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Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics Research

CHIBE researchers apply concepts from the field of behavioral economics to design, implement, and evaluate interventions that improve health and build knowledge about efficacy, cost and effectiveness. 

Basic Science Core Request for Applications

The Basic Science Core aims to support laboratory or low-cost field studies that will shed light on mechanisms that can generate behavior change.  In contrast to previous large-scale field studies, which have often combined multiple mechanisms into one intervention in order to maximize impact on behavior, basic science projects supported by the Core focus on disentangling and precisely identifying the impacts of individual mechanisms.  CHIBE researchers interested in applying for project support can click here for more information.



Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics Research Studies

You are viewing 25 posts with the tag Roybal research

Creating Exercise Habits through Incentives

Principal Investigator: Katherine Milkman, PhD

This research project will conduct a randomized controlled trial to test the impact of an intervention designed to increase gym attendance and improve health outcomes related to obesity. This project consists of performing a large-scale field experiment at a Fortune-500 company to determine whether healthy habits can be formed more effectively when consumers are rewarded for repeated engagement in a given healthy behavior at a specific, routinized time each day rather than at any time.

Funder: NIA/NIH

Way to Cure: Developing Effective Strategies to Promote Adherence to Hepatitis C Therapy among Older Adults

Principal Investigator: Marina Serper, MD

Hepatitis C (HCV) treatment has been revolutionized by the advent of highly effective, but extremely costly drug regimens. Data from clinical trials show >90% cure rates, however, medication adherence and real world cure rates are not known. This research project will test the efficacy of tailored reminders vs. financial incentives compared to usual care to promote medication adherence among a diverse sample of Hepatitis C patients at risk for medication non-adherence, and will determine specific patient characteristics (age, cognitive function) that are associated with medication non-adherence after adjustment by intervention arm. 

Funder: NIA/NIH  

Can the Endowment Effect be Used to Increase the Power of Health Incentives?

Principal Investigator: Justin Sydnor, PhD

The specific aims of this study are to (1) estimate the treatment effect of both the standard monetary incentive and the endowment-effect incentive relative to a control in terms of the fraction of members using the gym over time; (2) test whether the endowment-effect treatment increases the fraction of participants meeting the program gym-use goals relative to a standard treatment with the same monetary value; and (3) estimate the size of a standard monetary incentive that is expected to generate the same success rate as the endowment-effect incentive.

Funder: NIA/NIH

Behavioral Economics and Aging

Principal Investigator: Karlawish 

This line of research is examining the implications of the psychology and neurology of aging on theories of behavioral economics with attention to the clinical, ethical and policy issues.

The Impact of Nonlinear Pricing on Portion Size of Unhealthy Food Purchases

Principal Investigators: Julie Downs, PhD; George Loewenstein, PhD 

This study will test the differential impact of nonlinear pricing on (over) consumption of healthy versus non-healthy food items. 

Funder: NIA Penn Roybal Center on Behavioral Economics and Health

The Fresh Start Effect: Temporal Landmarks Motivate Healthy Behaviors

Principal Investigators: Katherine Milkman, PhD; Jason Riis, PhD; Hengchen Dai

This project will determine what types of life transition and calendar events or temporal landmarks are most likely to motivate healthy behaviors and how to leverage these temporal landmarks to enhance peoples’ engagement in healthy activities.

Funder: NIA Penn Roybal Center on Behavioral Economics and Health

Incentives, Information, and Impulse: A Field Experiment on Food Choice

Principal Investigator: Saurabh Bhargava, PhD

The research objective of the study is to understand the factors that influence how families choose the food they consume and to identify strategies that can be used to improve such choices.  While existing research has been largely limited to short-run assessments in experimental restaurants and the laboratory, this project aims to investigate the economic and psychological determinants of food choice using a large and novel panel dataset of actual food purchases and a series of randomized experiments on real-world consumers through collaboration with the world’s largest online food delivery firm.  Specifically, the project seeks to understand the role of financial stress on food choice through analysis of archival data, and the role of (i) Incentives, (ii) Information (and the context within which such information is provided), and (iii) Impulsivity on food choice through a series of field experiments.

Funder: NIA Penn Roybal Center on Behavioral Economics and Health

Donor Registration Trial

Principal Investigator: Peter Reese, MD

This Roybal pilot is a randomized, controlled trial to compare the effects of four interventions on the rate of organ donor registration by members of the general public who visit the DMV website for business unrelated to organ donor registration.

