January 12, 2021

Institute for Consumer Money Management Makes $1 Million Grant to NOVA and the Center for Advanced Hindsight

RALEIGH, N.C. – Today, the Institute of Consumer Money Management (ICMM) announced grants totaling $1 million to Duke’s Center for Advanced Hindsight (CAH) and the PBS science series NOVA, a production of GBH Boston. NOVA is developing a free, online game for the popular NOVA Labs platform, informed with input by CAH on the latest behavioral insights in the domain of financial decision-making. This project aligns closely with ICMM’s mission to assist individuals in improving their money management behaviors.

The game at the heart of the NOVA Lab will feature cutting-edge behavioral change interventions and enjoy wide public distribution, with outreach focused on high-need communities. NOVA Labs Editorial Director David Condon will serve as NOVA’s project leader, overseeing the development, production, and rollout of the Lab. The world-renowned behavioral economist Dr. Dan Ariely and Dr. Jonathan Corbin of Duke University will provide core expertise and guidance on relevant research throughout the development process. The CAH researchers will also be responsible for collecting and analyzing in-game and survey data to evaluate impact.

Low rates of financial literacy in the United States remain a costly problem, handicapping the efforts of people to live their best lives. Rather than address financial knowledge and attitudes of people at a superficial level, this project aims to leverage the principles of behavioral economics by addressing cognitive biases and social factors to attempt to improve financial knowledge, intentions, and habits among young people who play the game.

“The vast majority of parents want their children to be taught personal finance in schools. Sadly, access to information alone does not prevent bad financial decision-making,” Ariely said. “Games provide an environment in which one can safely simulate the negative consequences of poor financial decision-making, learn new strategies for managing money, and build better financial habits.”

The new game will be part of the free, online NOVA Labs platform, which has engaged more than 7 million middle and high school students in scientific investigations and problem-solving since its launch in 2012. “Financial education is an area of high need in the U.S., and NOVA is thrilled to be working with world-class researchers to create a game that can help prepare young people to achieve their goals,” Condon said.

The Center for Advanced Hindsight will serve as a valuable partner in this project. As a world class expertise and practice center in behavioral change, their researchers strive to create impactful, innovative, and scalable solutions to promote human well-being.

“I am thrilled that ICMM has the opportunity to fund this ground breaking project to promote sound financial behaviors for the young people in America. The collaboration between CAH and NOVA represents the intersection of innovative behavioral economic theories and cutting edge learning technology,” said Dr. Diane Chen, the Executive Director of ICMM.