Grav­ity: Bridg­ing the gap be­tween be­havioural eco­nomics and busi­ness

Finweek English Edition - - ENTREPRENEUR - BY JES­SICA HUB­BARD

Over t he past s ev­era l years, be­havioural eco­nomics and be­havioural science have been gain­ing trac­tion in the cor­po­rate world. Be­havioural eco­nomics draws on psy­cho­log­i­cal in­sights into hu­man be­hav­iour to ex­plain eco­nomic de­ci­sion-mak­ing. For ex­am­ple, it can an­swer the ques­tion around why peo­ple con­sis­tently over­spend on luxury cars and un­der­spend on re­tire­ment sav­ings.

Hav­ing once been rel­e­gated to academia, inf lu­en­tial thinkers such as pro­fes­sor of psy­chol­ogy and be­hav­iour eco­nomics Daniel Ariely and Ogilvy UK’s vice- chair­man Rory Suther­land have brought be­havioural eco­nomics into the spot­light as a pow­er­ful way to solve prob­lems and drive busi­ness suc­cess. Lo­cally, a few com­pa­nies have been ex­plor­ing this ‘cross­breed’ of psy­chol­ogy and eco­nomics to solve prob­lems. Cape Town-based 22seven, for ex­am­ple, draws on be­havioural f inance think­ing to help peo­ple bet­ter man­age their money.

An­other lo­cal start-up, Grav­ity, is seek­ing to use a com­bi­na­tion of learn­ings from be­havioural eco­nomics and so­cial psy­chol­ogy to solve both busi­ness and so­cial chal­lenges.

Finweek caught up with its young founders David Per­rott and Se­bas­tian Thomp­son, re­cent grad­u­ates of ad­ver­tis­ing and mar­ket­ing school Red and Yel­low, to find out more about their be­havioural change agency, which they launched in Oc­to­ber 2013.


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