digital and social media | May 15, 2016

New Videos: Shlomo Benartzi Redefines the Screen

As screen time gradually overtakes face time, how are our brains adapting? Are our decision-making processes different online than IRL? And most importantly, how can we use this to our advantage—in education, in retail, and in public policy? These questions are top-of-mind for behavioral economist Shlomo Benartzi. With his Behavioral Decision-Making Group at UCLA, Benartzi marries principles of psychology with keen economic insight, inventing novel ways to use emerging tech for societal gain. In his newest videos, Benartzi explains how we can leverage screens for good across a wide array of industries.

In our first clip, Benartzi’s message is simple but invaluable: on screens, placement trumps preference.  In other words, where a product appears on your screen informs your decision to purchase it—perhaps more than the product’s features, or even its price. “People judge websites in 50 to 100 milliseconds,” he says—less than the time it takes them to blink. And in a game of such snap judgements, placement is king.

Are we more comfortable telling the truth to a screen than a human being? “The screen doesn’t judge you,” Benartzi says. We’re more likely to be honest with a computer—which passes no immediate judgement—than with a peer, and the implications of this are far-reaching. When we collect information on digital displays, Benartzi explains, we’re more likely to get the right answers. And going forward, we can use this discovery to revolutionize data collection—in healthcare, finance, and more.

Long lines at the DMV are the subject of myriad comedy routines and a source of misery for millions of Americans. Can anything positive come from this forced downtime? By using targeted ads—specifically, one for an app that prevents you from texting and driving—Benartzi has created a win-win situation and has pointed towards a brand new frontier for marketers and policymakers alike.

Shlomo Benartzi is the co-author of The Smarter Screen, and an expert on the intersection of behavioural economics and digital media. To hire Benartzi as your next keynote speaker, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.

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exclusives | May 12, 2016