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Rotman Insights Hub | University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Katy Milkman on how to change

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Katy Milkman, Dilip Soman


Whether it is a birthday, the first day of the season or the start of a new semester, there are certain milestone moments when we are most open to changing our behaviour, says Katy Milkman, author and professor at the Wharton School, here in conversation with Rotman School professor Dilip Soman.

These moments of change and transformation are when we are highly susceptible to the nudge, as it is known in behavioural economics. There are real-world implications. By drawing attention out those fresh start dates, advertisers and other influencers can make their own nudges more effective and impactful. Consider: "it's the first day of Spring: time to save for retirement."

Katy Milkman is a professor at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and holds a secondary appointment at Penn’s Perelman School of Medicine. Her research explores ways that insights from economics and psychology can be harnessed to change consequential behaviors for good, such as savings, exercise, vaccination take-up and discrimination. In her TEDx talk, she describes some of her key findings on this topic. 

Dilip Soman holds the Canada research chair in behavioural science and economics, is a professor of marketing at the Rotman School and is the founding director of BEAR. He is the author of The Last Mile: Creating Social and Economic Value from Behavioural Insights (Rotman-UTP Publishing, 2015) and co-edited The Behaviourally-Informed Organization (Rotman-UTP 2021).