardian, and an ad-hoc “All Star Variety Show” with, amongst others, Simon Schama, an alumus of Christ’s College where Professor Marteau is a Fellow.