Tuesday, 15 October 2013

State brainwashing

From the taxpayer-funded Economic and Social Research Council website -
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Influencing behaviour and informing interventions

We need better understanding of the behaviour of people, social groups and organisations, and how to influence them. ESRC-funded research throws light on the underlying reasons for different behaviours and therefore how people and groups might respond to different interventions. This could help rethink the delivery of public services, influence consumer and corporate behaviour, and enhance wellbeing.

We will explore individual, group and organisational values, norms and behaviours, looked at from a global perspective. We have to understand behaviour in countries with a similar standard of living to the UK, in the rising powers and in developing countries.

The three questions to be addressed are:

How to understand behaviour and risks at multiple levels and a variety of contexts?

We will maximise what we get from the research we are already supporting, especially on public and preventative health. We will make selective new grants in our Centres and Large Grants Competition and through projects that synthesise existing knowledge.

How and why do behaviours change?

We will back research on technologies, social norms and signals as indicators and causes of behavioural change, by means of a steer to the Centres and Large Grants Competition, and by drawing together existing knowledge.

How does the interplay of childhood, family, community and wider society influence inequalities in wellbeing?

We will seek to exploit longitudinal data and linkages to other surveys and administrative data. The aim is also to deepen the capacity of the UK research community and we will also be working with international partners.
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