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.”
Realistic Reasons to be Bullish on Nudging
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.
We sought to clarify the impact of adolescent alcohol misuse on adult physical health and subjective well-being. To do so, we investigated both the direct associations between adolescent alcohol misuse and early midlife physical health and life satisfaction and the indirect effects on these outcomes attributable to subsequent alcohol problems.
A groundbreaking new study, made known by Medical News Today, has put forth research-led evidence that shows those who suffer racial discrimination face neurological changes in the brain that could negatively impact their overall health. Knowing that racism can have serious physical, emotional and psychological repercussions, researchers from Emory University in Atlanta wanted to study how such discrimination has affected the biological microstructures of black women’s brains. Though this research aims to prove something new, the deep and wide impact of racism has been well-documented.
Better data and new statistical techniques could enable researchers to measure the form of inequality that seems most harmful to society — inequality of opportunity. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, with job losses affecting 17% of all UK workers by early April 2020, women in the United Kingdom were 4.8 percentage points more likely than men to have lost their jobs. In South Africa in 2017, the average income for a household of white people (adjusted for size and composition of households) was 5.6 times that for a household of African people (‘African’ is a recognized racial classification in South Africa).
A new long-term psychological study of drivers has found an association between driving convictions, accidents and everyday behaviour such as eating junk food or alcohol consumption. The researchers have also uncovered evidence that this relationship is associated with genetic variation in serotonin metabolism – the same neurotransmitter targeted by many antidepressants. This suggests that risky behaviour in driving and in life may have a common psychological basis.