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Nudge yourself better: how to become your own Choice Architect

This is an invited guest blog from Roger Tyers. Roger is completing a PhD on behavioural insights and climate change mitigation at the University of Southampton. He shares our interest in behavioural empowerment. ———————————- My PhD research is about changing people’s behaviour – how to make people lead better, greener, more sustainable lives. A key […]

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Homo Economicus to Homer Simpson

Simpsonian Subjectivities One of my enduring memories of reading Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein’s highly influential book Nudge (2008) was its reflections on an unlikely subject of academic literature: Homer Simpson. Thaler and Sunstein cleverly deploy Homer Simpson as a counter point to the hyper-rational figure of homo economicus. Homo economicus has, of course, provided an […]

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Neuroliberalism and Redefining Freedom

In this post we continue our discussion of the psychological state by considering the implications of emerging forms of psychological governance for our understanding of freedom. Psychological expressions of power (whether between counsellor and patient, or government and the people) have always had implications for established notions of freedom. In a therapeutic context, psychology has […]

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John Drummond – The Interview

As part of our ongoing research into emerging forms of behaviour change policy we spoke to the Chairman of Corporate Culture John Drummond. John is the founder of the Social Marketing Academy and Social Marketing Network. He has expertise in behaviour change, social change, branding and market-led CSR. John began life as a journalist before working […]

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Emotional Governance: Therapeutic or Submerged?

As part of our ongoing series of posts for Psychology Today exploring the contours of the psychological state, we are using this short reflection to consider the relationship between the psychological state and emotional governance. In our previous post (introducing the psychological state) we argued that a renewed concern with the emotional dimensions of human […]

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Behaviour Change and the Intolerant Society

I have recently been reading the sociologist Frank Furedi’s 2011 book On Tolerance: A Defence of Moral Independence (Continuum). In this book, Furedi argues for a critical re-engagement with, and re-invigoration of, the notion of tolerance. According to Furedi, today tolerance tends to be treated in one of two main ways. First of all it […]

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Behaviour Change and the Power of Patronage

By Rhys Jones The mechanics whereby notions of Behaviour Change assume discursive significance within any given jurisdiction are opaque at best. How does a set of ideas become accepted by politicians, civil servants, lobbyists and the general public as an explanation that ‘makes sense’ or is ‘useful’? Any number of ideas circulate within academic, political […]

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Behaviour Change in New South Wales

By Rhys Jones As part of my short visit from Aberystwyth to chart the emergence of Behaviour Change initiatives in Australia, I spoke with representatives of the new Behavioural Insights Unit set up in New South Wales. I heard a fascinating story about the role played by the Unit in promoting notions of Behaviour Change […]

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Timing Behaviour Change

By Rhys Jones It strikes me that there is some academic effort being put into understanding the history or, alternatively, the timing of Behaviour Change. An effort has been made to trace the beginnings of behavioural economics during the 1950s and 1960s, in many ways the academic underpinning of Behaviour Change theory. Similarly, the growing […]

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Policy transfer and the Australian experience of Behaviour Change

By Rhys Jones Sitting in a hotel lobby in Sydney after an inordinately early breakfast – blame the jetlag – I’m starting to get to grips with the Australian experience of Behaviour Change interventions. The Australian Public Services Commission’s 2007 document, Changing Behaviour: A Public Policy Perspective, makes clear the potential role that Behaviour Change […]

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