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Looking at spillovers in the mirror: making a case for "behavioural spillunders"

Krpan, Dario ORCID: 0000-0002-3420-4672, Galizzi, Matteo M. and Dolan, Paul (2019) Looking at spillovers in the mirror: making a case for "behavioural spillunders". Frontiers in Psychology, 10. ISSN 1664-1078

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Identification Number: 10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01142


Behavioral spillovers refer to the influence that a given intervention targeting behavior 1 exerts on a subsequent, non-targeted, behavior 2, which may or may not be in the same domain (health, finance, etc.) as one another. So, a nudge to exercise more, for example, could lead people to eat more or less, or possibly even to give more or less to charity depending on the nature of the spillover. But what if spillovers also operate backward; that is, if the expectation of behavior 1 influences behavior 0 that precedes it? For example, a person may form an intention to exercise prompted by a policy intervention but overeat at present as a result. We define such a possibility as a "spillunder." In the proposed article, we critically review the few papers that we have identified through a narrative literature review which have demonstrated spillunder effects to date, and we propose a conceptual framework. Based on evidence about the human mind and behavior from psychology and economics, we argue that spillunder effects may be more common than the limited empirical findings suggest. We propose six representative mechanisms through which the prospect of behavior 1 may impact behavior 0: executive functions, moral licensing and moral cleansing, emotion regulation, energization, construal level, and savoring and dread. We further discuss the policy and practical implications of spillunder effects and examine methodological issues that need to be considered when empirically testing these effects. As with our earlier paper on spillovers, we aim to motivate other behavioral scientists to research behavioral spillunders more systematically and extensively, and to prompt decision makers to consider these effects when designing behavioral interventions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Psychological and Behavioural Science
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Date Deposited: 01 May 2019 08:03
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 03:26

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