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Projects: Projects for Investigator
Reference Number ES/L001055/1
Title 'Behaviour change' past, present and future: interdisciplinary responses to behaviour change in policy and research
Status Completed
Energy Categories Energy Efficiency(Residential and commercial) 5%;
Energy Efficiency(Transport) 5%;
Not Energy Related 80%;
Other Cross-Cutting Technologies or Research(Environmental, social and economic impacts) 10%;
Research Types Applied Research and Development 100%
Science and Technology Fields SOCIAL SCIENCES (Politics and International Studies) 20%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Sociology) 40%;
SOCIAL SCIENCES (Psychology) 40%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Consumer attitudes and behaviour) 100%
Principal Investigator Dr F Spotswood
No email address given
Faculty of Business and Law
University of the West of England
Award Type Standard
Funding Source ESRC
Start Date 04 April 2014
End Date 03 April 2017
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £30,393
Industrial Sectors
Region South West
Programme Grants
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr F Spotswood , Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England (99.990%)
  Other Investigator Professor A Warde , Social Sciences, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Professor SF Michie , Psychology, University College London (0.001%)
Professor CE Griffin , Psychology, University of Bath (0.001%)
Professor A Joinson , Faculty of Business and Law, University of the West of England (0.001%)
Mr C Holmes , UNLISTED, On Target Consulting (0.001%)
Dr L Haynes , Behavioural Insights Team, The Cabinet Office (0.001%)
Professor C Abraham , University of Exeter Medical School, University of Exeter (0.001%)
Professor GJ Hart , Infection and Population Health, University College London (0.001%)
Dr G Rayner , Sch of Social Sciences, City University (0.001%)
Professor M Kelly , UNLISTED, Nat Inst for Care Excellence (NICE) (0.001%)
Web Site
Abstract Government is increasingly concerned with ways to most effectively change people's behaviour. It is important for individual, social and economic health that interventions are implemented to counter the unhealthy and damaging behaviours that have become natural in our obesogenic environment and commercially-driven culture of over-consumption. However, there are various different approaches to behaviour change, including regulation, behavioural economics, mass media, social marketing, industry regulation and community development.Policy makers rely on evidence from research to underpin decisions on the best techniques to achieve behaviour change. Thus, many academics are involved in research to understand what drives damaging behaviours and how best to influence them. Fields such as marketing, psychology, sociology, urban planning, economics, geography and IT have all contributed to the planning and implementation of interventions tackling many of the UK's most problematic behaviours.There have been recent developments in the field of behaviour change which mean that the emphasis is no long on exploring the influences on behaviour from the perspective of a single discipline, but rather on disciplines working together to tackle problem behaviours - interdisciplinarity. This development has occurred because it has been acknowledged that behaviours which have complex, multi-layered and interrelated influences, like smoking or transport, are unlikely to be solved by looking at them from one angle. Thus an interdisciplinary approach to behaviour change has been recommended (for example by The House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee), both in terms of theoretical exploration of behaviours and interventions to change them. NICE also recommends that interdisciplinary interventions are used for the best behaviour change results.However, although recommended, there are problems with interdisciplinarity in behaviour change, which this seminar series aims to help overcome. Firstly, interdisciplinary research is often challenging for academic researchers because few journals welcome interdisciplinary papers, but also because different disciplines often struggle to communicate and work effectively together. Disciplines can often be culturally different. This seminar series will provide a platform for different academic disciplines to come together and explore potential routes towards collaboration by discussing overlapping and divergent conceptual thinking around behaviour change issues.Achieving interdisciplinary research collaboration is vital because it is one of the best way of finding innovative solutions to complex problems, and as such these seminars will also have a very practical focus. The aim of discussions between the invited policy makers or advisors and a varied mix of academics will be to generate ideas for creative interdisciplinary policy solutions to behavioural problems.Another problem is that policy makers and academics do not always communicate effectively with each other, meaning that policy makers may not be able to make use of the latest evidence from research. It is vital that policy makes best use of available research, so the seminar series proposed here also provides an opportunity for policy makers and academics to communicate their ideas in the short term and also to establish and plan a longer term forum for effective communication across the behaviour change field.The overarching aim of the seminar series is therefore to improve the effectiveness of behaviour change practice for the benefit of wider society by providing a foundation for innovative collaboration and effective communication between academics and policy makers. Through debate and discussion, this seminar series will provide opportunity to move beyond existing silos and begin to establish strategies for a transdisciplinary field of behaviour change which can also serve government and research agendas.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 01/05/14