April 28, 2020

Covid-19 Crisis: Greg Davies, PhD on the Fetish of Optimization

Greg Davies, PhD is a specialist in applied behavioral finance, decision science, impact investing, and financial wellbeing. He founded the banking world’s first behavioral finance team at Barclays in 2006, which he led for a decade. In 2017 he joined Oxford Risk to lead the development of behavioral decision support software to help people make the best possible financial decisions.

Greg holds a PhD in Behavioural Decision Theory from Cambridge; he has held academic affiliations at UCL, Imperial College, and Oxford; and is author of Behavioral Investment Management. Greg is also Chair of Sound and Music, the UK’s national charity for new music, and the creator of Open Outcry, a ‘reality opera’ premiered in London in 2012, creating live performance from a functioning trading floor.

We invited Greg to have a conversation about COVID-19 because of his very academic view of how our financial decisions are made in the real world. We found his insights to be invaluable as we discussed the importance of using NOW as the time to build resistance for the next crisis – it’s only a matter of time.

We discussed how to use Odysseus contracts to ensure we make decisions in a “cold” state that will bind us to behaviors in “hot” states. And one of the more provocative comments, especially coming from a financial guy, was how our world would benefit from giving the “fetish of optimization.”

You’ll want to check it out.

© 2020 Behavioral Grooves



Connect with Kurt and Tim:

Kurt Nelson, PhD: @WhatMotivates  e-mail: kurt@lanterngroup.com

Tim Houlihan: @THoulihan  e-mail: tim@behavioralchemy.com

Lantern Group: http://lanterngroup.com/

BehaviorAlchemy: https://www.behavioralchemy.com/

Behavioral Grooves: https://behavioralgrooves.com/

Weekly Grooves: https://weeklygrooves.podbean.com/

Common Biases & Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#

Patreon Site for Behavioral Grooves: https://www.patreon.com/behavioralgrooves


General Coronavirus Info:

Daily Newsletter Summarizing data from Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security: http://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/newsroom/newsletters/e-newsletter-sign-up.html

CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

Great videos on the science behind this by Dr. Peter Attia – this is the first in a series: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNVhLyAlfA4

What is herd immunity?: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615375/what-is-herd-immunity-and-can-it-stop-the-coronavirus/

A list curated by Liam.Delaney@UCD.ie



Coronavirus & Behavioral Science:

Selected Links: The Behavioral Sice of Coronavirus: https://behavioralscientist.org/selected-links-the-behavioral-science-of-the-coronavirus-covid-19/

Why no one is reading your coronavirus email: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/13/opinions/coronavirus-emails-effective-messaging-rogers/index.html

Handwashing can stop a virus, so why don’t we do it?: https://behavioralscientist.org/handwashing-can-stop-a-virus-so-why-dont-we-do-it-coronavirus-covid-19/

The behavioral science of handwashing: https://think.ing.com/articles/the-behavioural-science-of-hand-washing/

Ideas 42: The Behavioral Side of COVID-19 here: https://ideas42.org/covid19/

Greater Good: https://twitter.com/GreaterGoodSC


How We Can Cope During This Crisis:

Tip Sheet from HUMU: https://humu.com/remote-nudges/

Resources for learning at home: https://fordhaminstitute.org/national/commentary/resources-learning-home-during-covid-19-school-closures?utm_source=join1440&utm_medium=email&utm_placement=etcetera


General Behavioral Science Links:

Common Biases and Heuristics: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XHpBr0VFcaT8wIUpr-9zMIb79dFMgOVFRxIZRybiftI/edit#

Jonathan Haidt – 5 Moral Foundations: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moral_foundations_theory

Annie Duke’s “How To Decide”: https://www.amazon.com/How-Decide-Simple-Making-Choices/dp/0593084608

“16 Ways To Promote Hand Washing With Behavioral Science” article by Aline Holzwarth: https://www.forbes.com/sites/alineholzwarth/2020/03/25/handwashing-with-behavioral-science/#261b4b9f768d

Aline Holzwarth’s Playlist on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0H5fsQRrqslGdBhhx8d4Aw?si=0jra0rU1Qu2vQNtqjbRvZA

Deontological and Consequential Moralities: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ethics-deontological/#DeoTheKan

Difference between descriptive and injunctive norms: https://psychology.stackexchange.com/questions/6193/whats-the-difference-between-injunctive-norms-and-descriptive-norms

Emotion Research from FinalMile: http://finalmile.in/research/

Pandemic Playbook from FinalMile: https://www.playbookforpandemic.com/

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