Whether it is trying to increase the welfare of citizens through public policy, or adapting organizational culture to a new business environment, changing behavior is one of the biggest challenges faced by managers and policymakers. Theoretically, harnessing the power of social influence is a highly cost-effective and relatively simple mechanism for achieving widespread behavioral change. In practice, however, the ability to use targeted interventions in this way to trigger broader behavioral change is far more complex than is often assumed.
Advice and information provided by stock analysts, such as target prices and recommendations, have a powerful influence on investor decisions. However, new research shows that the way the human mind processes numbers means that analyst forecasts are frequently inaccurate when compared with eventual outcomes.