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CHIBE Q&A: Jeffrey Rewley, PhD, MS

jeffrey rewley headshot

Jeffrey Rewley, PhD, MS, is an advanced fellow in health services research, working with the Nudge Unit at the University of Pennsylvania and the Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) at the Philadelphia VA Medical center.

What projects are you working on now?

I’m currently involved in two secondary analyses of the STEP UP trial completed by the Nudge Unit last September. The first examines how team diversity affects participants’ response to the gamification intervention. The second uses a natural experiment within the intervention to assess participants’ loss aversion in the face of gamification rewards.

What research area would you like to see explored more?

I’ve recently become interested in what leads to maintenance of behavior change after an intervention is over. In a subgroup analysis of another gamification intervention completed by the Nudge Unit, I found that people who recruited their spouses into the study with them were able to significantly maintain weight loss months after the study ended. I therefore want to study social interventions for behavior change, but focus on maintaining behavior change as a primary endpoint rather than only at the end of the intervention period (the intervention with the greatest main effect might not have the best maintenance over time).

What got you interested in behavioral economics?

I came across the work of Mitesh Patel and the Nudge Unit while in graduate school for epidemiology and found a framework that could be used to design a number of social network interventions. The gamification and mobile app contexts of many of the trials would directly improve many interventions we currently use in social network analysis, which I believe will lead to more effective, longer-lasting programs for behavior change.

Research Areas