Erin Frey is a PhD candidate in Organizational Behavior. Her research interests are centered around ethics and organizational policies regarding unethical behavior. She is also interested in pro-social behavior, repair, and developing enduring interventions. Prior to arriving at HBS, Erin studied Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She completed her undergraduate studies at Harvard College in 2008.
Changing Behavior Beyond the Here and Now
In this chapter we explore the behavioral science of how interventions work over time. We first discuss how interventions can be effective and generate desired target behaviors, even when there is a temporal gap between the time the intervention is administered and the time the target behavior is to be performed. We identify several features of interventions that affect their success at bridging these “intervention-behavior lags”. We then discuss how some interventions are administered repeatedly over time, and how each successive round of treatment may amplify the effect of the intervention. We identify some reasons why interventions may or may not generate “marginal benefits to continued treatment” (continue to be effective with each repetition). Lastly, we discuss why some interventions continue to produce long-term, persistent change even after the intervention has been discontinued. We suggest several possible pathways that may lead to the persistence of treatment effects overtime, even once the intervention has been removed. We draw on examples of interventions in health, energy conservation, education, marketing, politics, and consumer behavior to illustrate and explain how interventions can bridge intervention-behavior lags, how they can generate marginal benefits to continued treatment, and how they can generate persistent treatment effects once an intervention has been discontinued.
Erin's research focuses on how organizations can and should respond to unethical behavior. She is interested in understanding the effects that organizational responses have on subsequent employee behavior, and how organizational policies can be designed to more effectively address ethical violations.
Crime and Corruption;
Giving and Philanthropy;
Motivation and Incentives;
Social and Collaborative Networks;
Erin has served as a teaching assistant in six different courses at Harvard University since 2008. She has taught courses at both the undergraduate level and the graduate level. She most recently was a teaching assistant for Todd Rogers' "Behavioral Science and Public Policy" class at the Harvard Kennedy School. In the past she also taught environmental policy courses at Harvard College.
Keywords: behavioral science;