Behavioral big data.docx - In the United States alone 38...

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I n the United States alone, 38 million people start their day by eagerly fastening a device to their wrist that is not worn for the purpose of fashion or keeping time. It is a fitness tracker and these little gadgets have swept the nation. Why? Because people love having instant access to their performance, activities and goals. They enjoy tracking their progress throughout the day. They are addicted to the gratifying notifications of success, and the social aspects of competing with friends, family members, and co-workers. The fitness tracker market has achieved tremendous success by providing its consumers with relevant data and motivating incentives. They are successfully inspiring the world to be more active by leveraging principles from both data science and behavioural science. For centuries, traditional economic theory dictated that humans make logical, self-interested decisions, always choosing the most favourable conditions. However, reality often demonstrates otherwise. Every January, how many people do you know say that they want to resolve to save more, spend less, eat better, or exercise more? These admirable goals are often proclaimed with the best of intentions, but, are rarely achieved. If people were purely logical, we would all be the healthiest versions of ourselves. However, the truth is that humans are not 100% rational; we are emotional creatures that are not always predictable. Behavioural economics evolved from this recognition of human irrationality. Behavioural economics is a method of economic analysis that applies psychological insights into human behaviour to explain economic decision-making.
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