Behavioral Science and UX Recommendations

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Research from the social and behavioral sciences suggests that careful design, including but not limited to user prompts, may help improve the accuracy of the information the household reports. Think of what income tax software did for the tax return form - sometimes a personal touch can go a long way. We look forward to the insights and research knowledge that your team can bring to the table. Here are just a few ideas to illustrate the kind of behavioral elements you may want to consider.

Edit checks - Being prompted to confirm accuracy of aggregated responses could help mitigate unintentional errors.

Looping code - Breaking down complex questions, such as adult income, into smaller parts using a looping scheme, could help mitigate unintentional errors.

Certifying upfront - Research has shown that confirmation/signature prompts attesting accurate reporting at the beginning of a form are a promising approach to reducing financial self-reporting errors.

Personal touches & prefatory statements - Adding a personal touch, such as a name, or using an introductory statement could provide a level of comfort or familiarity with the questions and/or language being used.

Promote positive expectations & provide reassurance that applying carries no risk - Reminding respondents of the benefit of completing the application, and communicating that there is no risk in doing so, could help increase access and participation.

Illustrative statements - Standardizing a status or condition can decrease "social desirability bias" and increase the likelihood of accurate self-reporting. (For example: "Many families have grandparents, extended family, or even friends that all live in the same household. Did you include everyone currently living with you in your application?")