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Quantum Units Education

Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency

Executive Summary

1. Behavioral economics generally aims to provide a representation of human behavior that is more psychologically realistic than the models of “rationality” constructed by traditional economics - that is, models that presume individuals will use available information and make the best decisions in order to get the greatest benefit.

A. True

B. False


2. Which of the following is a behavioral economics principle associated with the psychology of scarcity?

A. Cognitive resources are limited and can be overwhelmed.

B. Attention is a finite mental resource.

C. Exercising restraint depletes a person’s available stock of self-control.

D. All of the above.


3. Which of the following is not one of the four phases comprised by the behavioral diagnosis and design process?

A. Identifying a target population

B. Defining the problem

C. Designing an intervention

D. Testing the intervention


4. Randomized controlled trials are considered the most rigorous form of evaluation, and the most reliable way to detect the impact of an intervention.

A. True

B. False


5. Program staff can encourage desired behavioral outcomes by emphasizing an individual’s strengths or successes.  This is known as:

A. Operational modification

B. Identity priming

C. Limited cognition

D. Change blindness


6. Research shows that asking clients to think and talk about a time when they succeeded can activate identities that inspire and motivate them to take action toward their goals.

A. True

B. False


7. Important strategies for overcoming a person’s limited cognition are all of the following, except:

A. Simplify processes.

B. Incorporate agendas that provide a roadmap to upcoming events.

C. State the same required task in numerous places of the information but phrase it differently each time.

D. Use reminders.


8. The risk of misapplying behavioral economics to programs is exacerbated when the program designers are engaged in ongoing performance monitoring or evaluation, and when they approach behavioral design as an iterative process.

A. True

B. False


9. Because behavioral diagnosis can lead to several hypothesized psychological bottlenecks and each one may be associated with more than one potential behavioral solution, the process should be a one-time undertaking.

A. True

B. False


Chapter 1: Introduction to Behavioral Economics

10. The field of behavioral economics examines how people - clients and program operators alike - do which of the following?

A. Procrastinate

B. Become overwhelmed by choices

C. Rely on mental shortcuts to make decisions

D. All of the above


11. Which of the following provide a predetermined option that requires little action on the decision-maker’s part and can increase the likelihood of making positive choices?

A. Default rules

B. Hassle factors

C. Micro-incentives

D. Anchoring


12. Central to the neoclassical economic framework is the notion of “constrained optimization,” where the decision-maker makes choices to achieve preferences as much as possible within the constraints imposed by all of the following, except:

A. Income

B. Understanding

C. Costs

D. Time


13. A growing body of evidence shows that neoclassical economic theory can, by itself, account for all the ways people behave in the real world.

A. True

B. False


14. Increasing the menu of options can be paralyzing for decision-makers rather than making them better off, as traditional economic theory assumes.

A. True

B. False


15. Neoclassical economic theory:

A. Assumes that individuals have an unlimited capacity to think through problems carefully and compute the best solution.

B. Implies that when faced with a choice, people gather all the necessary information and weigh their options accurately no matter how many dimensions of evaluation are being considered and without being distracted by extraneous factors.

C. Implies that people are able to calculate probabilities to work out the best decision for the future, which is often uncertain.

D. All of the above.


16. Psychologists argue that ____________ arises because, when presented with a large range of potential options, individuals are unable to process all the dimensions of the choice.

A. Social influence

B. Private commitment

C. Choice overload

D. Loss aversion


17. The inability to notice all visual stimuli at once, providing evidence for the limits of attention, is known as:

A. Prospective memory

B. Change blindness

C. Overload

D. None of the above


18. In human services programs, clients must often be attentive to program schedules, deadlines, and paperwork requirements.  Limited attention may explain why program participants fail to meet these requirements.

A. True

B. False


19. Neoclassical economists assume that actions reflect intentions, therefore, a failure to do something is a deliberate choice.

A. True

B. False


Chapter 2: An Introduction to Behavioral Diagnosis and Design

20. The diagnosis phase consists of all of the following, except:

A. Gathering data.

B. Creating a “process map” and identifying points when potential participants drop out.

C. Considering behavioral interventions that may work to overcome issues.

D. Hypothesizing bottlenecks that might be hampering participation and program effects.


21. Which of the following is not one of the identified hypothesized behavioral bottlenecks that could relate both to the low use and the effectiveness at marketing the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS)?

