Are Nudges Ethical? A Few Book Recommendations
2021-03-03 22:37:11 UTCHi everyone,
Expanding your knowledge base and critical thinking related to behavioural economics, libertarian paternalism and nudging may inform the excellent work many of you are doing in the behaviour change field.
For those of you who are interested in behavioural economics, you might consider reading the following five books recommended by Dan Ariely (best-selling author and professor of psychology and behavioural economics):
1) The Invisible Gorilla
4) Mindless Eating
5) The Person and the Situation
Each of these books are briefly summarized by Ariely here.
One of the key approaches in behavioural economics, which is particularly recommended by the authors of the book Nudge, is known as "libertarian paternalism". This is an approach used by some private and public institutions to affect human behaviour while also respecting freedom of choice. Within that approach, "nudging" is a common technique. Nudges are essentially positive reinforcements and/or subtle suggestions to push individuals to behave in a way that is (ostensibly) beneficial to them and society.
But is the libertarian paternalistic approach (and its nudges) ethical? There is an interesting critique of this in Mark D. White's book "The Manipulation of Choice: Ethics and Libertarian Paternalism". In this book, White makes a strong case for individual autonomy. He accomplishes this through two main arguments. First, he argues that there are limitations to private and public institutions' knowledge of what is best for any individual. That is, how can we truly know what is in an individual's best interests? Can we know this better than they know themselves? Second, White argues that it may not be morally justifiable to manipulate people's choices, particularly without their knowledge. One reason he provides is that this approach shields people from some of life's important lessons, which are gained partly through making mistakes and learning from them.
There are several more interesting arguments, which are laid out and evaluated in an excellent review of the book by Jonathan Anomaly. You can find the review here.
Webinar: How feelings can shape judgment & choice
2021-02-24 18:36:10 UTCHi everyone,
The Asper School of Business at the University of Manitoba is hosting a webinar related to how feelings can shape our decisions. The webinar will be presented by Dr. Norbert Schwarz, Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing, and co-director of the Dornsife Center for Mind and Society at the University of Southern California. In the webinar, Dr. Schwarz will explain the role of subtle feelings like moods, emotions, metacognitive feelings, and sensory experiences in judgment and choice. He will also identify underlying processes, and highlight their implications for consumer behaviour, decision making and public opinion.
Date: February 26, 2021
Time: 12:00-1:15pm (CST)
To register for the webinar, click here.
Dr. Norbert Schwarz biography:
Norbert Schwarz is Provost Professor of Psychology and Marketing, and Co-director of the Mind and Society Center at the University of Southern California. He investigates the context-sensitivity of judgment and decision-making and its implications for public opinion and consumer behaviour, with a current focus on the acceptance and correction of misinformation. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the German National Academy of Sciences, and the Academia Europaea. He has also received multiple scientific contribution awards.
Social marketing: A behavioural change rebel turning 50
2021-02-15 21:17:49 UTCHi everyone,
This year marks the 50th anniversary of Kotler and Zaltman's seminal 1971 paper, which introduced the field of social marketing. To celebrate, the Ireland-based Whitaker Institute will be facilitating a virtual webinar on February 19th at 9:30am GMT, in which experts will share the latest developments in the field. This is the first webinar in a three-part series that uses behavioural and systems science, research evidence, practical insights, case studies and examples to explore the complex links between our environment, our health and well-being, and our future.
If you're interested, please click here to register and see the speaker biographies below.
Professor Sharyn Rundle-Thiele is a social marketer. She founded Social Marketing @ Griffith, which is the largest university based group of social marketers in the world. Sharyn has led projects that have changed behaviours for 10,000's of people in areas including health, the environment, and complex social issues. Sharyn has led programs that have increased healthy eating, changed adolescent attitudes to alcohol consumption, reduced food waste, and many more. All of the programs she leads are underpinned by co-design.
Professor Maria Raciti is a social marketer who is passionate about educational equity. Maria is a Director of the Indigenous and Transcultural Research Centre, an Adjunct Fellow with the National Centre for Student Equity in Higher Education and was part of an Australian Government departmental task force assisting with the 2019 National, Regional, Rural, and Remote Tertiary Education Strategy. Maria is regularly engaged as an expert advisor, and her research projects have produced meaningful and impactful outcomes.
SMANA seeking new External Affairs Chair
2021-02-10 18:03:15 UTCHi all,
The Social Marketing Association for North America (SMANA) is seeking a new lead for its External Affairs Committee. This
committee has amazing volunteers who manage SMANA's social media, website, email newsletter, and other communication pieces. The chair is also the liaison between the committee and SMANA's Board of Directors. If you or someone you know is trying to break into the field or make more professional connections, this is a great opportunity to expand your/their network and flex communication strategy skills. You can find more information here and/or by emailing Tina Robinette at email@example.com
COVID Lockdowns & Alcohol Consumption: What is the relationship?
