The Behavioural Insights Team welcomes the recent letter from the House of Lords Select Committee, following up its 2011 report on Behaviour Change. We would like to highlight Lord Selbourne’s opening statement on BIT:
Entry by David Halpern, CEO of BIT and the UK's National Adviser on What Works
In the build up to the World Cup, a host of experts in different fields are offering their views on the best way to succeed in a penalty shoot-out. Here, we review the evidence which we hope will help Steven Gerrard’s team to progress in the tournament.
Behavioural approaches are really about “restoring common sense to economics”. These were the provocative words of Richard Thaler – Professor Behavioral Science and Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and co-author of Nudge – while speaking via video link at BX2014, the world’s first public policy behavioural insights conference, which concluded in Sydney on 3 June.
Every now and again an article appears in the UK press that we think needs a bit of clarification. One such article appeared in the Observer over the weekend: link.
As part of a new partnership with the World Bank, we launched our first trial in Latin America this week.
Working closely with the Guatemalan tax authority - Superintendencia Administracion Tributaria (SAT) - our Head of International Development, Simon Ruda, and Assistant Advisor Stewart Kettle spent time in Guatemala setting up a suite of trials, testing a range of interventions to increase tax compliance and increase honesty in tax declarations.
We will be able to share the first results later this year.
The Behavioural Insights Team project on legacy giving, reported in our report “Applying Behavioural Insights to Charitable Giving”, has won a Third Sector Business Charity Award for Charity Partnerships. As part of our collaboration with Remember a Charity, Co-Operative Legal Services and the University of Bristol, customers of CLS were asked one of two randomly chosen messages – a weak ask, in which the will-writer asked “would you like to leave a gift to charity
In June 2014 our CEO, Dr David Halpern, will be heading to Sydney to speak at Behavioural Exchange 2014, the world’s first public policy behavioural insights conference.
Since November 2012, Dr Rory Gallagher - our Managing Advisor & Director of International Programmes - has been based in Sydney, working with the New South Wales Department of Premier and Cabinet to embed the use of behavioural insights across the public sector and establish their own Behavioural Insights Unit (the first of its kind in Australia).
The Behavioural Insights Team has published a new framework for applying behavioural insights to policy. It’s called EAST: four simple ways to apply behavioural insights.
EAST is an acronym which stands for ‘Easy’, ‘Attractive’, ‘Social’ and ‘Timely’. EAST draws on decades of academic literature and the experiences of the team in applying insights from the behavioural sciences to public policy.
Last week, we ran a small randomised trial at one of our presentations, which we delivered to a small group of civil servants. Included in the presentation were a series of games to demonstrate some well documented behavioural science effects.
The first of these games was a straightforward demonstration of “anchoring”. The 20 participants were asked to guess the number of police officers in France. The closest guess won a prize of £10 in cash (ponied up by a senior member of staff). Half of the participants randomly received the following piece of information: