Garrett Meccariello and Tobias Nasgarde, who will complete Penn’s inaugural Master of Behavioral and Decision Sciences (MBDS) program this August, found a practical way to apply the skills they’ve learned in the program.
“We’ve all been on websites where you have a one-click purchase. You don’t have time to think, ‘Do I need this?’” says Nasgarde. “Research has shown that when you’re in a cashless environment you spend a larger amount and you buy a larger number of items.”
“We’re trying to get in front of spending behavior that’s unnecessary,” Meccariello adds, “to help people make better choices.”
The students submitted a grant application to the Think Forward Initiative, which led to a research project and some interesting results. It turns out that gently nudging an online shopper with specific language at the right moment can reduce excess spending by almost 25 percent.
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