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Research finds easier way to reduce socioeconomic disparities

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Washington [US], March 21 (ANI): Researchers during a recent study from Columbia University and Temple University examined how choice architecture can reduce socioeconomic disparities.
The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Marketing, is titled “Do Nudges Reduce Disparities? Choice Architecture Compensates for Low Consumer Knowledge” and is authored by Kellen Mrkva, Nathaniel Posner, Crystal Reeck, and Eric Johnson.
As Mrkva explains, “Our research demonstrates that people with low socioeconomic status (SES), low numerical ability, and low knowledge are most impacted by nudges. As a result, ‘good nudges,’ designed to encourage the selection of options that are in people’s best interests, reduce SES disparities, helping low-SES people more than high-SES people.”
On the other hand, nudges that encourage the selection of inferior options exacerbate disparities relative to “good nudges” because low-SES consumers are more likely to retain inferior default options. In other words, nudges are a double-edged sword that can either reduce disparities or make matters worse because they impact low-SES people most. The research team generalized its findings across three different types of nudges, several different consumer decision contexts, and real retirement decisions.
This research has major implications, including for the COVID vaccination process. Across the country, millions of people are now eligible to get a COVID vaccine. However, the signup process is often unnecessarily complex. New York’s nycHealthy sign-up portal, for example, includes as many as 51 questions and requests that you upload your insurance card. As a result, many people, especially the elderly, poor, and less digitally literate, have struggled or failed to make an appointment. As Johnson explains, “Our research suggests that making beneficial behaviors like vaccination simpler has a crucial and underappreciated advantage–it reduces socioeconomic disparities. On the other hand, when these behaviors are unnecessarily complex, it is typically low-SES consumers who are harmed the most.”
In five experiments as well as data from real retirement decisions, the researchers show that people who are lower in SES, domain knowledge, and numeracy are impacted more by a variety of nudges. As a result, “good nudges” that facilitate the selection of welfare-enhancing options reduce disparities by helping low-SES, low-knowledge, and low-numeracy consumers most.
In Study 1, participants made five consumer financial decisions. For each decision, they were randomly assigned to a “no default,” “good default,” or “bad default” condition (the latter two pre-selected correct or incorrect options, respectively). After they made these five decisions, participants completed common measures of the three hypothesized moderators–financial literacy, numeracy, and socioeconomic status. As predicted, there was a large default effect. There were also interactions between the default condition and the three moderators; participants lower in these moderators were more impacted by defaults. These effects remained significant when adding survey engagement, comprehension, need for cognition, agreeableness, decision time, and their interactions with conditions to the model as covariates.
Study 2 examines whether these effects generalized across three different types of nudges and three decision contexts. It replicated the SES and financial literacy effects of Study 1 across all nudges and contexts. Unlike Study 1 and all subsequent studies, the nudge x numeracy interaction was not significant. The key effects remained significant when controlling for a measure of fluid intelligence.
Study 3 uses syndicated data from stratified random samples of American households about their retirement investment decisions to examine a sample of people who work for companies that use defaults to automatically enroll employees into retirement contributions. Respondents reported whether they retained or opted out of the default contribution amount and default investment allocation. Evidence supports that lower-SES and less financially literate people are more impacted by nudges and thus less likely to opt-out of these retirement defaults: Lower-SES participants were less likely to opt-out as were participants with lower financial literacy.
Study 4 replicated these effects in the context of COVID-19 health decisions (e.g., deciding whether to wear a mask). Additionally, domain-specific health knowledge moderated default effects whereas other-domain knowledge did not. Studies 5-6 replicated the predicted moderators from Study 1 with incentives. Mediation models suggest that people with lower SES, domain knowledge and numeracy were more impacted by nudges partly because they experience higher uncertainty and decision anxiety when making decisions.
Across the six studies, nudges influenced choice disparities across people. Posner summarizes the study by saying “Our results suggest that nudges that make behaviors such as retail purchases, vaccine sign-up, and retirement contributions more automatic can reduce socioeconomic inequities.”(ANI)

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I HAVE A SMALL BUT IMPACTFUL ROLE IN ‘BELL BOTTOM’: VAANI KAPOOR

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Mumbai : Vaani Kapoor, who was last seen in the 2019 hit film ‘War’, is thrilled that she got the opportunity to work opposite Akshay Kumar in ‘Bell Bottom’, a movie in which she has a small but impactful role. Vaani, who made her Bollywood debut with the 2013 romantic-comedy ‘Shuddh Desi Romance’, said the decision to do ‘Bell Bottom’ was instant because she got a chance to share the screen with her matinee idol. Vaani said, “I’m fortunate to have got the opportunity to work with one of the icons of Hindi cinema today, Akshay Kumar sir. I’m deeply thankful for his trust and faith. I have a small but impactful role in BellBottom which I’m hoping will be loved by audiences and critics alike.” She added, “I’m just thrilled that my journey in cinema so far has enabled me to be a part of the film and fact that I could share screen space with Akshay sir, who is larger than life and such a great person, the decision was a no-brainer.”

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SONU SOOD JOINS SPECIAL OLYMPICS BHARAT AS BRAND AMBASSADOR

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MUMBAI : Indian actor and philanthropist Sonu Sood has always been a step forward to aid those in need, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic. The ‘Dabangg’ star has added another feather to his cap by becoming the brand ambassador of India at the Special Olympics to be held in Russia.

