Behavioural science is transforming behaviour change campaigns. Many of the ideas first popularised by Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler in Nudge are now helping to increase retirement savings, reduce obesity and boost sustainable transport. And the potential applications are seemingly endless with emerging work in the energy, medical and third sectors.
Central to behavioural insights is a recognition that we all use simplified forms of thinking to make decisions. Rather than a complex evaluation of the pros and cons of different courses of action, we often just follow what our peers do, opt for immediate gratification and take the path of least resistance.
Perhaps most importantly, it’s now recognised that raising awareness of an issue and providing information alone is rarely enough to change the way people behave. In fact, for campaigns attempting to stop bad behaviour, heightened awareness can even be counter-productive and encourage the very behaviour it is intended to stop.
We apply the latest ideas from behavioural science to understand how people think about challenging issues. Armed with this insight, we test the impact of different communications approaches, and roll-out larger scale campaigns. Throughout, we combine communications acumen and academic understanding of behaviour change theories and models.
WINNER: MJ Award for Behaviour Change