Most people are not expecting to get healthier over the festive period, with Christmas parties, Christmas lunch and New Years’ parties serving to prepare us for an inevitable January of diets and new gym memberships. New research, however, suggests that Christmas may be better for your physical health than you think.
You might remember reading a blog post back in May that announced the launch of our first randomised controlled trials in Latin America, in partnership with the World Bank. We now have results.
The trial tested redesigned reminder letters to Guatemalan taxpayers who had failed to declare their income tax on time. We found that the behaviourally-informed letters outperformed all other conditions, with the most successful variant increasing payment by 43%.
Research supported by the Behavioural Insights Team has demonstrated how prescribing behaviour can be significantly improved by making simple changes to prescription charts used in NHS hospitals.
Below is a guest blog, written by Dom King, a good friend of BIT, co-author of MINDSPACE and the lead researcher on this project. The full paper is available online here
The 2015 World Development Report was launched last week by the President of the World Bank, Jim Yong Kim, and our own CEO, Dr David Halpern (see the video of the launch here). David sent back this blog from Washington:
The subject of the 2015 World Development Report is behavioural insights. Mind, Society and Behaviour is the culmination of nearly two years of work, and is perhaps the most comprehensive, cross national survey on how human behaviour affects development.
The Behavioural Insights Team is recruiting again.
We have job openings at various different levels, including Principal Advisors, Senior Advisors and Advisors.
The Behavioural Insights Team brings people together with different skills sets. So we are looking for candidates who have in-depth experience in one of several relevant fields, who can work as part of a team of people with a range of different skills. The three areas we’re looking for are:
Last week, we completed another BIT Policy School. Based on a concept that our Managing Director, Owain Service, devised with Cabinet Office colleagues when BIT was still part of the government, BIT Policy School isn't a normal training course.
Yesterday saw the publication of a collection of early conclusions from the What Works Network - the family of institutions created to put evidence in the hands of commissioners and professionals.
Our CEO, David Halpern, spent last week at the World Economic Forum. The World Economic Forum now has a Council focused on behaviour, chaired by David and Eldar Shafir (a Princeton professor and co-author of the recent book Scarcity). David sent back this blog post:
On the 21 and 22 October, Harvard’s Behavioural Insights Group hosted a two day conference on “Lessons from the front lines of global policy”. The event, which was funded through the joint BIT/BIG Sloan Foundation grant, featured talks from leading Harvard Academics and practitioners from around the world.
Highlights of the conference included:
Walter Mischel, author of one of the most famous psych experiments of all time – the ‘marshmallow test’ of self-control – and with a wonderful new book summarising his work, dropped into BIT for lunch on Friday.