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Highlights of 2022 – and what Behavioural Science to take into 2023


It’s common for content creators to track the performance of their content. What did well? And what bombed…? With a focus on the positive, I thought I’d check what my 5 top performing articles were over the past year, and what this might mean for things to come in 2023. Enjoy!



 

5. Doing a PhD: Still Worth It? I’m going to be honest, this one surprised me, a lot. Yes, I write about my experiences in academia and have done so for ages, but this article is now almost 3 years old, and apparently still relevant. Even more relevant now I have left academia myself, it seems. I have strong opinions about reasons why you should, and should not, do a PhD. This will also be a core feature of my upcoming book, The Ultimate Guide to Doing a PhD. As the start of a new calendar year also signals the application period for a lot of prospective PhD students, this question remains relevant. And I don’t think the tertiary education system is changing fast enough to make this question irrelevant any time soon. I’m always open to talk through possible career paths if you so desire, and Twitter is (still) a gold mine for likeminded lost souls and guides alike. Just follow @PhDVoice, @AcademicChatter and #AltAc to get some good ideas about the world of doing a PhD. 4. A Crash Course in Understanding Meta-Analyses From the surprising to the absolute unsurprising; my crash course in understanding meta-analyses as the a meta-analysis on “The effectiveness of nudging…” was published and flung itself at behavioural science like a rabid dog chasing an imaginary cat. Publishing on ‘hot topics’ always does well and this was no different. I have very little to say about the papers themselves or my own post. The papers are fine, my post highlights their approach and why they differ, which is quite a key aspect of the debate. Aligned with this I also wrote another popular post “Death of a Nudge”. What we’re taking, or should be taking, into 2023 should be an actual understanding of how meta-analyses work. Stop reading flashy headlines and screaming tweets; what was actually done? In which context? With what sample? And how did all of that lead to the result we’re seeing now? Would a minor tweak in any of this have lead to a majorly different result? Are we sure the data is real? Are we sure the analytics are proper? Bring a critical mind, people. 3. The Effect of Payment Methods on Personal Finance Management: My PhD Summarised! Another post actually from 2022 – my summary of my PhD, well at least the first three experimental chapters. Everything I have done in terms of research on payment methods is in there. The entire PhD document itself is linked in there. If you had questions about mobile and contactless payments, it’s in there. I was worried that it would be too academic and maybe too dry, but it’s done well, both on the socials and as a post itself. And it does warm my cold, dead, semi-academic heart. What we’re taking into 2023 with us is a doctor’s title (for me at least), and knowing that I have been contributed to behavioural science as a researcher. Hopefully, this year will see me be able to publish this work in actual academic journals. And another thing: the war on cash continues, but I’m wary and skeptical; digital money is not our friend. 2. Best Resources to get into Behavioural Science (Books & Papers Edition) As a behavioural scientist I ought to know what people like. And I do know what people like. People like their damn listicles (which makes me writing this one just massively ironic). As soon as I published this “listicle” on the best resources, exclusively focused on books and papers for my reading friends, it did well. It’s in the top 5 of everything I have ever posted. Clearly, what we should be taking into 2023 is clear guidance on where the foundation of behavioural science lies, and where to find a good start and foundation, so that you can enter the field properly, without feeling like you know it all, because you can name 10+ biases (there’s 180+ biases, it’s not a good nor impressive party trick).



1. Best Resources to get into Behavioural Science (Online Media Edition) Where the last post took off to the moon, this one aimed for Mars and got there with time to spare. Online Media consumption, even if it’s for serious stuff, is massively on the rise. It’s the era of the 3 minute educational video, 30 second TikTok, and bite-sized content which sometimes, haphazardly, claims to be educational. All the resources I mentioned in this article are still long format; they are blogs, sites, podcasts etc. But from what I’m seeing and hearing, numbers are slipping there too. So what we’re taking into 2023 is likely a completely different approach to behavioural science dissemination if we do still want it to reach the masses. Maybe it’s time I leave the blog for what it is and start a TikTok?



 


There we have a folks, the top hitters for 2022 and what we can do with them in 2023. Other honorable mentions for Money on the Mind were “Things I would have done differently in my PhD”, “Things I Would Have Done Differently Going into Behavioural Science” and “What I do as a Behavioural Science Manager, in a Bank”. These articles are quite personal in nature, as they (obviously) exclusively focus on my own experience. I have found that a lot of people want to know this type of perspective, so if these articles leave you wanting to know more, to inform your own journey a bit better, feel free to reach out. Lots of people have helped me, and I like to pay forward good Karma. Happy 2023 everyone! May it be an excellent year for both you, and the field of behavioural science!


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