PROF. ARMAND LEROI Professor of Evolutionary Developmental
Biology at Imperial College London
Who Drives Fashion? The New Science of Cultural Evolution
Evolutionary modelling shows that our culture experiences
changes very similar to the process of genetic evolution.
Artists, marketeers and consumers all exert forces to varying
Did you know? Musical evolution can be replicated with
software called DarwinTunes and statistical analysis reveals
revolutions in pop music occurred in 1964, 1981 and 1991,
but they were caused by very different forces.
Call to action! Business needs to sharpen its data skills in
order to reveal the evolutionary patterns in our cultural
fashions. Will Rock’n’Roll ever die? I don’t know – but perhaps
we can find out why it’s so hard to kill.
Article: Evolution of music by public choice
Book: How Music Works, David Bryne
DR. GEORGE COOPER Author of Money Blood & Revolution and
The Origin of Financial Crises
Captain Kirk and the ‘Science’ of Economics
Economics is in scientific crisis, as defined by Thomas Kuhn, the
discipline is divided into multiple, incompatible schools of
thought. As such people have become tribal, following one school
of thought and ignoring the arguments of the others.
Did you know? Thorstein Veblen coined the term “conspicuous
consumption”, now known as the economics of bling. Signalling
theory explains why people buy luxury goods and behaviour
departs from the neoclassical assumptions.
Call to action! We should understand people as competitors,
driven to increase their relative social position, rather than as
optimisers guided purely by maximising value.Book: Money Blood & Revolution
DR. DAN LOCKTON Senior Associate at Helen Hamlyn Centre for
Design, Royal College of Art
Designing with people in behaviour change
Many approaches to behaviour change largely model humans as
defective—bad at making decisions and in need of intervention. Yet
most people, surprisingly, actually manage to get by. More often,
design lets them down and produces barriers to behaviour.
Did you know? Dan has produced a ‘Design with Intent’ toolkit,
available at danlockton.co.uk, it takes insights from multiple
disciplines, such as cognitive psychology, behavioural economics and
Call to action! We need to frame behaviour change as being about
helping people solve their problems better, rather than seeing people
as ‘the problem’ in the first place. Design should be about ‘paving
the cowpath’, making it easy for people to do what they want to do
and are already doing.
Interview: InDecision Blog
DAVID BODANIS Futurist, speaker and popular science author
Why the Ten Commandments Work So Well
The Ten Commandments have proven to be enduring rules for
living because they lie in a ‘sweet spot’ of human experience that
makes them possible to adhere to, they apply across all different
cultures and they are guidelines but not prescriptive.
Did you know? The tablets upon which the Ten Commandments
were written would actually have been very tiny; some records say
there were only eight commandments, others twelve; and it is
likely that Moses did not even have a beard.
Call to action! People respond better to more general guidelines
than to harsh and detailed laws and they seek reassurance and
security above all else. This is what makes the Ten
Commandments so effective.
Book: The Ten Commandments
JEZ GROOM Chief Choice Architect at #ogilvychange
A Little More Intervention
It’s thought that 95% of decisions are made sub-consciously, we
mistakenly apply a similar imbalance to behaviour change; 95%
conversation and 5% intervention. Let’s redress it.
Did you know? #ogilvychange trained News UK call centre agents
with nudge techniques, they applied these to over 4,000 hours of
calls and found their success rate improved 210%, with a t-test
delivering a P value of 0.0002 there’s a probability of just 1 in
5000 this happened by chance.
Call to action! We need more inventions to validate and drive the
theories to a better place. Intellectual rigour is the tool of our
trade, it’s crucial to show the world what’s really possible.
Slideshare: #OC Case Studies
ROBERT TESZKA PhD Candidate at Goldsmiths,
Member of the Magic Circle
Now You See It, Now You Don't:
Cognitive Psychology and Magic
Magicians have the uncanny ability to manipulate how people
perceive the world. The study of attention and awareness reveals
the efficiencies in the human brain. If we can understand why
something fails, you can understand how it works.
Did you know? Magicians are perceptual experts. The best magic
tricks actually work for 99% of people, even when they know how
it’s done. Advertising doesn’t come close to this success rate.
