Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Maloney, M. and McCarthy, A.
10th Annual Economic and Psychology Conference
Evaluating the framing effects of written pension communications: case study evidence
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields
Simon (2008) stated that, “The term ‘bounded rationality’ is used to designate rational choice that takes into account the cognitive limitations of the decision-maker—limitations of both knowledge and computational capacity” (p. 893). Pension decisions, particularly for DC occupational pension schemes, are likely to challenge the cognitive limitations of members and potential members. However, little research has been found to date that examine pension communication in relation to it impact in individual pension decisions. Maloney and McCarthy (2017) developed a bounded rationality framework building on the work of Simon and Kahneman and Tversky (Kahneman, 2011, 2003). They identified individualisation, segmentation and targeting as possible communication techniques to frame information to assist employees to make reasoned pension decisions. However, even if these techniques are used, they not be effective in assisting the decision maker if the pension communication itself is very complex. Therefore, we extend this framework, looking specifically at the ‘framing effects’ of communication policies that can have intended and unintended consequences on employee pension decisions. Building on cognitive load theory (Kalyuga, 2011; Sweller, 2016), we identify evidence-based criteria classified as readability, legibility and content, explaining how they can be used to increase or reduce intrinsic and extraneous cognitive load. We use these criteria to evaluate the written pension communications provided to employees over a one-year period in a case study setting.
Publication Themes