Disaster preparedness: Will a “norm nudge” sink or swim?

In a world increasingly vulnerable to climate change-induced flooding, this blog delves into an intriguing study exploring how social norms may be harnessed to improve flood preparedness among homeowners. While the study’s outcomes may challenge our initial assumptions, they underline the importance of methodical testing within the realm of behavioral science. Additionally, we take a moment to honor Howard Kunreuther’s enduring dedication to disaster resilience and his lasting influence on the field. Through this examination, we delve into the world of social norms, behavioral nudges, and the unending pursuit of safer and more resilient  … More Disaster preparedness: Will a “norm nudge” sink or swim?

Steering for Health

A wealth of insights are now available from behavioural science to guide health policy. In this blog the authors of a new book on “steering for health” draw on these to guide readers through the options now available to incentive health-related behaviours in real-world contexts. In doing so they bring together literature from health economics and many other disciplines with global evidence and case studies. Written during the pandemic the book also draws on this unprecedented experience and the extensive use of behavioural public policy in tackling the challenge of Covid-19. … More Steering for Health

Scaling up flying less

This blog post discusses strategic debates within the academic flying less movement: a loosely coordinated group of scholars that aim to reduce the role of aviation in the research sector. This movement draws our attention to a range of critiques about scale and efficacy when it comes to forwarding new, climate-informed behavioral norms. In this case, the debate often begins and ends with a discussion of the role of individuals taking spirited, and somewhat symbolic, stands against air travel. However, the scalar thinking of the movement proves to be more complicated than this critique of individual action presumes. We discuss how individual and collective actions relate to environmental politics and policy, and encourage an all-of-the-above approach to climate action. … More Scaling up flying less

Memory Bias and Social Networks

Social networks matter to careers and other life chances. Presenting at conferences is an opportunity for new network benefits. What if some presenters, however, are simply remembered less, not because of what they present, but because of their gender or race? Is there systematic bias in memory? In. this blog Michèle Belot and Marina Schröder report on two experiments on memory bias … More Memory Bias and Social Networks

Did you miss the gorilla? Choice architecture is not the solution to inequality

Nudges to make tax credit claims easier as an anti-poverty tactic just shift attention from the gorilla. The promotion of policies based on tweaking choice architecture risks becoming a new ‘trickle down’ mantra, for the sake of very marginal gains. Tania Burchardt responds to the article in the October 2022 issue of the journal by Kendra Tully “Odd bedfellows: How choice architecture can enhance autonomy and mitigate inequality” … More Did you miss the gorilla? Choice architecture is not the solution to inequality

A Science for Implementing Behavioural Science

Without deliberate investigation of the methods required to systematically improve the take-up of evidence in real-world settings, at scale, grounded in an understanding of scalability, the impact of behavioural public policy to shift behaviours where it truly matters is severely curtailed.

An implementation science for behavioural public policy is crucial if, as researchers, we want to effect real change. … More A Science for Implementing Behavioural Science

Meta-Nudging: Putting collective momentum into behaviour change

What happens when a behavioural nudge is removed? How can the momentum be maintained? Is it a “one and done” situation or will behaviour revert? Eugen Dimant, and Shaul Shalvi argue for “meta-nudging” – tapping into influencers in existing social contexts to delegate the policing of new norms. In situations where dishonesty can be individually beneficial but collectively harmful then nudging influencers could play an important part in successful change. The meta-nudge could be a useful complement to “classic” nudge … More Meta-Nudging: Putting collective momentum into behaviour change