Call to action! Understand your audience’s attention, because
where they look is not necessarily where they’re paying attention.
Eye tracking of magic tricks shows gaze is more complex.Website: Goldsmiths
PAUL CRAVEN Behavioural Coach, Salomon Partners
The Magic of Behavioural Economics
System 1 thinking is fast, it’s a stunningly efficient way of making
decisions. However, magic reveals the peculiarities and pitfalls
we all experience, they’re very predictable and often cannot be
overcome even when we understand the trick being played.
Did you know? Pick pocketing signs actually raise the instances
of pickpocketing. They give the criminals the pointers they need
because people react by checking (and showing) where their
valuables are located.
Call to action! Always challenge your assumptions, the world is
more complicated than your mind gives credit.
Website: Speaking engagements
ED GARDINER The Behavioural Design Lab, Warwick Business
A recipe for making good ideas happen
Understanding how we tick is half the challenge, applying
these insights in the real world is the real issue. We can
now turn cutting edge science into real world products
Did you know? The Design Council have created a ‘double
diamond’ to create behaviour changing interventions.
They use experiments not to show what does and doesn’t
work, but to improve their ideas.
Call to action! We need to help people help themselves,
this is the path to make lasting change. Behavioural
science is a catalyst for making good ideas happen.
Article: Changing behaviour by design
Putting Theory into Practice
Cdr. Steve Tatham Ph.D. RN (rtd.)
KELLY PETERS CEO & Managing Partner at Beworks, Toronto
Corporate Sedition: Challenging the Status Quo
The tools we have to understand people just aren’t good enough.
Issues of self-presentation and preservation continue to limit our
Did you know? A car insurance company tested the effect of applicants
signing the policy at the start rather than the end of the document.
Prof Nena Mazar tested this on 30,000 policies and found that signing
at the start increased annual mileage estimations by 10%. People were
nudged towards greater honesty.
Call to action! Scientists don’t need to be business leaders but
business leaders need to be scientific. It’s time to retire the old
marketing adage that says ‘for every dollar spent, 50% is wasted; we just
don’t know which half’ with scientifically-grounded innovation and
Cdr. STEVE TATHAM Ph.D. RN (rtd.) Senior Associate Complexas
Behavioural Conflict – Why Understanding People and their
Motivations will prove decisive in future conflict
Despite a long and enduring presence, the British forces didn’t
understand the people of Afghanistan. More often than not,
the local people do behave completely rationally, just not
viewed from a Western perspective.
Did you know? The British Forces changed their lexicon; from
suppress/destroy/isolate to reassure/influence/build.
Branded billboards advocating attitudinal change were found
to be ineffective.
Call to action! Far too much attention is given to informational
and attitude communications. The world at large, just as the
British Forces, need to recognise that behaviours form
attitudes. Not the other way around.
Article: Book review
DR. JULES GODDARD Fellow of London Business School
The Fatal Bias: Why Overall Cost Leadership is a Losing
Too many executives spend too much time seeking cost
efficiencies at the expense of their real job which is to
develop unique customer strategies.
Did you know? A wide-ranging study by Deloitte was
unable to find a single company that attributed cost-
leadership as the source of their success.
Research shows that pursuing ‘best practise’ is a losing
trajectory, achieving ‘unique practice’ is the competitive
Call to action! The art of strategy is to stay one step ahead
of the need to be efficient.
Article: The Fatal Bias
Book: Uncommon Sense,
RORY SUTHERLAND Vice-Chairman of the Ogilvy Group UK
Nudgestock 2 is a departure from the norm; built to push the
boundaries of academia and bring together divergent interests
under one roof (at the seaside).
Did you know? The invention of stripy toothpaste (red, white,
blue) reveals the intricacies of social cognition; we need
understand the world through a series of mental shortcuts
(heuristics). In this case, blue meaning fresh is more convincing
than white meaning everything.
Call to action! We all know a lot individually, but could know a
lot more collectively so continue to share and question what
you see everyday. Dare to be trivial.
Let’s make Deal to behavioural science what Palermo is to
TO READ AT YOUR LEISURE…
You are About
to Be Nudged