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Understanding behaviour change in context | Psychology of communications | Conference | 29 June 2017


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Dr Fiona Spotswood, senior lecturer - marketing, UWE Bristol

Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do:

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Understanding behaviour change in context | Psychology of communications | Conference | 29 June 2017

  1. 1. Behaviour Change in Context Dr Fiona Spotswood Bristol Leadership and Change Centre University of the West of England 29th June 2017
  2. 2. Introductions Consumer research ‘behaviour’ Behaviour change What (is) behaviour ?
  3. 3. Theory matters Welch (2016, p.240): “Conventional behaviour change strategies, primarily influenced by social psychology and economics…draw on an implicit model of behaviour, which assumes individuals’ capacity to achieve change, and emphasises the deliberative character of behaviour… [T]his model structurally overestimates the role of choice in routine behaviour and fundamentally underestimates the extent to which individuals’ autonomous action is constrained by infrastructures and institutions, by collective conventions and norms, and by access to resources.” Collective conventions Individual responsibility
  4. 4. What is behaviour, how do we change it? GSR Behaviour Change Knowledge Review (July 2008)
  5. 5. 60+ Models of Behaviour: Mindspace
  6. 6. 60+ Models of Behaviour: Triandis’ Theory of Interpersonal Behaviour (1977)
  7. 7. materials objects competence procedure skill images symbolic meanings 60+ Models of Behaviour: Circulation of Elements in a Practice (Shove 2008)
  8. 8. 60+ Models of Behaviour: Dahlgren & Whitehead’s Main Determinants of Health (1993)
  9. 9. 60+ Models of Behaviour: Foresight’s Obesity System Map (2007)
  10. 10. “There is no one winning model” (GSR, 2008)
  11. 11. ISM (Darnton & Evans, March 2013)
  12. 12. ISM Principles of Change For substantive and lasting change: i) Work in multiple contexts ii) Draw on multiple disciplines iii) Involve multiple stakeholders
  13. 13. ISM (Darnton & Evans, March 2013)
  14. 14. Where ISM has been used... The Scottish Government Zero Waste Scotland Scottish Local Authorities The Scottish Parliament West Lothian Schools Energy Saving Trust Carbon Trust Cwm Harry / Zero Waste Presteigne Defra UK DfT UK DH FCRN / Wellcome Trust NUS / HEFCE NUS /Home Office Northern Ireland Executive Scottish Natural Heritage
  15. 15. ...and for what? RPP2&3 eg. Electric Vehicles Doggy Bags Active Travel Engaging in Democracy Recycling Beyond Conservation Areas Solid Wall Insulation Low Carbon Workplaces Community Waste Management Line Drying Mobile Phone Driving Physical Activity / Healthy Eating Eat Less Meat Edible Campuses Pre-Drinking Prog for Govt eg. Drug Courts
  16. 16. ISM applied to Women cycling to work • SOCIAL CONTEXT: MEANINGS • MATERIAL CONTEXT: TIME & SCHEDULES • INDIVIDUAL CONTEXT: COSTS & BENEFITS SOCIAL MATERIAL Norms Roles & Identity Opinion Leaders Networks & Relationships Meanings Infrastructure ObjectsTechnologies Institutions Rules & Regulations Time & Schedules Tastes INDIVIDUAL Values, Beliefs, Attitudes Emotions Agency Skills Costs & Benefits Habit
  17. 17. …and for ‘pre-drinking’ Head (individual) Habit Values, beliefs, attitudes Agency Emotions Costs, benefits Skills Belonging and friendship Socialising is vital to make contacts and friends Pre-drinking ‘doesn’t count’ Learnt in fresher’s week Costs of bar entry no a problem (after midnight, or when price goes up) Using apps, e.g. ‘dial a booze’Little planning required to go out after pre-drinking Car sharing Booze cruises Taking sport seriously – how serious is your sport? Managing volumes of drink and also £ through pre-drinking Eviction, ‘black marks’ are a deterent to anti-social behaviour Getting wrist bands for free entry then leaving to pre-drink somewhere else Freshers want to dress up, later years aren’t so bothered Anxieties about fitting in; getting to know people Noone wants to be the boring sober one Lots of energy – get up the next day and go to lectures Emailing lecturers to apologise for missing lectures during a night out Wanting to look good Wednesday, Friday, Sunday routines (different on each campus/city)
  18. 18. Circle (social) Tastes Keeping academic and social sides of life separate – ‘fitness to study’ Meanings Networks and relationships Norms Institutions Opinion leaders Roles and Identity ‘Eating is cheating’ – not enough food consumed during or before drinking Clubs and bars – no one goes before midnight Pre-drinking is normal before undergrads get to uni (school, college) Variable per campus, per year, per university, per course, e.g. medics party hard, work hard The expectation of fresher’s week – ‘this is what we do’ Calorie counting (girls, particularly) – starving themselves before a night in/out Older sports team members International cultures have their own tastes – often don’t drink/not in the same way Returners want to ‘knuckle down’ but ‘go hard’ in freshers week, often because of sports teams Initiation ceremonies (driven underground by ‘bans’), and ‘dirty’ pint punishments Team and society captains Societies and sports clubs – influence of older returners Parents bring beer to help freshers settle in First years dress up for the SU, later years less so
  19. 19. Square (material) Rules and regulations Dial-a-booze Time and schedules Infrastructures Objects Technologies Delivery of online shopping – clubbing together for free delivery (organized via WhatsApp) Religious groups – no drinking No drinking on buses – or are drivers lenient ‘No parties’ in halls – rules around noise Facebook (etc) for organizing the booze cruise Social media – stories after the night out, also planning pre-drinking and sports club initiations (not allowed) Bars and clubs open later, not filled up until midnight (don’t close earlier due to competition) Provision of sick bags on buses to SU Some sports teams, if serious, no drinking before a match Exam and lecture timetabling creates concentrations at different times of day/year Halls of residence – some have kitchens, others just corridors or rooms to socialize in. Some have rooms for ‘hire’ where pre- drinking can occur. Supermarkets around campus – competition keeps prices low SU shop – booze readily available Supermarket delivery (free over £40) No £1 required for trolleys – leads to trolleys wheeled back to halls Supermarket booze prices very cheap Drinking often starts before undergraduate life – at college when approaching 18 (and often much younger) Sponsorship of sports teams often by bars/clubs
  20. 20. Next… • Priorities • Stakeholders • Interventions This is likely to be an iterative process. Have you got the ‘behaviour’ right? Are the right people in the room?
  21. 21. Worked example • What ‘behaviour’ shall we consider? • Mapping with ISM tool • Identify priorities. Where are the key links? This is your ‘theory of change’ • What are the key implications for intervention • Priority (focus of change) • Key stakeholders • Intervention ideas…
  22. 22. Further Reading: ISM User Guide ISM Technical Guide See: or
  23. 23. Visit the CharityComms website to view slides from past events, see what events we have coming up and to check out what else we do:
  24. 24. 29 June 2017 London #CCPsychComms Psychology of communications – what can communicators learn from the behavioural sciences?