Sauder School of Business

Influencing Behavioural Change for the Public Good

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About the course

How do you encourage people to take on some personal pain for the betterment of society?

Many public sector initiatives are based on the assumption that people behave in rational ways. However, this is often not the case—with the result that these initiatives can be rendered ineffective. Drawing on insights from the behavioural sciences, this course identifies key levers for changing behaviours for the public good.

You will learn how to use behaviourally-informed strategies and tools to influence social attitudes and actions and how to leverage evidence-based behavioural insights to increase the effectiveness of public policies, programs and interventions.

Takeaways

  • Appreciate how behavioural insights can be applied across a wide variety of domains (energy usage, health care, civic engagement, financial planning, volunteerism etc.)
  • Uncover the hidden influences that can make people behave irrationally
  • Analyze the behaviour change process and apply behavioural insights to help nudge it
  • Select and use the most relevant behaviourally-informed tool for your specific problem
  • Test and increase the effectiveness of a behavioural change intervention
  • Achieve desirable social outcomes by aligning policy creation with real human behaviours

Course Content

This course uses real-life examples of behavioural change in the domains of sustainability, health, financial planning, voting, community activism and charitable giving. It also includes hands-on exercises designed to help you translate insight into action.

  • Behavioural insight fundamentals: the nature of behaviour change
  • Setting the stage for behaviour change: defining the problem space, targeting behaviours based on strategic goals, assessing potential barriers and benefits of a desired behaviour, identifying the target market and behavioural drivers
  • Behavioural mapping and other tools to analyze the full behaviour change process
  • Behavioural insights tools: LISTS tool, Nudging and Choice Architecture, EAST and SHIFT frameworks, other approaches to behavioural change
  • Testing and adapting based on insights, logic of experimentation
  • Behavioural solutions exercise and peer-to-peer consulting

Special Feature

This course uses real-life examples of behavioural change in the domains of sustainability, health, financial planning, voting, community activism and charitable giving. It also includes hands-on exercises designed to help you translate insight into action.

Who should attend

  • Those working at national, provincial and municipal levels of government who wish to apply behavioural insights to public policy interventions
  • Others interested in increasing the impact of their behavioural change projects: e.g. social marketers/entrepreneurs; representatives from public utilities, charitable organizations and NGOs

Trust the experts

Kate White

Research Interests Social Influence Social Marketing Sustainability Prosocial Consumption Corporate Social Responsibility Selected Recent Publications Simpson, B., White, K., and Laran J. (2018), “When Public Recognition for Charitable Acts Backfires: The Role of Consumer Self-Construal,” J...

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