Applying behavioural insights to challenges in health policy

Applying behavioural insights to challenges in health policy


Dominic King


Applying behavioural insights to challenges in health policy

Dominic King. 2015. (View Paper → )

Many of the more significant challenges we face in healthcare - such as reducing smoking, encouraging exercise and improving clinician adherence to evidence-based guidelines - will only be resolved if we are more successful at changing behaviours. The traditional tools used when thinking about influencing behaviour include legislation, regulation and information provision. Recently, interest has been shown in policies that ‘nudge’ people in particular directions; drawing on major advances in our understanding that behaviour is strongly influenced (in largely automatic ways) by the context and situation within which it is placed.

For a product to be successful, you often need to change people’s behaviour. Changing behaviour is hard, PMs can benefit from leveraging research in the this space. I found the table of ‘Mindspace’ effects interesting…

The Mindspace Effects

we are heavily influenced by who communicates information to us
our responses to incentives are shaped by predictable mental shortcuts such as strongly avoiding losses
we are strongly influenced by what others do
we ‘go with the flow’ of pre-set options
our attention is drawn to what is novel and seems relevant to us
our acts are often influenced by sub-conscious cues
our emotional associations can powerfully shape our actions
we seek to be consistent with our public promises, and reciprocate acts
we act in ways that make us feel better about ourselves

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