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STICERD Public Events and Lectures

The Hayek Programme in Economics and Liberal Political Economy and the Department of Social Policy

Hayek Programme in Economics and Liberal Political Economy Lecture

Empowering citizens with behavioural science

Ralph Hertwig (Max Planck Institute for Human Development)

Tuesday 30 January 2024 06:30 - 20:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.

About this event

Behavioural public policy has gained significant attention recently due to two key factors: political debates over government size and role, and the globally influential approach of nudging.

Nudging promises that minor adjustments in choice architecture can influence decisions without altering incentives. However, nudging has also been criticized, including objections to its soft paternalism and its neglect of agency, autonomy, and the longevity of behaviour change. In response to such criticisms - and the proliferation of highly engineered and manipulative, commercial choice architectures - other behavioural policy approaches have been proposed, focusing on empowering citizens to make well-informed decisions. Those approaches are based on a view of human cognitive and motivational capacities that goes beyond the deficit model underlying nudge. In the face of systemic problems such as climate change, pandemics, threats to liberal democracies, and rapid cycles of technological innovations, evidence-informed investments in a competent, informed, and active citizenry seem an essential - though not - sufficient policy approach. This talk will outline recent developments in conceptual and empirical research that aims to empower citizens by boosting their competences.

Ralph Hertwig is Director of the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Hertwig’s research focuses on models of bounded rationality such as simple heuristics, on the importance of learning and decisions from experience, on the measurement of risk preferences, and on ways to change people’s behaviour for the better by boosting their competences.

The event is chaired by Barbara Fasolo, Director of LSE Behavioural Lab for Research and Teaching and Associate Professor in Behavioural Science at the LSE Department of Management. Fasolo’s latest research focuses on strategic decision processes in the presence of risk and conflicting objectives, and improving them via interventions, training and decision technology.  Before joining the LSE, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Adaptive Behaviour of Cognition group at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. 

Twitter Hashtag for this event: #LSEHayek

This public event is free and open to all. This event will be a hybrid event, with an in-person audience and an online audience. 

For the in-person event: No ticket or pre-registration is required. Entry is on a first come, first served basis.

For the online event: Register for this event via LSE Live at Empowering citizens with behavioural science.

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, by email: