Notes on the Elements of Behavioral Science

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Evolutionary psychology is a theoretical approach to psychology that attempts to explain certain mental and psychological traits—such as memory, perception, or language as evolved adaptations, i.

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Cognitive psychology accepts the use of the scientific method, but rejects introspection as a valid method of investigation. It should be noted that Herbert Simon and Allen Newell identified the 'thinking-aloud' protocol, in which investigators view a subject engaged in introspection, and who speaks his thoughts aloud, thus allowing study of his introspection.

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Social psychology is the scientific study of how people's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by the actual, imagined, or implied presence of others Allport, Wundt argued that " we learn little about our minds from casual, haphazard self-observation It is essential that observations be made by trained observers under carefully specified conditions for the purpose of answering a well-defined question. Many scientists threw away the idea of introspection as part of psychology because the observation of stimulation was speculative without an empirical approach.

Turning A 16 Billion Dollar Problem Into Doing Good — Behavioral Science Lab

However the case, an opposite to introspection called extrospection has been created with a relation to Psychophysics. Psychophysics is the branch of psychology dealing with the relationship between physical stimuli and their perception. The important distinction is that Wundt took this method into the experimental arena and thus into the newly formed psychological field. Other important early contributors to the field of psychology include Hermann Ebbinghaus a pioneer in studies on memory , the Russian Ivan Pavlov who discovered the learning process of classical conditioning , and the Austrian Sigmund Freud.

The midth century saw a rejection of Freud's theories among many psychologists as being too unscientific, as well as a reaction against Edward Titchener's abstract approach to the mind. Edward B. Titchener was an Englishman and a student of Wilhelm Wundt before becoming a professor of psychology at Cornell University. He would put his own spin on Wundt's psychology of consciousness after he emigrated to the United States.

[PSYC 200] 3. Introduction to Human Behavior

At the turn of 19th century the founding father of experimental psychology Wilhelm Wundt tried to experimentally confirm his hypothesis that conscious mental life can be broken down into fundamental elements which then form more complex mental structures. Wundt's structuralism was quickly abandoned because it could not be tested in the same way as behavior, until now, when the brain-scanning technology can identify, for example, specialized brain cells that respond exclusively to basic lines and shapes and are then combined in subsequent brain areas where more complex visual structures are formed.

This line of research in modern psychology is called cognitive psychology rather than structuralism because Wundt's term never ceased to be associated with the problem of observability. The majority of mainstream psychology is based on a framework derived from cognitive psychology , although the popularity of this paradigm does not exclude others, which are often applied as necessary. Psychologists specialising in certain areas, however, may use the dominant cognitive psychology only rarely if at all. Cognitive psychology is the psychological science which studies cognition, the mental processes that are hypothesised to underlie behavior.

This covers a broad range of research domains, examining questions about the workings of memory, attention, perception, knowledge representation, reasoning, creativity and problem solving. Cognitive psychology is radically different from previous psychological approaches in two key ways. Regardless of the perspective adopted there are hundreds of specialties that psychologists practice. These specialties can usually be grouped into general fields. The first use of the term "psychology" is often attributed to the German scholastic philosopher Rudolf Goeckel Latinized Rudolph Goclenius , published in The term did not fall into popular usage until the German idealist philosopher, Christian Wolff used it in his Psychologia empirica and Psychologia rationalis This distinction between empirical and rational psychology was picked up in Diderot's Encyclopedie and was popularized in France by Maine de Biran.

The root of the word psychology psyche is very roughly equivalent to "soul" in Greek, and ology equivalent to "study". Psychology came to be considered a study of the soul in a religious sense of this term much later, in Christian times. Psychology as a medical discipline can be seen in Thomas Willis' reference to psychology the "Doctrine of the Soul" in terms of brain function, as part of his anatomical treatise "De Anima Brutorum" "Two Discourses on the Souls of Brutes".

