Eyes and Flies: Why Behaviour Change Matters
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Eyes and Flies: Why Behaviour Change Matters

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What is behaviour change, does it work, should we do it, and why are local authorities and the government in the UK interested in it? Find out all this and more in only 15 slides.

What is behaviour change, does it work, should we do it, and why are local authorities and the government in the UK interested in it? Find out all this and more in only 15 slides.

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  • This presentation is a short introduction to the concept of behaviour change, and how we are applying it here at Newcastle Council. I’ll cover: What behaviour change is Why you would try to do this The difference between behaviour change and social marketing Some ethical issues related to it Whether it is effectiveWhat we are doing here in Newcastle. Let’s get started!
  • This rather prompts the following question…From the same presentation: “People tend to do things when they provide benefits they value, are easy, and / or are normal or popular. They don’t tend to do things that provide benefits they don’t value, are difficult, and / or make them stand out as different.”
  • Go through points on slide.Example on the next page…
  • Note: This is why social marketing is not the only tool in the box, and is often best combined with other interventions.
  • So, having talked about it, should we actually do it?Behaviour change as a concept often makes people uncomfortable – both the public and policy-makers. It’s noticeable that the public can often hold very contradictory views about behaviour change initiatives.(points on slide).
  • However, I think that this is an important point to bear in mind. Everybody is trying to change – or influence – people’s behaviour.Why not us? Ultimately, that’s one to discuss.
  • We see here the view of central government – behaviour change is here to stay. And it can work! Return to the cycle theft intervention – read out points on slide! The statistics are robust – this was a genuine effect. (Hence the signs in the Civic Centre’s bicycle stands.) It can work, but it isn’t an instant fix, and it’s a complex process.I.e. NSMC six-step process – this took us half a year, and that was very compressed timing. Changing behaviour can take a very long time… how long has it taken to get to the point where you can outlaw smoking in buildings?
  • Behaviour change is a big part of our budget workstream. I’m not going to go through all these different projects in detail, although it could make for an interesting follow-up presentation!The topic of this presentation is “introduction to the concept of behaviour change”, perhaps in future we can look at how we’re doing it in Newcastle in more detail. Short summary of what each one coversEnvironmental Crime and Recycling – Decent NeighbourhoodsCrisis Response – less dependency on council supportServices People Access – Digital interaction – the work myself and Steve Park have done looking at Newcastle residents’ Support and enabling – Active CitizenshipServices to Schools – school travel, particularly around special educational needs transportPublic Health - Behaviour change interventions around smoking, alcohol, obesity, sexual healthFostering and Adoption – Increased fostering and adoption to minimise numbers of looked-after childrenCommunity Safety – targeting domestic violenceGo Smarter – Sustainable travel to work and schoolWarm Up North – encouraging energy efficient home adaptation.Greening Newcastle – sustainability and climate change
  • We’ve looked at…

Eyes and Flies: Why Behaviour Change Matters Eyes and Flies: Why Behaviour Change Matters Presentation Transcript

