Behavioral economics is an approach to understanding consumer behavior by integrating behavioral science with economic principles. Behavioral economics incorporates traditional economic principles with operant learning approaches. There is limited research examining how individuals consume psychological and behavioral treatments. This is especially the case for treatments designed for children. The current study used data from a previously collected sample to explore gender differences in an experimental treatment marketplace (ETM). Experimental treatment marketplaces are generally used to evaluate choices between goods and services (e.g., types of behavior interventions). An ETM was developed to evaluate treatment consumption when levels of evidence differed between prospects. Results indicated that parents substituted an evidence-based treatment with an alternative treatment when associated costs and effort increased, regardless of evidence of the alternative treatment. Further analyses revealed that the rate of substitution did not differ significantly between mothers and fathers. These findings are discussed and reviewed in the context of advocating for treatments with documented efficacy.
Darragh, D. J. (2021). Caregiver Treatment Consumption in an Experimental Treatment Marketplace. Retrieved from https://repository.lsu.edu/psychology_pubs/7