Newcastle University Business School

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Professor Darren Duxbury provides further advice for Aviva’s Save Smarter campaign

In April we shared with you some work Professor Darren Duxbury had undertaken for the Aviva Save Smarter campaign. The campaign aims to help people to get their money working harder by providing a series of helpful articles and guides.

Duxbury, an expert in the areas of experimental and behavioural finance, and founder and Research Group Head of Behavioural Research in Finance (BRiF), has since engaged with Aviva on a further three articles. The articles all put a focus on Generation O, the 16-34 year olds that have “come of age during a time of technological change, globalisation and economic disruption.”1

The articles cover a range of topics from Gen O’s uncertain path to retirement to whether social pressure is burning a hole in Gen O’s pockets and how Gen O is known as the ‘Ostrich Generation’ with their heads in the sand when it comes to spending and savings habits.

In particular, Professor Duxbury’s work has been directly cited in the article that discusses the ‘Ostrich Generation.’

Speaking on the Ostrich Generation Duxbury explains that “when it comes to saving, short-sightedness and apathy can cause Gen O to direct insufficient attention and resources to the issue.”

He also comments on why the ostrich effect is occurring, explaining that this may be because “older individuals have been shown to suffer less from negative emotions and to exert greater emotional control than younger individuals. We know that emotions influence financial decisions.”2 Therefore it is easier to not think about finances or savings in order to ignore these negative feelings. Duxbury adds that “by choosing to ignore their finances, perhaps Gen O hope to avoid responsibility, and associated feelings of regret, if things go wrong.

Read more about the Save Smarter campaign.

1 Millenials: Coming of Age

2 Summers, B., & Duxbury, D. (2012). Decision-dependent emotions and behavioral anomalies. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 118(2), 226-238

Professor Darren Duxbury

published on: 28 June 2016