Influences on behaviour

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Access news and information about influences on behaviour. You can read our latest research outputs, features, case studies and other relevant content.


Most recent features

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A nudge in the right direction

Feature | 21 August 2015 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Behavioural economics can effect small changes in the way people act. But does it work in tackling big societal issues?

Opinion: should all police officers carry tasers?

Feature | 09 March 2015 | General public, Press/media

Recent police federation calls for all officers to be offered a taser - but the research evidence is insufficient, argues phd researcher abi dymond.

Exploring our taste for food

Feature | 20 February 2015 | General public, Press/media, Schools

Cravings: can your food control you?, a new exhibition at the science museum supported by the esrc, explores how the food we eat affects our body, brain and eating habits.

Why young drivers hit the road

Feature | 15 January 2015 | General public, Press/media, Schools

Using data from the esrc-funded understanding society study, a new report from the rac foundation has explored trends in car use amongst young adults.

Ten ways to make banking virtuous

Feature | 07 August 2014 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

The esrc-funded report virtuous banking, published by the independent think tank respublica, argues that legal reforms alone will not save bankers from repeating past mistakes, and sets out ten recommendations to improve the sector.

Connecting with voters through social media

Feature | 30 May 2014 | General public, Press/media

Despite the focus on how social media can mobilise voters. Research shows that more traditional face-to-face and phone techniques remain much more powerful in getting voters to the polls.

Show us the money, say scottish voters

Feature | 22 January 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

New results from the scottish social attitudes survey, funded by the esrc and carried out by scotcen social research, suggest it's the economic consequences that matters the most to people.

Why the hate? abusive behaviour in social media

Feature | 09 December 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

A new esrc-funded project aims to study the 'social media ecosystem' to better understand how user behaviours, global communication networks and flows of information interact to promote hateful and socially disruptive content.

Managing the culture of risk

Feature | 07 October 2013 | Business, General public, Press/media

Governments and financial regulators have called on banks to rein in their risk cultures. However, a new report from the london school of economics and plymouth university dispels the myth of the perfect risk culture.

Case studies

Most recent case studies

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Helping the environment with social marketing

Case Study | 08 August 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Using social marketing techniques, researchers at the university of exeter have influenced defra policy in segmenting audiences for behavioural change campaigns, and developed a ‘green travel’ app for holidays.

Keeping charitable donations tax-free

Case Study | 14 July 2014 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

Professor kimberley scharf at the esrc centre for competitive advantage in the global economy has been credited with helping to reverse government proposals of a cap on tax relief for charitable giving.

Transforming offender rehabilitation

Case Study | 05 June 2014 | General public, Press/media, Public sector, Voluntary sector

An esrc-funded project building upon pioneering research into how offenders move away from crime is transforming the practice of offender rehabilitation in the uk and beyond.

Policing crowds without force

Case Study | 05 June 2014 | General public, International, Press/media, Public sector

New approaches to crowd psychology are helping police manage the potential for conflict in crowds while allowing people's rights to protest through dialogue and negotiation.

The plain facts of tobacco packaging

Case Study | 05 June 2014 | General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Moves to impose plain packaging for cigarettes, including australia's 2012 legislation on standardised packaging and the recent uk commitment to do the same, have been strongly influenced by olivia maynard's research into tobacco packaging.

Data lays foundation for alcohol pricing policy

Case Study | 01 March 2013 | Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

Datasets from the esrc-funded uk data service were used in a policy model which underpinned the scottish bill on minimum pricing of alcohol.

Worldwide response to welsh carrier bag levy

Case Study | 21 December 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

An academic survey of the carrier bag levy in wales has caused the welsh government to redraft its advice for businesses.

Developing help for insomnia sufferers

Case Study | 02 October 2012 | General public, Policymakers, Press/media

A self-help training programme for insomnia sufferers, developed by researchers, has been adopted and rolled out by nhs across the uk.

Social science impact on the sure start initiative

Case Study | 15 June 2012 | Academic, Business, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Public sector, Schools

Social science underpinned by esrc support played a major role in establishing and delivering the government's sure start initiative in 1999, which aimed to provide integrated early years services for disadvantaged groups.

Turning into an extremist

Case Study | 26 April 2011 | General public, Press/media, Schools

Research by professor per-olof wikstrã¶m has been cited in two government initiatives – the anti-terrorism strategy contest and the prevent strategy, aimed at preventing violent extremism.

Press releases

Most recent press releases

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Rude britannia – what our politeness says about our nation

Press Release | 28 October 2013 | Academic, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

Britain is still a nation of polite people and fears that texts, tweets and facebook are making people ruder is a myth, according to research from lancaster university’s faculty of arts and social sciences (fass). The research will be presented at ...

