Understanding and Influencing Behaviour - Using Evidence


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Kirsten Reeves, Centre of Expertise on Influencing Behaviour , Defra

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Understanding and Influencing Behaviour - Using Evidence

  1. 1. Understanding and influencingbehaviour - using evidenceKirsten ReevesCentre of Expertise on Influencing Behaviour , Defra
  2. 2. The Framework for Sustainable Lifestylesoutlines our approach • We review and identify what sustainable living looks like Our purpose is with input from stakeholders – Defra’s behaviour goals to enable • We assess where we are now – policy related to sustainable living and behaviours across the 4Es citizen focused • We draw on wider models, theories, and approaches policy and & feedback from users of the framework – our approach communications • We test +pilot delivery across the ‘triangle of change’ with activity that is government, business, communities +civil society targeted, • We identify and use key insights from our evidence base engaging, • Establish what different groups are willing and able to do relevant, and • Identify motivations and barriers (at individual and societal levels) delivered more • We identify and share best practice for influencing behaviour, delivery programmes and communications activity; and effectively. • Provide tailored advice to policy and comms; tools to build capability in Defra and enable civil society and business to use
  3. 3. Influencing people’s behaviour isimportant
  4. 4. We recognise there are many factors contributing tohuman behaviour Infrastructure Experience Environmental change Norms Culture Attitudes Social Beliefs Geography Habits networks Influencing Situational Behavioural Self- human factors factors efficacy behaviourInstitutional framework Values Identity Access to Social Awareness capital learning Knowledge Information Altruism Leadership Perceptions
  5. 5. To enable sustainable lifestyles we needto understand:• The key behaviours people and businesses would maintain to support sustainable lifestyles• What people/business are currently doing, what different groups will do, and with what level of support• Where the key impacts are (e.g. in production, use, disposal)• The motivations and barriers to action (e.g. benefits of current action vs desired; level of existing infrastructure etc)• The package of tools/interventions that will secure the change and the way these can be developed to be most effective• Who should develop and deliver these and where partnership is key (e.g. government, business, communities, civil society, membership organisations etc) Understanding all of this informs the development of interventions that address motivations and barriers at a personal and societal level
  6. 6. We know why people are acting and whythey are not – the evidence shows... • I won‟t if you don‟t and why should I - fairness and trust is keyWhat others • People‟s behaviour follows the behaviour of others – social normsare doing is • People need to see exemplification – government and business should act first key • People want to be involved – e.g. active involvement in decision making • Localism and community action – feeling connected to the place I live matters • People learn from each other - peer to peer learning Skills and • Self efficacy & agency – knowledge, skills and feeling capable of making a difference ability more • People are sceptical about the problem, causes, and value of actionimportant thanunderstanding • Understanding the science of climate change is not a prerequisite for action • Ability to act and ease of action – e.g. access to the right infrastructure • Fit with self identity and status – who I am and how others see me • People are more concerned by loss (costs) than gain – focus on what you‟ll lose by What’s in it inaction rather than what you‟ll save by acting for me is • Lifestyle fit – people don‟t really want to change their lives important • People „only want to do their bit‟ – people will only do enough to alleviate guilt or feel good (and often this is a little)‘It just makes • Not all sustainable behaviours are motivated by environmental concerns – some act tosense’ though avoid wastefulness, to feel good, to make cost savings or be a little frugal making a • There is a disconnect between the small actions and the big issue difference • People desire feedback on progress and validation – they want to know they are doing matters the „right‟ things and progress is being made
  7. 7. We identify those motivations and barriersmost pertinent for different policy teamsOur focus is understanding behaviours in their lifestyle context; starting wherepeople are and understanding the way people live. We explore how differentgroups of people see and experience the behaviours in their lifestyles. Sustainable lifestyles are key for a number of policy areas. We package together the most relevant insights for different policy areas; • Minimising waste • Enjoying and protecting the natural environment • Food: growing, buying, cooking and eating sustainable and healthy food • Using water wisely within the home • Eco-upgrading your home – focus on energy and water efficient upgrades and retrofits • Sustainable travel