2021-02-08 19:56:06 UTCHi everyone,
I've done some research to find out what the effect of the COVID lockdowns have had on alcohol consumption. Several news stories (e.g. ABC news; Global News) report that alcohol consumption has increased in certain regions; however, globally, the results are mixed. The Global Drug Survey, which was released in September 2020 and includes replies from nearly 56,000 participants, found that some people are increasing their consumption mainly due to boredom, while others are decreasing theirs due to lack of access to social gatherings (e.g. festivals, nightclubs and parties). The survey includes data from 11 countries: Austria, Australia, Brazil, France, Germany, Ireland, Netherlands, New Zealand, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and the United States.
Results of the Survey in Australia, for example, found that those who drank more tended to have a pre-existing mental health condition (typically depression or anxiety). These findings have implications for exactly who health care practitioners and behaviour change campaigners are reaching out to with support to discourage risky behaviours.
In terms of resources, there is an interesting app called Drinks Meter, that gives instant feedback on drinking habits, comparisons to thousands of other drinker's habits around the world, and individual goal tracking. For anyone working on behavioural campaigns in this area, you may consider adding this resource to your toolkit.
Words that Work: A Webinar on Effective Sustainability Communications
2021-02-02 19:21:25 UTCHi everyone,
Radley Yeldar, a UK-based consulting firm, has designed a webinar that teaches organizations how to use persuasive language on sustainability issues. During this webinar, you will learn:
For more information and to register, please visit their website here.
- Eight sustainability writing clichés, and which companies are the worst offenders
- Why communicators fall into written sustainability traps
- Ten principles and practical tips for better sustainability writing
- Why we need to do better and the consequences of inaction
Imagining the Next Decade of Behavioral Science
2021-01-27 21:41:33 UTCHi everyone,
As you may know, the field of behavioural science has grown substantially in the past decade. Since the publication of Nudge (2008), by Thaler and Sunstein, there has been a tremendous growth of nearly 300 behavioural teams in governments, businesses and other organizations around the world. How will the field progress in the next ten or so years? Behavioral Scientist curated a list of thought provoking submissions on this subject by behavioural scientists around the world. The submissions are organized into three broad categories:
1. Promises and Perils of the coming decade, including emerging ethics, finding a shared identity, and prioritizing impact.
2. Domains on our Mind, such as technology as a force for good or evil, climate change targeting both individuals and systems, and health care at the digital frontier.
3. Research and Application, such as new opportunities and obligations for research in the field, and the future of intervention design.
Check out the list of curated submissions here.
Bill Novelli talks about his new book: Good Business
2021-01-18 17:11:05 UTCHi all,
You may be familiar with Bill Novelli, the co-founder/president of a global PR agency for social impact and a pioneer of social marketing*. On Friday, January 29th at 1pm EST, he will be speaking about his new book entitled, Good Business: The 'Talk, Fight, Win' Way to Change the World. In Good Business, Novelli aims to prove that you can do well (creating financial success for yourself and your company/organization) by doing good (helping to solve society's major problems) and argues that you can make a positive social difference regardless of what business you are in or where you are in your career.
This one-hour program will stream live on the National Press Club’s website and YouTube Channel for free. For more information, please visit the Club's website here.
*On a personal note, I have met and spoken with Bill on a few occasions. I believe he is a wonderful person and a fantastic leader.
Southern Ontario Behavioural Decision Research (SOBDR) Conference: Call for Submissions
2021-01-11 22:08:08 UTC
The Southern Ontario Behavioural Decision Research (SOBDR) conference brings together researchers and academics interested in the study of how people make judgments and decisions. The conference will be held virtually this year on Friday, May 7, 2021. This one-day event will feature speakers and presentations of select research from a variety of disciplines including Psychology, Economics, Accounting and Finance, Organizational Behaviour, Management, and Marketing, and will include networking opportunities. There are no fees to attend this conference.
The conference organizers are currently looking for submissions in the form of a talk or a poster. More information is available on the SOBDR website or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Online panel discussion: How to change behaviour during a pandemic
2021-01-07 01:06:48 UTC
How can we achieve personal behavior change, set new habits, and chart out new routines at a time when our “normal” world is turned upside down?
Join a discussion about the science of behavior change during COVID-19, with behavioral scientist Katherine Milkman and social neuroscientist Jay Van Bavel. The speakers will share their insights on topics like vaccine uptake, the polarization of social distancing and mask-wearing, and how each of us can carve out a place for personal development even in the middle of a pandemic. This online panel discussion will take place on Friday, January 15th, 2021 at 10am PT/1pm ET/6pm GMT. Click here to register.