A. Choice overload

B. Trust and social norms

C. Different angles on choice

D. Limited cognition


22. Which of the following refers to the constraints on people’s ability to process, understand, and recall information?

A. Choice overload

B. Trust and social norms

C. Different angles on choice

D. Limited cognition


23. If the underlying assumption is that follow-through is being hindered by procrastination, an intervention may be led based on all of the following, except:

A. Using defaults

B. Promoting plan-making

C. Removing hassle factors

D. Using reminders


24. A forced-choice approach sets up a specific, predetermined option for participants and requires no action from them, while a default plan does not allow participants to move forward until they have made a selection.

A. True

B. False


25. A well-intentioned intervention may cost money without generating results, or may be harmful, so that implementing it is worse than doing nothing at all.

A. True

B. False


Chapter 3: Increasing Applications to Modify Child Support Orders Among Incarcerated Noncustodial Parents: Texas Office of the Attorney General - Child Support Division

26. The decision not to do something, driven by a “gut” emotion, is known as:

A. An affective response

B. The ostrich effect

C. Psychological distancing

D. Present biasing


27. Those who consider launching a behavioral test should think beyond the period of experimentation to the types of changes that would be realistic for staff to implement on an ongoing basis.

A. True

B. False


Chapter 4: Increasing Client Engagement with Job Search: Asian Human Services in Illinois

28. Perception is shaped by subtle aspects of the way information is presented and can have an outsized influence on behavior.  This is known as:

A. Confirmation bias

B. Framing

C. Psychological distancing

D. Present bias


29. Research has shown that even if the eventual outcome is the same in both cases, framing a change as a gain rather than as a loss makes the option about twice as potent.

A. True

B. False


30. Confirmation bias causes people to become attached to the first information they receive, and anchoring effects lead people to differentially notice information that confirms their first impression.

A. True

B. False


31. Research into the psychology of scarcity shows that the pressure of negotiating life under conditions of poverty places a particularly high toll on cognitive resources, as people often need to make many trade-offs to manage their lives with limited financial resources.

A. True

B. False


32. Even if clients pay attention to all the right information and understand it, they may not be able to remember all of it, or may fail to recall it at the time when it is necessary, a problem known as:

A. Prospective memory failure

B. Psychological distancing

C. Limited cognition

D. Overload


33. Staff can encourage desired behavioral outcomes by drawing on _____________, which occurs when one identity in particular is made salient in order to influence an individual’s response to a stimulus.

A. Operational modification

B. Identity priming

C. Anchoring

D. Nudges


34. Confidence priming can be powerful and should be incorporated:

A. When an immediate action follows.

B. When an important action follows.

C. On an ongoing and regular basis.

D. All of the above.


35. All of the following statements regarding “fundamental attribution error” are true, except for:

A. The power of human beings’ natural tendency to think of behavior as driven in a consistent way by the situation, rather than by their character, is known as the fundamental attribution error.

B. Fundamental attribution error is pervasive despite research in social psychology that convincingly shows that this interpretation of behavior is incorrect.

C. Studies have shown that features of a given situation determines as much as 70% of behavior.

D. Awareness of the fundamental attribution error is useful for practitioners, as they have a great deal of influence through their ability to change the situation or the environment in small ways that could have meaningful effects on participant behavior.


Chapter 5: Increasing Willingness to Wait: The National Domestic Violence Hotline

36. Which of the following explains when pressing concerns can weigh on someone’s mind and actually reduce decision-making capacity in the moment?

A. Present bias

B. Prospective memory failure

C. Cognitive load

D. Limited cognition


37. Contextual reference points have small effects on perception.

A. True

B. False


38. The effects of reference points may be exacerbated by a ____________ that leads people to believe that the future will be much like the present.

A. Heuristic

B. Present bias

C. Status quo bias

D. Framing effect


39. In general, memories that are highly emotional are more available.

A. True

B. False


40. Providing information that is already known, but in the form of an explanation, is referred to as:

A. Reason-based information

B. Reference information

C. Heuristic information

D. Placebic information


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