The answers to these questions – and so many other perplexities of human behaviour – are the domain of behavioural science.
“A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.”
– Herbert A. Simon
The adoption of behavioural science by Biden is a good sign
This Mail & Guardian webinar was sponsored by The Behaviour Change Agency. Speakers included Antoine Ferrere, Global Head of Behavioural Science at Novartis, Switzerland; Matthew Battersby, Chief Behavioural Scientist at Reinsurance Group of America, United Kingdom; Aimee Wesso, Advanced Strategic Specialist at Afrocentric Group; Pat Govender, Founder and Managing Director of The Behaviour Change Agency and Dr Anam Nyembezi, Behavioural Medicine Specialist and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health, University of the Western Cape.
Researchers from The University of Western Australia say global consumption and people’s interconnectedness have created conditions for pandemics to thrive. The scientists have released a report with recommendations for policy makers to help decrease future risks.
As we've seen recently, changing people’s behaviour is really difficult - even change to protect your health and those around you. At the start of 2020, could you have imagined that something as simple as going to the gym or meeting up for a coffee suddenly can’t happen because of an invisible threat to your health? Without everyone understanding why we need to stay apart and feeling motivated to protect others, trying to change people’s routines would have been next to impossible.
As the COVID-19 pandemic lashes countries in a second (and in some cases, third) wave of infections, patience and solidarity are giving way to frustration and blame. Officials in the United States and Germany say the latest upsurge in infections in their countries is a consequence of a selfish minority that is ignoring basic social distancing rules, while Berlin’s tourism authority has launched a colorful campaign—complete with an old lady and an offensive finger—chastising visitors who refuse to wear masks.
March, as the pandemic spread its roots worldwide and public health experts began touting the benefits of social distancing, Stefan Pfattheicher, PhD, an associate professor in the department of psychology and behavioral sciences at Aarhus University in Denmark, wondered how the public could be motivated to adhere to such safety precautions.