Until about the end of the 19th century, psychology was regarded as a branch of philosophy. In , Wilhelm Wundt , known as "the father of psychology", founded a laboratory for the study of psychology at Leipzig University in Germany. The American philosopher William James published his seminal book, Principles of Psychology, in , laying the foundations for many of the questions that psychologists would focus on for years to come. Other important early contributors to the field include Hermann Ebbinghaus — , a pioneer in the experimental study of memory at the University of Berlin; and the Russian physiologist Ivan Pavlov , who investigated the learning process now referred to as classical conditioning.

Those who read in the eye-pleasing Arial recalled an average of 73 percent of the facts, while those who read in the more visually challenging Comic Sans came in at 87 percent! Disfluency causes people to process information at a deeper level — so do not make your digital creative too easy to consume. Behavioral science research shows that, in a world awash with generic content, personalization makes us pay attention more to advertising messages that change behavior.

We know this to be true of personalized advertising as well. Data from the latest Jivox Benchmark report shows that interaction increases significantly with the simple addition of geographic and time cues. As noted earlier, we think the viewer will be able to use their allotted four bits of information in working memory to attend to our ad. In digital, this is rarely the case, and consumers are much more likely to be doing other things as well, such as walking down the street or listening to music or fielding text messages.

Behavioral scientists know that this can easily lead to inattention blindness, which occurs whenever the amount of information coming into the brain is greater than our processing ability. Behavioral scientists have consistently proven communications that trigger feelings are more effective. The behavioral scientist Paul Slovic coined the now well-known term Affect Heuristic in explaining that the brain is drawn to any information that comes attached with emotion, regardless if the emotion is good or bad.

We pay attention to things that make us feel something. As Jonah Berger and Katherine Milkman further showed in their study , online content that evokes high-arousal emotions is more viral. Digital advertising has not only increased the stakes, but also raised the bar of what consumers expect from brands.

Getting over the bar to engage, delight and motivate prospects has never been harder.

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At the same time, digital provides an incredibly rich set of data and an accompanying laboratory for experimentation. Smart marketers, publishers and their agencies are taking advantage of this historic opportunity and learning through multiple lenses — including behavioral science. Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here. Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics, , Are experimental economists prone to framing effects?

A natural field experiment. Gigerenzer, G.

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Reasoning the fast and frugal way: Models of bounded rationality. Psychological Review, , Gintis, H. The bounds of reason: Game theory and the unification of the behavioral sciences. Glaeser, E. Measuring trust. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 3 , Goldstein, D. Nudge your customers toward better choices.

Harvard Business Review, 86, Models of ecological rationality: the recognition heuristic. Psychological Review, 1 , Golman, R. Information avoidance. Journal of Economic Literature, 55 1 , Goodman, J. Data collection in a flat world: Strengths and weaknesses of Mechanical Turk samples. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making, 26 3 , Gouldner, A. The norm of reciprocity: A preliminary statement.

American Sociological Review , 25 2 , Grinblatt, M. Sensation seeking, overconfidence, and trading activity. Journal of Finance, 64 2 , Guth, W. An experimental analysis of ultimatum bargaining. Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, 3, Harley, E. Hindsight bias in legal decision making. Social Cognition, 25 1 , Harford, T. Behavioral economics and public policy. The Financial Times. Haynes, L. Test, learn, adapt: Developing public policy with randomised controlled trials.

London: Cabinet Office. Helweg-Larsen, M. Do moderators of the optimistic bias affect personal or target risk estimates? A review of the literature. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5 1 , Hershfield, H. Increasing saving behavior through age-progressed renderings of the future self. Journal of Marketing Research, 48, S23—S Hirshleifer, D. On the survival of overconfident traders in a competitive securities market. Journal of Financial Markets, 4 1 , Iyengar, S.

When choice is demotivating: Can one desire too much of a good thing? Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 79, Jenner, E. Hand hygiene posters: Motivators or mixed messages? Journal of Hospital Infection, 60, Johnson, E.

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