Sonu announced the news on his Instagram account with a picture of him wearing the jersey and posing with the Special Olympics Red Ball. He wrote, “Feeling proud today as I’m chosen to be the Brand Ambassador for India at the #SpecialOlympics to be held in Russia! I’m sure our champions will make us proud and I wish them all the best! Jai Hind.”

The virtual event of the inaugural session was viewed by over 500 athletes, coaches, families, officials and volunteers.

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VICKY KAUSHAL GIVES A GLIMPSE OF HIS INTENSE WORKOUT ROUTINE

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MUMBAI: Struggling to motivate yourself to workout? Don’t worry. Actor Vicky Kaushal’s latest Instagram post will definitely inspire you to burn some calories.

On Monday, Vicky took to the photo-sharing application and posted a picture of him lifting weights. His facial expressions while working out clearly indicates that he is giving it his all to achieve a perfect body.

“Wip (Work in progress),” he captioned the post. Vicky’s picture left netizens stunned. “Beast. Beast. Beast,” a user commented. “Oh my god…real transformation in making,” another user wrote.

Reportedly, Vicky is undergoing intense fitness training for his role in ‘The Immortal Ashwatthama’, which is being helmed by Aditya Dhar. Vicky will also be seen in ‘Sardar Uddham Singh’, ‘Takht’, and ‘Sam Bahadur’.

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ANUSHKA SHARMA ACES STREET STYLE FASHION IN UK

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LONDON : Anushka Sharma is known for acing her sartorial looks be it a red carpet gown or a simple airport look and on Sunday the actor gave more proof of it during a casual stroll in the streets of Nottingham in the UK.

Anushka is currently in the UK with her husband Virat Kohli and their 6-month-old daughter Vamika as India tours England for a cricket series. The actor took to her Instagram handle and shared a series of solo pictures that sees her strolling the streets of Nottingham.

The first snap catches her million-dollar smile as breeze runs through her hair; the second and third picture shows her taking a stroll as she enjoys the English weather. While the pictures are proof that the ‘Patal Lok producer is spending a Happy Sunday in England, what not to miss is the street style fashion that she has totally graced. Anushka is seen sporting a casual black tee with wide-leg ripped jeans, paired with white sneakers. Keeping her luscious locks open in air, the actor looks classy and street-style chic. 

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SAAHIL BHARGAVA’S KOHIMA NOMINATED AT LA SHORTS FILM FEST

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CHENNAI: Los Angeles based Mumbai boy Saahil Bhargava’s music video Kohima has been nominated at the prestigious LA Shorts International Film Festival in two key categories- animation and music video. An elated Saahil Bhargava talks about his song Kohima.

What is the thought behind Kohima? Kohima is about a soldier’s experience at war. It is inspired by the Battle of Kohima, a WW2 conflict that took place in Northeastern Indian in 1944. Rather than focus on the entire war, it focuses on one individual soldier’s emotions. His panic, his desperation and sheer desire to survive and go home. I chose this concept because I wanted to explore the experience of an individual soldier, and I found that the Battle of Kohima was this horrific brutal battle that is not talked about enough even though it is a crucial battle both in Indian history and WW2 history.

When did you start your journey as a musician ? I started singing as a little kid, and eventually started to play classical/jazz piano, rock/metal guitar, bass guitar and the alto sax. I kept studying music and eventually found myself studying musical theater after college. That is what made it all click for me, as my music being stories allows me to combine all my skills as a singer, songwriter, composer, writer and actor.

You have directed and sung Kohima. How did you manage both roles ? I worked on the music first. Starting with lyrics and then eventually doing the music. The trickiest part in the music process was getting the vocals right, as I really had to get into the head of the character, in this case the soldier, and convey his emotions through that lens. Once the song was recorded, I worked with Keshav Dhar (of Skyharbor) on the mixing/mastering elements. After the entire song was completed, I then was able to work with Harmeet Rahal with support from Big Bang Music. Harmeet and I worked together on getting the right visual style for the song, with him driving the design and visuals, while I focused more on the character/story elements. Given my background working in Animation with Rainshine Entertainment, it’s not my first time doing an animation project, but Kohima was special because it was a music video with a very clear focus. We wanted to get the main character’s emotions across, and as a result the video does highlight his face and the dread he is feeling. 

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SRK SENDS BEST WISHES TO INDIAN WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM

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MUMBAI : After the Indian women’s hockey team made history by defeating Australia to book their place in the semi-final for the first time in the Olympics, superstar Shah Rukh Khan took to his Twitter to congratulate the girls in his unique way.

SRK played an important role in popularising hockey in the country years ago when he played the iconic role of a hockey coach, Kabir Khan in the hit movie ‘Chak De! India’.

Shah Rukh addressed himself as Kabir Khan while giving his best wishes to the Indian women’s hockey team. “… Just bring some Gold on your way back….for a billion family members. This time Dhanteras is also on 2nd Nov. From: Ex-coach Kabir Khan,” SRK wrote.

Responding to SRK’s post on Twitter, Marjine thanked the former for his support. “Thank you for all the support and love. We will give everything again. From: The Real Coach,” Marjine tweeted. Actors who played the role of hockey players in ‘Chak De! India’ also congratulated the real-life Indian women’s hockey team on their win. Actor Vidya Malavade, who essayed the role of the team captain, took to Instagram and shared a picture of the reel vs real team. “My phone hasn’t stopped ringing since morning and I was just a part of the reel ..This .. These women are the real deal ..such pride .. such grit .. so much power.. Team INDIA Onwards and Upwards ladies ..#JAIHIND Here’s wishing Rani and her team all the very very best .. Go conquer girls.” she wrote.

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