  • Eyes and Flies: Why Behaviour Change Matters Louise Reeve
  • What will you get out of this presentation? 1. A greater understanding of behaviour change, what it means, why it matters, and why we are doing it. 2. A cool phrase – “cognitive polyphasia” – which will impress people.
  • EYES: What is behaviour change? “A sustained shift in people’s awareness, attitudes, motivation and habits which makes them do things differently. Once enough people make the change, it becomes the social norm.” (Steve Park) Nettle D, Nott K, Bateson M (2012) ‘Cycle Thieves, We Are Watching You’
  • Why seek to change behaviour? Previous example: prevent socially harmful behaviour such as cycle theft Or, promote socially beneficial behaviour Local government context: Between 2010-2015 , local authorities face a central grant reduction of 28%. Many argue this requires not “salami-slicing”, but wholesale redesign of service delivery. Example: Somerset – “Sort It” partnership: "By collecting food waste separately, people become more aware of the amount they are throwing out and start to minimise their waste themselves.” Reduced costs by 20%. Somerset Waste Partnership
  • Why don’t people just behave in the “right” way anyway? It seems like common sense not to drop litter or drink to excess… yet people do it. Why? National Social Marketing Centre: “People do not always act in their own best interest, and behaviour can be: Irrational, we don’t carefully consider every action we take influenced by both internal factors (such as confidence, attitude to risk, habit) and external factors (such as what everyone else is doing, the environment we live in) subject to change in different circumstances.” (NSMC, “A Social Marketing approach to behaviour change”)
  • How do you do it? And is it the same thing as social marketing? The next slides will explain how to do it. First, an important point: Different behaviour change tools exist: Support – help people to make the change by giving them the means to do it Design – change the environment or products, to support new behaviour Inform and educate – provide information, run marketing campaigns Control – use legislation to require people to do things, such as use seatbelts or not smoke Using marketing techniques to encourage people to adopt a new behaviour is one approach, but not the only one – and usually most effective combined with other approaches.
  • The famous FLIES… Often, changing habitual behaviour requires a change in the environment. (This is why social marketing is a useful behaviour change tool, but may not be enough on its own.) So, to prevent spillage at urinals… …give their users something to aim at! Change Observer, “The value of design disruptions”.
  • The essence of a Social Marketing approach to behaviour change Segmentation Build Actionable Insight A SMART behavioural goal 1. Do I see things from my audience‟s perspective? 2. Am I clear about what I would like people to do? 4. Do the benefits of change outweigh the costs or barriers? Use behavioural theory 3. Am I using a combination of activities to encourage the desired behaviour? Identify the exchange Learn from the competition Support Control Inform and Educate Design (NSMC, “A Social Marketing approach to behaviour change”)
  • Segmenting your Audience A „one size fits all‟ approach A message, or a service, will be interpreted differently by different types of people “Don‟t sniff glue or aerosols, they can kill you” How terrifying, I won‟t be doing that! So what? It‟s a kids drug, I wouldn‟t be seen dead doing that. Hmm, I didn‟t know you could sniff glue – I‟ll give that a try! (NSMC, “A Social Marketing approach to behaviour change”)
  • Should we be doing this? Do people want us to do this? Ipsos MORI “Acceptable Behaviour” report 2012: 36% of people agree with the statement: “The government should change the law so that everyone has to enrol in a pension scheme”. The same 36% also agree with the statement: “government should not get involved in what people choose to save for retirement”. Cognitive polyphasia = “the way individuals can exhibit contradictory modes of thinking about a subject”.
  • But, staying neutral is not an option… “Staying neutral is trickier than it sounds. All else being equal, a government that decides not to influence fizzy-drink consumption (or whatever) isn't staying neutral, leaving consumers free of pressure. It's making an active choice to let the soft drink industry's persuasive efforts – ads, sponsorship – go unopposed.” Oliver Burkeman, “Don’t take refuge in neutrality”
  • Does it work? “Usually the most effective means of changing behaviour at a population level is to use a range of policy tools, both regulatory and non-regulatory.” Government Response to the Science and Technology Select Committee Report on Behaviour Change Does it work? Yes, but be aware that there can be unwanted consequences! Cycle Theft intervention: Bicycle theft decreased at locations with eye signs by 62%... However, bicycle theft increased by 65% in the control locations. So, yes it can work… but it is a complex, involved process.
  • What are we doing in Newcastle? Behaviour Change “enabler” workstream with 11 different projects: 1. Maintaining the City 7. Fostering and Adoption 2. Crisis Response 8. Community Safety 3. Services People Access 9. Go Smarter 4. Support and Enabling 10. Warm Up North 5. Services to Schools 11. Greening Newcastle 6. Public Health
  • Conclusion What it is Why we want to do it Why behaviour change and social marketing are not necessarily the same thing How you do it Should we do it? The meaning of “cognitive polyphasia” Does it work? What we are doing in Newcastle. Questions?
  • Sources Burkeman, O. 2013: “Don’t take refuge in neutrality; trying to stay neutral is fraught with trouble”. Guardian, 24 August 2013. Cabinet Office, 2012: “Government Response to the Science and Technology Select Committee Report on Behaviour Change”. London, Cabinet Office. Change Observer, “The value of design disruptions”: http://changeobserver.designobserver.com/feature/flies-in-urinals-the-valueof-design-disruptions/33108/ (accessed 27 November 2013) Keohane, N. 2011. “Changing Behaviours: Opening a new conversation with the citizen”. London, NLGN. Ipsos MORI, 2012: “Acceptable Behaviour: Public opinion on behaviour change policy”. London, Ipsos MORI. Nettle D, Nott K, Bateson M (2012) ‘Cycle Thieves, We Are Watching You’: Impact of a Simple Signage Intervention against Bicycle Theft. PLoS ONE 7(12). Somerset Waste Partnership: http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/ (access 27 November 2013)