What is Behaviour Change?

Why is falling for fake news so easy despite all the warnings? Why do we carry high-interest debt even when we have the means to pay it off? Why are there so many browser tabs open on your screen right now even though digital clutter is so stressful?

The answers to these questions – and so many other perplexities of human behaviour – are the domain of behavioural science.

Once upon a time, we believed human beings were logical creatures, capable of making good decisions and acting in our own best interests.
Today, we know better.
Thanks to breakthroughs in behavioural research, we’ve been able to peer at the inner workings of our decision-making processes – and instead of logic and reason, we’ve found a tangle of biases and cognitive pitfalls that lead to irrational and even harmful behaviours.
The good news? We have effective tools at our disposal to steer those behaviours in a more desirable direction.
At BCA, we mine insights from behavioural research to illuminate what really motivates human actions.
Then, we add rigorous data analysis and a range of creative strategies to develop behavioural and communication solutions that improve decision-making and create better outcomes for customers, employees and citizens.
"To understand why we do what we do, neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky looks at extreme context, examining actions on timescales from seconds to millions of years before they occurred. In this fascinating talk, he shares his cutting-edge research into the biology that drives our worst and best behaviours."
The biology of behaviour
Understanding something as wildly complex as human behaviour is impossible without considering our biology. The work of Stanford neurobiologist Robert Sapolsky has done a lot to illuminate the neurological and biological factors that influence how we act and make decisions. As we learn more about these interconnections, our insights can be used for positive behaviour change. In Sapolsky's words, “We’re learning more and more about the biological underpinnings of our behaviour, and that can help us produce better outcomes.”
Self-control bias
Lack of self-discipline in the short term means we fail to act in pursuit of our long-term goals.

“January is always a good month for behavioural economics: Few things illustrate self-control as vividly as New Year’s resolutions. February is even better, though, because it lets us study why so many of those resolutions are broken.”

Sendhil Mullainathan

Download the 2019 BCA Calendar

Using self-nudging to make better choices

Despite our better knowledge, we often make choices that aren't good for us - and feel bad about it later. But it's possible to strengthen our self-control by making simple changes to our environment. Researchers from the University of Helsinki and the Max Planck Institute for Human Development describe how that can be achieved in a new article published in Behavioural Public Policy.
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