New Game Takes a Behavioral Science Approach to Financial Education

ICMM grant project to NOVA Lab launched successfully.

Low rates of financial literacy in the United States remain a costly problem, handicapping the efforts of people to live their best lives. To help address the issue, Institute of Consumer Money Management (ICMM) announced today that its funding project, the NOVA Financial Lab, launched on February 15. 

The NOVA Financial Lab is the newest installment of NOVA Labs, a free, online platform from the PBS science series that engages teens and lifelong learners through science-based games and interactives. Watch the trailer here.

A nonprofit organization located in Raleigh, North Carolina, ICMM provides funding for research that informs the design of educational tools to promote positive spending, saving, and earning behaviors among moderate- to low-income consumers. "I am thrilled that ICMM has the opportunity to fund this groundbreaking project to promote sound financial behaviors for the young people in America," says Dr. Diane Chen, the Executive Director of ICMM. "The collaboration between CAH and NOVA represents the intersection of innovative behavioral economic theories and cutting-edge learning technology." 

For its latest Lab, NOVA teamed up with Center for Advanced Hindsight (CAH) at Duke University to create a game designed to help players understand how consumers make financial decisions and how to develop habits to overcome the behavioral biases.  Such biases include "opportunity cost neglect," where they focus only on the spending decision right in front of us, and "mental accounting bias," which can cause consumers to treat money differently depending on where it came from. The NOVA Financial Lab provides a fun, safe place for players to practice managing spending, paying off debts, and investing for the future.

"Financial education is an area of high need in the U.S., and we've been thrilled to work with world-class researchers to create a game that can help prepare young people to achieve their goals," said NOVA Labs Editorial Director David Condon. "Research has shown that games foster experience-based learning by providing a safe place for players to experiment with strategies, learn from failure, and develop better habits."

Hosted by a financial educator, the Lab starts players off with a series of short introductory videos defining financial well-being, exploring financial behavior, and looking at how and why we make certain financial decisions. Players will learn about the science behind our behavior and decision-making when it comes to money, and use that knowledge to develop habits that can actually increase financial wellness.

Each mini-game is designed to help players identify key behavioral biases that tend to crop up when we think about money, practice strategies to overcome these biases, and, hopefully, develop a new set of healthy financial habits along the way.

About ICMM. The Institute of Consumer Money Management (ICMM) is a nonprofit organization located in Raleigh, North Carolina, with the mission of helping individuals build a sustainable financial future for themselves and their families. ICMM conducts and provides funding for research that informs the design of educational tools to promote positive spending, saving and earning behaviors among moderate- to low-income consumers.

To Contact ICMM: dchen@icmmnc.org 

To Contact NOVA Labs: david_condon@wgbh.org

Source: Institute of Consumer Money Management

Share:


Categories: Educational News

Tags: behavioral change, financial education, gamification