The answers to these questions – and so many other perplexities of human behaviour – are the domain of behavioural science.
“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.”
Can behavioural science stop climate change?
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.
Adrian Gore writes that he has a deep belief in the potential of our country and it is clear to him that this is not a time for pessimism, despair and inaction. He argues that, on the contrary, we are in desperate need of optimism, hope and action.
Behavioural science involves understanding humans. However, it fails if it develops a limited understanding of humanity – 17% of whom who live in Africa. Africa’s voice must therefore be included in behavioural science research. Collaborations with African researchers should be grounded in respect. Public policy has been experiencing a behavioural renaissance. Policy-makers in august bodies such as the World Bank and the United Nations are beginning to recognise that one must understand human behaviour and the context that shapes it to understand how people will react to a policy intervention.
Which politics does ChatGPT stand for? A study shows that AI is on the left side of the political spectrum. The release of OpenAI’s ChatGPT has catapulted the technology of large language models into the public eye. It is already leading to changes in society, for example in the education system: schools and universities are trying to deal with the possibilities of such systems – or ban them.
Insights from South African farmers: This research lays the groundwork for implementing a behavioural strategy that could reduce the estimated 34,4% of food that is wasted in South Africa. It would also help the country to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for 2030, especially SDG 12.3, which states: 'By 2030, halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains, including post-harvest losses.'