  8. 8. Waste prevention: why people are acting andwhy they are not – the evidence shows... • Waste prevention behaviours are not the norm for most people and existing norms support behaviour that goes against reducing waste– e.g. replacing goods before broken to have „latest‟ model and forWhat others social approvalare doing is • People‟s behaviour is affected by what others do and their perceptions of why others act e.g. social key stigma is attached to some waste prevention behaviours such as buying second-hand • Some think that it is „someone else‟s responsibility‟ to take action – e.g. supermarkets for food and packaging waste • Ability to act is determined by people‟s access to and knowledge of facilities and services (e.g. who Skills and collects furniture for reuse); constraints (e.g. time); level of convenience (e.g. is it easy to get to) ability more • Lack of skills to repair and reuse to make the most of what people haveimportant than • Weak self-efficacy discourages action as people feel their contribution is marginal compared to the scaleunderstanding of the issue • Waste prevention behaviours are based on ingrained habits, as well as a lack of conscious awareness • Role of self identity – e.g. identity for some is defined through the acquisition of „stuff‟ What’s in it • Use wide range of values to encourage action – e.g. the notion of „care‟ and sense of responsibility have for me is emerged as a key drivers of donation important • Cost is likely to be a motivator of waste prevention behaviours, though impacts may not be as intended e.g. buying second-hand goods gives people access to mainstream products at lower price‘It just makes • People only want to do their bit and many believe they are already „doing their bit‟ by recyclingsense’ though • The dominance of the recycling norm - there is a tendency to equate „reduce waste‟ with „recycling‟ making a • Lack of visibility of waste prevention behaviours constrains action difference • Some seek to avoid waste in their lifestyle - this is distinct to following „waste prevention behaviours‟ matters which are not understood or seen as a package of behaviours
  9. 9. Eco-upgrading your home: why people are acting and why they are not – the evidence shows... • Some think its „someone else‟s responsibility‟ to take action – e.g. energy suppliers, business & Government, but some are sceptical about their motives for actionWhat others • People make (sometimes wrong) assumptions about modern products and levels of choice-editingare doing is (e.g. believing it to be more extensive than it is). They expect Government and business to make it key easier for them to act as well as acting themselves • Lack of social norms – while energy efficient light bulbs is a norm for many groups, this is not so for other energy efficient behaviours. In addition these behaviours are not visible or status behaviours • Ability to act is determined by people‟s access to products & knowledge of options; constraints (e.g. cost); level of convenience (e.g. how easy it is to install) Skills and • Remains confusion about what retro-fit measures are & people struggle to identify a need for them ability more • Hassle and disruption – including effort associated with choosing the fix or technology, finding aimportant than reputable installer, preparation to have the work done, and the work itselfunderstanding • Fix, forget, and poor in-use support – it‟s not sufficient to just install technological solutions, people need to be supported to use technology effectively with feedback and engagement over time. Without this retrofitting measures can have unintended consequences e.g. people turn up the heat • Identity – measures need to live up to people‟s expectations of „normal‟ products. Some retro-fit measures could be status behaviours and a desire to improve social-status could be hook to encouraging take-up (e.g. to move take-up beyond just the early adopters) What’s in it • Cost is a barrier to action – e.g. people want to save money but over-estimate savings; savings are for me is often not sufficient to overcome other barriers (e.g. hassle). Initial outlay can be a barrier e.g. for important groups not able to afford the upfront costs • Aesthetic tastes (fashion/style) and fit with lifestyle (e.g. it‟s not for me) are central to why people reject retrofit technologies‘It just makes • Use a mix of emotional and rational cues to encourage take-up – e.g. use people‟s desire for comfort, dislike of wastefulness, and emotional cues like „warmth‟ rather than just saving energy and moneysense’ though • People need feedback on progress and info to validate the need to act e.g. there is a lack of making a understanding between „just having insulation‟ and having „good insulation‟ that meets standards difference • There are perceived risks associated with taking up new and “untried” technology – e.g. people need to matters know how the technology will look/work, that technologies are reliable.