A woman's work is never done?

Press Release | 23 July 2013 | Academic, Business, General public, Policymakers, Press/media

One of the greatest social changes across europe in recent decades has been the increase of women in the labour market. However, changes in women’s work patterns have not always been matched by changes in the division of household tasks between the ...

Women worldwide know less about politics than men

Press Release | 03 July 2013 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector, Schools

Women living in the world's most advanced democracies and under the most progressive gender equality regimes still know less about politics than men according to a ten-nation study of media systems and national political knowledge funded by the econo ...

How teenagers cope with inner-city risks

Press Release | 15 May 2013 | Academic, Further education, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

With concerns often expressed about youth crime and violence in the uk, researchers have been investigating what young people really think about living in an inner-city neighbourhood that has high levels of deprivation, crime and gang activity.

Unique software supports behavioural intervention programmes

Press Release | 21 January 2013 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

The internet offers users a cost-effective way of accessing information and advice on any health problem, 24-hours a day. A group of social scientists has taken advantage of this by developing software which enables other researchers to easily create ...

London 2012 will inspire tomorrow’s social scientists

Press Release | 30 October 2012 | Academic, Further education, Higher education, Press/media, Schools

Young people in dorset will have the chance to question whether hosting london 2012 has brought benefits to the area in which they live as well as to the uk as a whole at an event as part of the economic and social research council’s (esrc) festiva ...

Nudge or think: what works best for our society?

Press Release | 21 September 2012 | Academic, General public, Policymakers, Press/media, Voluntary sector

If approached in the right way, citizens are willing to change their behaviour and do more to help themselves and others, according to research funded by the economic and social research council (esrc).

Family literacy project exceeds expectations

Press Release | 06 September 2012 | Academic, Further education, General public, Higher education, Policymakers, Press/media, Schools

A unique approach to early literacy work with families where children develop their language skills and their ability to read and write from an early age has had a huge success.

Getting your message across

Press Release | 16 July 2012 | Academic, Policymakers, Press/media, Public sector

Far from processing every word we read or hear, our brains often do not even notice key words that can change the whole meaning of a sentence, according to new research from the economic and social research council (esrc).

Taking nothing at face value

Press Release | 09 July 2012 | Academic, General public, International, Policymakers, Press/media

Photographs of faces may not be adequate proof of a person's identity and this could have serious implications for the accuracy of passport photographs in determining identity according to research funded by the economic and social research council ( ...


Most recent grants

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What is scientific consensus for policy? heartlands and hinterlands of physics

Professor Harold Collins | Science and Technology Studies | 01 March 2014

This project aims to examine the nature of scientific consensus by looking closely at how boundaries are established, enacted, reinforced and experienced within physics. To know what mainstream scientific consensus means, we need to know more about t ...

Applying relationships science to contemporary interventions

Dr Abigail Millings | 24 February 2014

The applying relationships science to contemporary interventions seminar series is a 3-year programme of nine mini-conferences designed to facilitate dialogue around relationships science between key stakeholders in contemporary interventions. Events ...

Urgent invite - after woolwich: social reactions on social media

Professor Martin Innes | Sociology | 15 February 2014

The research will analyse social reactions to the murder of drummer lee rigby in woolwich on 22 may 2013 using social media data collected from twitter, blogs and other sources.   such data uniquely enable the tracking of the evolution of public ...

Consumer data research support service (cdrss)

Professor Mark Birkin | Management & Business Studies | 14 February 2014

The project will work in collaboration with ucl to establish a consumer data research centre (cdrc) for the provision of new forms of ‘big data’ which are emerging in consumer markets. Big data are continually changing (eg traffic sensors ...

Exploring the effects of learning and motivation on visual cognition

Professor Jane Raymond | Cognitive Psychology | 01 February 2014

This project will investigate how the motivational context in which visual stimuli are presented influences visual cognition. Motivational contexts are established through learning processes that allow associations between motivationally salient (rew ...

Urban big data

Professor Piyushimita (Vonu) Thakuriah | Human Geography | 30 January 2014

The urban big data research centre (ubdrc) will provide a unique facility for researching complex and cross-cutting urban issues such as transport, employment, migration, housing, education and social exclusion. The centre will bring together an inte ...

Facilitating carers' mind-mindedness through education and early intervention

Professor Elizabeth Meins | Developmental psychology | 28 January 2014

This professorial fellowship focuses on extending the real-world impact of the academic literature on caregivers' ‘mind-mindedness’ - the ability to 'tune in' to what a young child may be thinking or feeling. Previous research has demonst ...


Most recent outputs

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