... Government

How can we use behavioral science to bring innovation into government?

Fresh Start Effect in New Movers A Pilot to Reduce SOV Trips

In 2020, the Center for Advanced Hindsight (CAH) at Duke University was awarded a grant from the Triangle J Council of Governments (TJCOG) to research an innovative way to reduce single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips among individuals that had recently moved (or new movers) to three areas within North Carolina. We aimed to understand the behavioral principle of the “fresh start effect”, which posits that humans are more likely to change behavior at moments that stand out in time, and if this could be applied to transportation habits.

Growing cities are often accompanied by economic, environmental, and social challenges. Public agencies must be creative, adaptable, and responsive to meet citizens’ needs. Across the globe, governments are seeking novel approaches to solving problems. We generate equitable policies and solutions to solve real world problems by innovating and evaluating with behavioral science and design.

Our Process

We partner with employers, community organizations, and other groups looking to test creative policy solutions.  We aim to design and run randomized controlled trials and rigorously measure our impact. We analyze outcome data and report the results in academic journals and popular press pieces so that solutions might be scaled to other municipal, state, and central governments.  Interested partners are encouraged to reach out to us to discuss potential collaboration and requirements for specific interventions.

Partnership Opportunities

Are you a local, state, or federal policymaker or someone with a passion for making your community better?  Do you have a complex problem you think could be solved with behavioral science and innovation?

Join the CAH Government team mailing list and learn about collaboration opportunities!

We respect your time and privacy. We will only alert you to relevant opportunities to work with us and your contact information will not be shared.


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Joseph Sherlock


Shaye-Ann Hopkins