The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project demonstrated the value of applying insights from behavioral science to improve the efficacy of human services programs. This infographic captures key elements of the project, highlights the behavioral techniques most commonly used in BIAS, and summarizes results across the BIAS experiments.
The project was the first major effort to use a behavioral economics lens to examine human services programs for poor and vulnerable families in the United States. BIAS worked with agencies in a dozen states to explore behavioral interventions, conducting 15 randomized controlled trials in 7 states with child support, child care, and work support programs. In 11 of the 15 randomized controlled trials, behavioral “nudges” like reminders or simplified, personalized letters had a statistically significant impact on at least one primary outcome of interest. While effects were usually modest, they are meaningful due to their scalability and low cost.