Author ORCID Identifier

Ruth Schmidt: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-9390-8469

Abstract

Behavioral design—the application of behavioral economics principles to real-world challenges—has achieved success across a variety of domains, yet its scale and effectiveness has been limited by its narrow focus on behavioral change to frame problems. While some have suggested that joining forces with the social sciences and other analytical problem-solving methodologies might help overcome its perceived deficits, the more generative and synthetic discipline of design research is particularly well positioned to be a complementary partner due to design’s systems orientation and humanity-centered perspective to issues of context, evidence, and problem framing. This disciplinary integration has the potential to be particularly valuable with regard to so-called “wicked problems,” which tend to resist analytical efforts. In contributing a more expansive lens with which to surface and develop potential hypotheses, design research shows great promise in its ability to partner with behavioral design to take ground on these complex challenges.

Keywords:

design research, behavioral design, interdisciplinarity, framing

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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Aug 11th, 12:00 AM

Strange bedfellows: Design research and behavioral design

Behavioral design—the application of behavioral economics principles to real-world challenges—has achieved success across a variety of domains, yet its scale and effectiveness has been limited by its narrow focus on behavioral change to frame problems. While some have suggested that joining forces with the social sciences and other analytical problem-solving methodologies might help overcome its perceived deficits, the more generative and synthetic discipline of design research is particularly well positioned to be a complementary partner due to design’s systems orientation and humanity-centered perspective to issues of context, evidence, and problem framing. This disciplinary integration has the potential to be particularly valuable with regard to so-called “wicked problems,” which tend to resist analytical efforts. In contributing a more expansive lens with which to surface and develop potential hypotheses, design research shows great promise in its ability to partner with behavioral design to take ground on these complex challenges.

 

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