Chapter 1: Getting Started – Making the Case for Behavioral Science


In Chapter 1 of our new book, we begin with the challenge of “making the case” and gaining support for Behavioral Science.  Clearly, an initial challenge is to generate interest, support and funding for Behavioral Science within an organization. In other words, to “make the case” to senior management and the powers that be.

‘Infusing Behavioral Science’ Image Credit: Tiphaine Breton

In this initial chapter, you’ll find several articles on this topic. Below is an excerpt of Eric Singler’s paper which presents the “3E” model (Evangelize, Experiment and Embed) as a tool for promoting Behavioral Science:

“We know very well from Behavioral Science that driving change – including change within an organization – is very difficult for people, due to the Status Quo Bias. Generally speaking, humans are risk averse and inclined to stick with the familiar. As Dan Ariely put it in this wonderful sentence: “We don’t like change, even if it is small and even if the new route is clearly better.”

“So of course, infusing behavioral science within an organization is a big challenge, because it involves a major change. To break from the status quo, we often need to employ the Messenger Effect, through a senior executive who is strongly and visibly supporting these efforts. So our first piece of advice for Behavioral Science champions is to cultivate senior sponsorship within the organization, ideally from the leader of the organization or perhaps the leader of your team. From there, you can begin to pursue a disciplined process to successfully infuse behavioral science across the organization, which we’ve named the E3 Process.”

To read the complete chapter, download the book Applying & Infusing Behavioral Science: Insights, Frameworks & Case Studies from the BVA Nudge Consulting which includes an interview with Eric Singler, as well as a case study featuring Anne LeDouble of BNP Paribas, who speaks to the Behavioral Science journey at the French banking organization.