  10. 10. What else does the evidence tell us?• Be positive - people are tired of „doom and gloom‟ and the evidence shows that using fear does not contribute to success. Instead, the use of fear can alienate people and create a sense of hopelessness• Work with what is most likely to motivate action – not everything needs to be solely linked to climate change or the environment• Trust is important– and it differs for different groups and issues• People need feedback on progress made• People want validation they are doing the ‘right’ things• People want to see climate change back on the agenda – reconcile economic recovery with climate change
  11. 11. We developed a tool to help us make the most ofevidence base - an evidence based segmentationmodelWe developed an evidence based segmentation model to inform whichapproaches will be most effective with different population groups (segments)• Research informed the basis of the model - people‟s values, beliefs and attitudes towards the environment• There are 7 segments – Positive Greens; Waste Watchers; Concerned Consumers; Sideline Supporters; Cautious Participants; Stalled Starters; Honestly Disengaged• Wider data built our understanding of the 7 segments. Segment profiles also include willingness to act; reported behaviours, sociodemographics etcFor each segment, we assess the willingness and ability to act. We assesswhere the potential is to do more, and the types of measures most likely toenable this using the four broad groups in Defra‟s 4Es tool• For example, an approach that focuses on making it easy for people to act through providing the infrastructure and facilities (enable) and engaging people using creative approaches and trusted intermediaries is unlikely to increase uptake across the whole population. Such an approach is most likely to engage Positive Greens, Concerned Consumers, and Sideline Supporters
  12. 12. Defra‟s evidence based public Potential High High potential and willingsegmentation model to do more Enable Positive greens I think it’s important that I do Waste watchers Engage as much as I can to limit my ‘Waste not, want not’ that’s impact on the environment. important, you should live Concerned 18% life thinking about what you consumers are doing and using. I think I do more than a lot of 12% people. Still, going away is Cautious participants important, I’d find that hard to give Encourage I do a couple of things to help up..well I wouldn’t, so carbon off- the environment. I’d really like setting would make me feel better. to do more, well as long as I 14% Exemplify saw others were. Willing 14% Sideline supporters to Act Enable I think climate change is a big problem for us. I know I don’t High think much about how muchLow water or electricity I use, and I Stalled starters forget to turn things off..I’d like to I don’t know much about do a bit more. climate change. I can’t 14% afford a car so I use public transport.. I’d like a car Honestly though. disengaged 10% Maybe there’ll be an environmental disaster, maybe not. Makes no difference to Encourage me, I’m just living life the way I We assess where the want to. Enable potential is to do more and 18%Low potential and how to encourage thisunwilling Low
  13. 13. We’ve identified best practice principlesfor delivering change • Need an integrated package of interventions – most effective are multiple measures at multiple levels drawing on full range of policy and communications tools • It‟s a long term process – effective packages are likely to develop over time and draw No single in different tools solution • We need to take risks and pilot innovative approaches to inform delivery • Different approaches and packages are effective for different population groups; where seeking to break habits, there are specific techniques to include • Effective solutions may be linked to non-environmental initiatives • Work across the triangle of change (government, business, civil society, individuals and communities) - collective action is needed to enable others to act and Government We has a facilitation role to encourage action at all levels • Government, business and civil society need to act themselves and be consistent will if • Increase choice editing (removing the worst offending products) and enable sustainable choices you will • Address cross-cutting barriers and ensure target groups are able to act e.g. exemplification; infrastructure and facilities available, accessible, and promoted • Understand where people are starting from and where they‟d like to be • Take a lifestyle approach to engagement – e.g. make the links across policy areas Start and make the connections to how people experience the behaviours and practices where • Work with communities to identify the issues they face and collaboratively design solutions people • Work with what we know motivates different groups – e.g. go beyond are environmental concern and saving money • Work with trusted intermediaries (civil society, business, communities) • Engage the ‘influencers’ and catalytic individuals in people‟s social networks
  14. 14. Our tools - the 4Es model provides one tool toensure a mix of interventions SYSTEMS & CAPACITY: make it easier to act Influencing Remove barriers/ ensure ability to act; Build behaviour is most understanding; Provide facilities/viable alternatives; effective when Educate/train/provide skills; Provide capacity measures are combined from Enable across these fourPROVIDE broad categories ofINCENTIVES & policy toolsDISINCENTIVES:give the right Is the Get peoplesignals package Encourage Engage involved enough toINCENTIVES to Work with trusted catalyseencourage, and change? intermediaries;DISINCENTIVES Use networks;to ensure your Coproduce;target audience Use insight toresponds; mobilise Exemplify population groupsProvidefeedback DEMONSTRATE SHARED RESPONSIBILITY (segment) Lead by example; Consistency in policies; Demonstrate others are acting Defra 4Es tool is embedded in Government‟s Mindspace tool within the 6Es, which highlights the importance of initial exploratory work and evaluation to add „explore‟ and „evaluate‟
