One of the most pressing global issues in society today is climate change and the need to reduce carbon emissions. As a significant contributor to emissions, the aviation industry is aware that it needs to reduce its emissions, but the next question becomes ‘How?’
Our latest article published by The Marketing Society discusses how Virgin Atlantic has taken the problem in hand in an innovative trial.
Drawing on insights from behavioural science, the airline nudged their pilots to reduce their fuel consumption. A pilot actually has considerable influence; the amount of fuel burned is highly dependent on the decisions made by the captain who can influence fuel costs by choosing the speed, altitude and route. Moreover, captains can also shut off one or more engines while taxiing to conserve fuel.
Over the course of the 8-month trial, the intervention saved Virgin an estimated £3.3 million in fuel costs – in comparison, Virgin’s annual profit was £14.4 million in 2014. In addition, carbon emissions were reduced by 21,500 tonnes of CO2 – the same would be emitted by an Airbus A330 flying 170 times from London to New York City!
The 2016 Behavioural Economics Guide was launched in June, following the very successful 2015 Guide which saw more than 30,000 downloads.
The 2016 Guide is very much about moving from theory to action and contains rich and fascinating learnings. A wide collection of behavioural economics academics, such as Richard Thaler and Gerd Gigerenzer, and practitioners around the world explain how to (and how not to) apply behavioural science.
Contributions from practitioners include viewpoints and case studies from The Behavioural Architects, the Behavioural Science Lab, Decision Technology and Ogilvy Change.
Our latest article published by The Marketing Society summarises some of the most useful and common themes of this year’s guide.
The BE Guide itself is available for download here.
Last week, we published a new article “Designing choice architecture – a new framework” with The Marketing Society.
Choice architecture explains that our decisions are influenced by the way in which choices are presented to us. Subtle differences in the design of the decision making context can have a significant impact on the decisions we make.
Yet choice architecture is a very broad concept and greater definition and clarity could ensure it is applied effectively and consistently.
This article explores a new choice architecture framework which attempts to better define the concept. It is developed by Gareth Hollands and his colleagues at the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge. The framework identifies nine specific tools through which we can shape the decision-making context (see below).
This is a very accessible framework and one which can help us think harder about how to redesign an environment or setting to nudge and steer behaviour.
You can read our article here.
Our latest article – How can lotteries be used to help people save money? – was published this week by The Marketing Society.
Many people have little or no savings set aside for emergencies. The UK’s Money Advice Service recently found that 4 in 10 adults do not even have as much as £500 set aside for unexpected expenses. Behavioural scientists are beginning to tackle this problem by using the allure of lotteries to nudge people to save regularly.
We looked at how subconscious biases drive the desire to purchase lottery tickets and how we can turn a potentially harmful behaviour into a positive behaviour. Leveraging the attraction of lotteries, but in a savings context can help people to build lasting saving habits and a financial safety net.
You can read our article here.
Mike Daniels giving the keynote at the 2016 ACEFA Conference
Our Sydney office Founder, Mike Daniels, recently gave the keynote speech at the 2016 Australian Community Engagement and Fire Awareness (#ACEFA) Conference.
Bushfires are very common in Australia, particularly in the hot, dry summer months and often lead to loss of lives and property damage.
Mike talked about the work our Sydney office has been conducting with the NSW Rural Fire Service to improve community engagement and preparedness for bushfires, presenting on The Behavioural Architects’ involvement in the recent review of the Guide to Making a Bush Fire Survival Plan.
He looked at how key behavioural economics principles informed the analysis, optimisation, and testing process to ensure that the materials provided by the Guide would have the most significant impact on such an important behaviour, crucial for people’s survival.
People are often not as prepared for bushfires as they can be, due to cognitive biases such as present bias and optimism bias (see image below).Therefore simply providing access to information and education on bushfires is not enough to generate action and true preparedness. Mike warned:
“Education [about bushfires] is overrated. We have got to get people to do things.”
Our recommendations recognised the influence of biases such as these and focused on generating action and real behaviour change.
You can read the NSW Rural Fire Service plan here.
Why don’t we plan for bushfires? Considering concepts from behavioural science can help to explain.
Crawford Hollingworth, Founder of The Behavioural Architects, spoke in Melbourne this week at an event hosted by AMSRS (Australian Market & Social Research Society) and AGL – one of Australia’s leading energy providers.
In only a few years, new understanding of behaviour from the behavioural sciences has been firmly adopted by many of the world’s leading companies and global organisations and used both to understand and to change behaviour. The result is that the impact of behavioural economics – from deep behavioural understanding to nudging and steering behaviour – can be seen in all aspects of our lives, 24/7, 360 degrees.
Crawford talked through a complete ‘day in the life’ behavioural journey, showing how BE not only illuminates new understanding of our behaviour but also offers new ways to influence it.
His talk looked at new research frameworks and techniques grounded in behavioural science, as well as examining the more actionable insights research grounded in behavioural sciences is able to deliver.
This Spring we launched a new series of articles – focused on the application of the behavioural sciences in our working world – from client work and market research to how to take the bias out of our everyday decision-making.
Our first article in this series looks at how behavioural science can be used to improve communications.
At The Behavioural Architects we are often asked to redesign communications such as emails and letters to customers, using behavioural insights in order to improve response rates or action taken. We call this redesign process ‘BE scaffolding’…
To find out more about this process, you can read our article here – ‘Using BE scaffolding to improve communications“
This month we published a new book with The Marketing Society containing our compelling three-part series on the power of subconscious Priming.
These articles not only bring us the latest understanding into this fascinating area but also, by breaking priming down into different types, we aimed to inspire and help navigate the application of priming in both strategy and execution.
Above all we wanted to remind how we, as humans, are all susceptible to priming and how seemingly tiny things can have such significant impact on human behaviour.
You can read a copy of the book online HERE.