“Social norms as incentives to non-automotive travel behaviour” by William Riggs

14

Jul 2016

“Social norms as incentives to non-automotive travel behaviour” by William Riggs

Most methods of travel promotion programs have a market-centered approach to nudging or incentivizing people to use alternative forms of transportation. Predominately these either involve offering financial rewards for transit and carpool systems or implementing taxing costs on private vehicle transport. This paper looks at the importance of social norms and forces such as peer pressure and societal expectations in changing people’s attitudes towards walking, cycling or taking the bus rather than driving themselves around. In recent studies it was noted that people responded more to the idea that they were being socially responsible than that they would get a gift...

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“Big data is people” by Rebecca Lemov

14

Jul 2016

“Big data is people” by Rebecca Lemov

We live in the ‘petabyte era’ defined by the rapid generation of massive amounts of data. It is important to keep in mind that the source of all this new data is in fact us. The so-called ‘big data’ that experts and companies use on a daily basis for their ads, research and strategies is generated by our everyday activities, and can be traced back to almost everything that we do. In our modern technological world, those with the ‘know-how’ can track just about every move that we make through our phones, bank cards, our cars, and even the pages...

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“How your firm can think smarter” according to Daniel Kahneman

14

Jul 2016

“How your firm can think smarter” according to Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman, widely regarded as the father of Behavioural Economics, recently spoke at a conference about his troubling realization of the amount of poor thinking in organisations that traditional economic theory views as ‘rational’. If businesses should behave in the optimal manner for profit and growth, why is it that they so often do not make accurate choices to ensure that? There is a gap between the quality of the thought going into decisions and the importance of those decisions that Kahneman explains as the result of overconfidence, limited attention and other cognitive biases and psychological phenomena. In large firms...

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London, Nudgestock & Winning Gold!

06

Jul 2016

London, Nudgestock & Winning Gold!

For the last few years, an annual ritual of mine has been to completely detach from all of the projects and people around me, find the place with the fastest internet that I know of, and ‘wire in’ to the live stream of one of the most exciting, Behavioural Science conferences out there, Nudgestock. Over the years this ‘festival of behavioural science’ has had speakers explore everything from behavioural finance to evolutionary psychology. It’s one of the only places in the world where we can access, share and debate ideas from the industry’s most brilliant minds like Richard Thaler, Laurie...

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What to do about water?

08

Jun 2016

What to do about water?

As we saw in our first post, we are in the midst of a water crisis. A lack of water affects 4 in 10 people worldwide. 900 children under the age of five die every single day without access to clean, drinkable water. There has been a six-fold increase in water consumption in the last century alone. South Africa estimates a national deficit of 2 044 million cubic metres by 2025, under a decade away. As UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon has said, “Science has spoken… Time is not on our side”. So, what is being done about it today? Water worth its...

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The behaviourial barriers to going green: Mapping the water crisis

30

May 2016

The behaviourial barriers to going green: Mapping the water crisis

What if this was the last drop? Humans are made up of over 70% water. Earth is too. On the ‘blue planet’ it’s hard to comprehend that one fifth of the world lives in water-scarce areas. That ¼ of the world’s population face water shortages due to insufficient infrastructure. That over 900 million are without reliable access to water, or that 36 million of those reside in Africa alone. By 2025 1.8 billion people will face absolute water scarcity; there just won’t be any left. Actually, that’s one of the biggest problems with encouraging pro-environmental behaviours, from basic recycling to...

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Head to Head: The Girl Without A Sound

18

Apr 2016

Head to Head: The Girl Without A Sound

‘Representation matters, so little black girls need stories written about them, for them. If we don’t use our words and use them loudly, we remain invisible.’ This is the essence of The Girl Without A Sound, ‘a message of hope for all women of colour to keep searching for our voices, to fight to be heard and to use them loudly to implement change. It is a call to action.’ So insists storyteller, actress, activist and playwright, Buhle Ngaba (25), visionary and author behind the whirlwind journey that culminated in The Girl Without A Sound. It’s the playful, brave, passionate and powerful tale of a young, black...

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No Butts: breaking the habit

18

Apr 2016

No Butts: breaking the habit

As you may have gathered from the last post, quitting smoking can be tough. But, it doesn’t have to be. And it’s got a lot less to do with the cigarettes themselves than we think. Nicotine is addictive, but smoking is 10% nicotine and 90% habit. After just 3 days all nicotine is out of your body. In other words, if you make it 3 days you can be smoke-free for a lifetime; the rest is just you against your habit. “If you want to achieve your goals, don’t focus on them”. That’s Reggie Rivers’ advice at least. It seems illogical, it’s the...

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An Empathetic Approach to Prejudice

22

Mar 2016

An Empathetic Approach to Prejudice

In the first post of this series, I unpacked implicit prejudice and how it affects all of us on a day-to-day basis. The key idea in that discussion was that, as much as we would like to believe that we can make deliberate, controlled judgments and decisions when interacting with someone, the inevitable outcome is largely the product of many underlying, intersecting associations, generalizations and preconceptions that we just aren’t consciously aware of. So, what can we do about it? To this end, it might seem reasonable to look for ways to shift judgements towards a more conscious and controlled...

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