September 8, 2021Self-knowledge seekers find truth in 'MindWorks' exhibit

With young people seeking to understand themselves – be it through self-help books or self-work – interest in behavioral science and psychology is increasing. Tapping this is The University of Chicago and Pentagram which have launched the world’s first behavioral science exhibition.


The first-of-its-kind exhibition, titled ‘The Mindworks: The Science of Thinking’, was created by design studio Pentagram and is made to be tactical to encourage visitor participation. The exhibition is a ‘working lab’ operated by the Center for Decision Research at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Featuring eight exhibits – including a regrets wall where visitors are invited to anonymously write two things they regret: something they did, and something they didn’t do – the aim is to explore patterns of thinking and shared humanity. “The space is a one-of-a-kind experience where people can learn more about how their minds work, and at the same time, contribute to groundbreaking science as participants,” reads the website.

Against the backdrop of rising levels of anxiety and depression, and with social reckoning pushing for betterment, people want to understand why they think, feel, and act the way they do on a deeper level – especially younger generations. Indeed, while the self-improvement market is projected to be worth $13.2 billion by 2022, 62% of people surveyed by OnePoll believe everyone can become a better person. The same study also finds that only 43% of people think they’re doing everything they can to achieve that. By highlighting a value-action gap, brands can promote introspective habits and tap interests in behavioral science – whether that’s through shadow work on TikTok or using psychological nudges and gamification to help with depression.

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