Solving social problems with a nudge
In this TEDTALK, MacArthur winner Sendhil Mullainathan uses the lens of behavioral economics to study a tricky set of social problems — those we know how to solve, but don’t.
As he explains, we all have intuitive ways and models we use to understand and interact with the world. While these models will work well in most situations, there are situations where the mental model we have doesn’t match with reality.
Keeping that as a founding thought, he addresses behavioural examples from medicine (people not complying to their medication) and technology in agriculture (knee jerk reactions to addressing problems – better yield and better income for farmers) to make his point about the fundamental wirings of the brain, which creates these behavioural problems.
We tend to think that the problem is solved by addressing other external factors around it (technology, distribution, instructions), but the human problems still remain. Innovation cannot just stop at marketing and designing; it needs to continue all the way till fundamental behaviour is addressed.
Only then, can we conquer the next frontier – the complexity of the human brain.