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Using Gamification to Overcome Common Behavioral Biases and Increase Financial Well-Being

Nina Bartmann and Rebecca Marie Rayburn-Reeves
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Rebecca Marie Rayburn-Reeves: Duke University

No vkexr, SocArXiv from Center for Open Science

Abstract: Having good financial well-being, which looks different for everyone and depends on what makes you happy, is an essential component of overall well-being, yet many adolescents and young adults don’t feel adequately prepared to make good financial decisions in the real world. Not only are financial literacy levels low, but their effects on everyday financial decisions aren’t adequate to overcome biases that often result in suboptimal in-the-moment financial choices. In light of these issues, the NOVA Financial Lab was designed to provide a safe and feedback-rich environment that allows players to experience making financial decisions in contexts that encourage balancing current and future well-being. This document serves as the report for the research conducted on the NOVA Financial Lab from February 2022 to May 2023. In this report, we summarize two main research lines: 1) research conducted via a survey linked on the main page of the website and 2) within-game data gathered on decisions and learning outcomes across the three mini-games. We find that, for each mini-game, we see benefits of repeat play on performance across games, and that participants are more accurate at responding to the survey questions after playing the games, as compared to before. Learning objectives were supported by data showing increases in optimal performance for each game, and in survey data showing better understanding of behavioral biases and tools to overcome them. Our findings offer support of serious games as effective methods for teaching financial well-being and helping adolescents and emerging adults balance the life choices that provide immediate and long- term financial security, and personal happiness. Though geared toward adolescents, the Financial Lab includes information relevant to anyone making financial decisions, regardless of their age.

Date: 2023-07-27
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-fle and nep-spo
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DOI: 10.31219/

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