  15. 15. Our tools: MINDSPACE helps us achievea holistic approachMessenger We are heavily influenced by who communicates informationIncentives Our responses to incentives are shaped by predictable mental shortcuts, such as strongly avoiding lossesNorms We are strongly influenced by what others doDefaults We ‘go with the flow’ of pre-set optionsSalience Our attention is drawn to what is novel and seems relevant to usPriming Our actions are often influenced by sub- conscious cuesAffect Our emotional associations can powerfully shape our actionsCommitments We seek to be consistent with our public promises, and reciprocate actsEgo We act in ways that make us feel better about ourselves
  16. 16. Testing approaches: We will if you will – working with business and civil society to motivate and enable ‘eat seasonably’We will if you will is an innovative approach to mobilise change by bringing together acoalition from business, civil society, and government. Such a coalition can broadenengagement, address barriers to action, and build new norms for specific behaviours. Defraprovided funding to enable development and delivery of pilot activity in 2009 and 2010. Who’s involved now? The issue and year on year focus • 40 principal partners including major retailers (e.g. Sainsbury‟s, Tesco, Asda); horticultural organisations • Low awareness of what is in season when: lack of understanding of (e.g. Royal Horticultural Society, Garden Organic); the benefits of choosing in season produce; and limited practical food service sector (e.g. Brakes); civil society assistance available to help people enjoy seasonal fruit and organisations (e.g. The National Trust, WWF, WI) vegetables • 1600 local food service partners (including restaurants, greengrocers, cafes in NT, hospitals etc) • Focus of initial activity (2009) was on „grow your own‟ - a way in to • Financial contributions made by Kingfisher, Asda engagement with food and sustainable diets • Significant in kind contributions from partners (such as staff time, marketing activity) and support for • Year 2 (2010) focuses on „eat seasonably‟ - a further step to a government involvement and seed funding sustainable diet. Activity also makes links to wider sustainable behaviours (e.g. reducing food waste) and links with related activity (e.g. using peat free compost) • Year 3 proposal focuses on increasing family skills to cook with seasonal fruit and vegetables – to go beyond the 9 meals many cookWho delivers this activity?• Defra‟s Centre of Expertise in Influencing Behaviour leads this activity with a multi-disciplinary team including comms and policy• Social enterprise „Behaviour change‟ delivers, with a Project Board including CEOs of Sainsbury‟s, WWF, RSPB and Managing Director of British Gas
  17. 17. Using small-scale pilots to test innovativetechniques to behavioural issues• Developing effective approaches to support people to live sustainable lifestyles requires building innovative solutions.• Not all behavioural interventions are tried and tested. We need to take an innovative approach to how we think about problems, and the interventions/ solutions we develop.• Through developing small-scale pilots, we can test innovative techniques (based on theoretical insights) to identify what works, what does not work, and why. These small- scale pilots provide an important stepping stone to developing a case for/ or against wider scale-up or rollout.• We are piloting five projects. Each project draws on theory and is testing an approach where evidence suggests there is potential for change. The pilot projects follow an action based research design, this research technique helps ensure that learning is fully captured, and fed back into the project as the pilot progresses.
  18. 18. Piloting interventions at ‘moments ofchange’: Energy WatchAs people move through different stages of their lives they need to reassess theirbehaviour. Life events provide opportunities when people are more receptive to change.Targeting interventions (and behaviours) at these times may lead to more effectiveoutcomes.• Defra is piloting a small-scale project at five This project involves testing five different intervention, one at each of the five universities: universities, to test leaving home for the first • Awareness campaigns time as a „moments of change‟. Moments of • Providing peer-to-peer support through student reps change are not interventions in their own right, • Exemplify the actions the university is doing to they represent „windows‟ in peoples lives when reduce energy and making these visible to students • Creating competitions between different halls of they may be more able to do things differently. residents and providing feedback on progress• Working with first and second year students, • Financial incentives The impact and effectiveness of each of the techniques the project tests the effectiveness of different is being compared. techniques aimed at encouraging students to adopt energy-efficient behaviours.• As students move from halls of residence in the first year, to private accommodation in the second year, the project looks at whether new behaviours adopted are maintained over time.
  19. 19. Key principles to inform approachesWe will if you will• Make the ‘right’ choices easier – co-design and partnership delivery involving Government, business, communities, and civil society can address the barriers to uptake, be more effective, and provide a mandate to help „green‟ lifestyles incrementally• Leading by example and consistency are core foundations - demonstrating government and business are acting themselves as well as enabling others to act is critical. People don‟t view policies in isolation - demonstrating consistency in national and local government policies can show the importance of the issueStart where people are• Encourage people to see sustainable lifestyles differently - understand how people feel about current behaviours and „desired‟ behaviours. Make the links to what different groups care about – go beyond environmental concern – and across lifestylesNo single solution• Multiple measures at multiple levels – design a package of measures to enable different groups to act. Development is informed by our understanding of what is more likely to work; of why people act and why they do not; and of people‟s responses to different interventions