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Warwick Business School

Warwick’s Behavioural Science Group is thought to be the largest research centre of its type in Europe. It is the brain child of Professor Nick Chater who was also an adviser to the Coalition Government’s Behavioural Insights Team, known as the Nudge Unit.

Since 2013 – and very much in response to the failure of financial models during the 2007 crisis - Warwick Business School has been pioneering a behavioural science MBA. This course is different from traditional MBAs as it looks at the way people actually make decisions rather than making assumptions about how people and markets will behave. It looks at the core and often unconscious habits and biases that influence people’s behaviour.

Dean Emeritus Mark Taylor, who led Warwick Business School between 2010 and 2016, has been the driver behind the change in approach, and he has drawn heavily on his experience of running a pension fund management team at Blackrock. You can watch him at The Behavioural Finance Forum  contribute to a panel on culture change in financial services alongside veteran City editor and FT columnist Neil Collins, and head-hunter Martin Armstrong of Armstrong International below.

Warwick’s Behavioural Science MBA is not just about financial markets. Professor Nick Chater has been applying psychology to schemes to persuade people to donate their organs for medical use, and to return personal tax forms on time.

Much of his approach has been mirrored by foreign governments. In Ontario Canada organ donor registration was improved by 143% on a pilot project (run jointly by Rotman’s Behavioral Economics in Action Research Cluster and the Ministry of Government  Services’ Behavioural Insights Unit). The poorer than national average rate of donation was improved by a selection of practical tactics including providing different versions of the organ donor form, changing the timing of when the forms were handed out, and offering additional information to help with decision making.


We have also hosted Warwick Business School’s Daniel Read and Suzy Moat to discussion panels on the “Interest Only Mortgage Time Bomb” and “Big Data and Banking”. Daniel contributed alongside broadcaster Paul Lewis and senior directors from Lloyds Banking Group and LV= to dealing with extreme avoidance behaviours.  Co-director of the Data Science Lab, Suzy Moat, debated with EY’s Rob Toguri the opportunity for fintech to use big data from Google and Flickr to analyse behaviour for the benefit of both banks and their customers.

You can view Daniel and Suzy below.

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