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On Socks and Social Marketing - Honoring World AIDS Day

communication / communication research / featured / public health

More than 30 years since the first reported cases of AIDS, what does progress look like?

From its origins in fear and death, HIV has become a preventable, treatable, and hope-filled chronic illness. Though there has been significant progress both scientifically and socially, there is clearly much progress to be made – HIV is a leading cause of death by infectious disease, and fear, misperceptions, and stigma are still a very real challenge.

Take, for example, the media stir last month when Charlie Sheen revealed on the Today Show that he is HIV-positive. Sheen shared that he decided to make his health status public because recent partners allegedly threatened to disclose his diagnosis, blackmailing him for millions of dollars. His situation – and... more

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Designing for Behavioral Change

behavioral change / qualitative research / user experience / featured

A few years ago, I was shopping for a birthday card for a good friend - a fellow psychology nerd, I should add - and after sifting through hundreds (no exaggeration!) of contenders, I finally stumbled across "the one". The front read, "How many psychologists does it take to change a light bulb?" and inside was the classic "…Just the one, but the bulb has to really want to change. Happy Birthday!" I remember chuckling to myself and ending my search there, knowing (or at least hoping) my friend would appreciate my find. Looking back though, a thought occurs to me - good thing she wasn't studying to become a behavioral scientist!

While intrinsic motivation is certainly influential and at the core of many behavior... more

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A Raise by Any Other Name?

organizational psychology / career development / featured / performance reviews

Much has been made recently of the movement away from performance review systems. Last year The New York Times expressed in wonder that "Mc" In July, consulting giant Deloitte "banned" performance reviews, and just recently fellow heavyweight Accenture made the headlines by announcing that they are In July, consulting giant Deloitte doing away with their performance review system . What a wonderful time for those looking to fly under the radar in corporate America! Time to go to work and go through the motions: nobody looking over your shoulder anymore, no more consequences for taking it easy at work, nothing but easy living. For once it's easy to feel sorry for the hardworking overachiever instead of the underdog.... more

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ADWKDC 2015 - Let's Talk About Millennials

advertising research / arlington dc / featured

The other week, I returned to ADWKDC-DC Ad Club's weeklong industry event, culminating with a two-day conference where you learn from the area's best and brightest marketers and communicators. This year was ADWKDC's biggest event yet with three tracks—strategy, media, and creative—and several keynotes sprinkled across the two days. I stuck to the strategy track both days where a major theme across sessions was getting to know your audience to tailoring your messages for them—whether that entails applying concepts of behavioral economics to your communications or understanding how today's plethora of data impacts consumer targeting.

ADWKDC 2015 also marked the first year that Fors Marsh Group spoke at ADWKDC. Our Senior VP of Research, Dr. Brian Griepentrog, joined the panel "What Baby... more

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Sure, It's Bad — But Will It Ever Happen to Me? Looking Back on National Preparedness Month

featured / behavior economics / public health / in the news

This past September, a range of organizations—including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Red Cross, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency—participated in 2015's National Preparedness Month. Throughout the month, these and other organizations have been encouraging individuals and community groups to (1) learn what protective measures they should take before, during, and after emergency events, like hurricanes, floods, and wildfires; (2) make a plan to implement those measures and stay informed of emergencies; and (3) seek out ways to support community preparedness. Visit Ready.gov for more information on actions you can take to be prepared.

Looking back on the past month, and reflecting on the... more

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President Obama is a Fan of Behavioral Economics, And Here's Why

featured / behavior economics / in the news

This past Wednesday, Mr. President issued an executive order encouraging federal agencies to use insights from social and behavioral sciences to improve their programs and outcomes and to better serve the American people. The order also formally establishes the Social and Behavioral Sciences Team, a group of experts that has spent the past year and a half conducting experiments and implementing improvements in a variety of government programs. By making simple changes such as sending out letters to potential participants or changing a program's default option, these researchers have been able to bring about significant and cost-effective changes. Among other things, these changes have resulted in increased retirement security, better educational access, and improved compliance among government contractors.

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