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Economy & Business

Psychology & Context Deeply Influence Employee Choices

Heather McClain

Behind every tough problem lie human behaviors. Understanding why we do the things we do can be a key to solving tough social problems.

It’s a focus of the work done by Ideas 42, which played a significant role in devising Propel Schools’ innovative 2013 savings initiative.

As the executive director of Ideas 42, Josh Wright explores the juxtaposition of human thought and business enterprise. He is in Pittsburgh as part of the Pitt Philanthropy Forum, where he'll speak Thursday.

Wright and his company explore the psychological motivations hiding behind employee choices that can affect companies and their policies.

“We dissect how people are making decisions or operating in those programs or policies. We both look at and understand psychology at a deep level, but also look at the context of how people operate. The context matters a great deal. There’s many things that are not apparent to us immediately in how we’re operating in the context that have an impact on how people make decisions.”