Designing for the "Irrational" Brain
As humans, we don't always make rational decisions: We volunteer to work for free, we don't max out our retirement savings or we opt for pizza instead of salad. It turns out human decision making can be influenced by a variety of seemingly irrelevant factors, which ultimately lead us to do things that may not be in our best interests. The behavioral economics field, grounded in cognitive psychology, helps us understand how and why irrational behavior occurs. This is of tremendous value to designers, particularly as design evolves from focusing on aesthetics and usability to facilitating positive behavior change. This session will provide an introduction to behavioral economics as a tool that can help designers better understand human behavior, craft solutions that will be more effective at eliciting certain behaviors and more accurately predict how users will respond when faced with new choices.