Funded by: Roybal P30 Pilot

A Pilot Intervention of an MI-Informed SMS Intervention For Poorly Controlled Type II Diabetes

Principal Investigators: Judith Long, MD; Ilona Lorincz, MD

This project will develop and pilot a three month randomized control trial (RCT) of a Motivational Interviewing (MI)‐informed SMS intervention tailored to patient level of activation in a population of patients with poorly controlled type II diabetes. The pilot will inform the development of a larger RCT, powered to detect a change in glycemic control.

Funded By: Roybal P30 Pilot

Using Patient Feedback to Explore and Improve the Ways we Communicate Information Regarding Diabetes Control to Patients

Principal Investigator: Anjali Gopalan

To evaluate the efficacy of new formats for the communication of HgbA1C and diabetic control to patients with regard to patient knowledge and motivation to improve diabetic control.

Funded by: Roybal Pilot

Why Join a Walking Program?

Principal Investigator: Jason Karlawish

The federal healthcare reform bill includes provisions for Medicare and Medicaid to provide incentives to beneficiaries to complete behavioral modification programs. This pilot study assesses whether relevant differences exist in different age groups' views on the acceptability of behavioral economic interventions, with particular emphasis on whether differences exist between older versus middle ages to younger adults.

Funder: National Institute on Aging

Can Tying Tempting Experiences with Gym Visits Increase Exercise and Improve Health?

Principal Investigator:  Milkman

People intend to exercise and diet later but frequently lack the necessary willpower to act on those good intentions.  Tying devices offer a new method for motivating people to engage in a healthy behavior by linking this behavior to an addictive activity, such as watching television.  This pilot study tests whether a tying device in a gym setting can help people to develop good exercise habits.

Funded by:  National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging

Can Calorie Labels Increase Caloric Intake?

Principal Investigator:  Loewenstein

Research on the effectiveness of calorie and nutrition labeling of food in propelling individuals toward healthier food choices has revealed weak and inconsistent findings.  Four potential mechanisms to induce perverse effects -- causing people to increase calorie intake -- are tested in this pilot study.

Funded by:  National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging

The Effects of 24-hour Intensivist Coverage in the Medical ICU

Principal Investigator:  Halpern

Available evidence suggests intensivist management of critically ill patients improves patient outcomes.  The objective of this study is to evaluate the comparative effectiveness and cost effectiveness of nocturnal staffing with and without intensivist coverage in a large academic medical hospital's medical ICU.

Funded by:  National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging

Attitudes on Wellness Incentives: Carrots and Sticks

Principal Investigators:  Schmidt / Volpp

Provisions included in the 2010 health reforms substantially increased the permissible levels of wellness incentives paid by employers.  This pilot study tests public attitudes towards different ways of implementing financial incentives in the workplace to build evidence regarding how such programs would be perceived by employees.

Funded by:  National Institutes of Health / National Institute on Aging

Improving Diabetes Glucose Control Through Peer Counseling and Incentives

Principal Investigator:  Long

Prior research has established that patients achieving good glucose control can reduce their likelihood of diabetes mellitus micro-vascular complications, including blindness, renal failure, neuropathy and amputations. The growing epidemic of diabetes mellitus disproportionately affects low income and racial minority populations. This pilot study tests whether in a cohort of low-income U.S. veterans with poor diabetes mellitus control peer counseling or financial incentives can help improve glucose control compared with usual care.

Funder:  National Institute on Aging

Making Calories Count: Information Format and Food Choice

Principal Investigators:  Downs / Loewenstein

Government policy aimed at promoting healthy eating habits has tended toward strategies based on information provision, though there is little evidence that this strategy is maximally effective. This pilot study involves a cross-sectional test of the impact of calorie labeling and a heuristic cue on customers' choice of lunch item on-site at a chain restaurant, as well as a cohort study which assesses lunch item choices over time based on real-time nutritional feedback.

Funder:  National Institute on Aging

Helping People to Exercise Regularly

Principal Investigators: Hafalir / Xiao 

Regular gym visits might prevent health problems that occur later in life, but many people find it hard to maintain a commitment to attend regularly. Pre-commitment devices are one possible tool which could help sustain commitment to healthy behavior. This project seeks to improve methods for helping older individuals exercise regularly. 

Using Technology to Promote Mental Acuity

Principal Investigator:  Loewenstein

A rapidly aging population is faced with a growing number of technological advances which offer to improve quality of life and health, but many of these may seem inaccessible to those with little exposure to them. This pilot study is testing interventions involving financial incentives to encourage senior citizens to engage in long term use of technologies which promote health and wellness, specifically, computer programs designed to improve memory and mental acuity.

Funder:  National Institute on Aging

Awareness of Cognitive Deficits and Quality of Life

Principal Investigator: Karlawish 

The aim of this research is to measure the impact of awareness of cognitive deficits on self-reported quality of life.