Note: This article was written before the referendum was held. It has now been updated to acknowledge the referendum was resoundingly beaten, with 61% of Australians voting No and 39% Yes.
In business we spend a lot of time chasing ‘yes’.
Yes to buying from us. Yes to renewing. Yes to choosing us as their employer.
So it’s through this lens that I want to analyse the campaign for and against a Voice to Parliament. Behavioural science suggests that one side of the...
I often talk about the need to minimise effort if we want behaviour to happen. The easier something is to do, the smaller the payoff for bothering needs to be.
Sometimes we need to do hard things. We want to do hard things.
There’s the thrill of riding a roller coaster, the relief of passing exams and the satisfaction of climbing a mountain. The adrenaline of presenting your ideas to a crowded room.
In these cases, making the hard thing easy would negate its worth.
Imagine you have a shop on the high street that is opposite a pub.
When you get to work in the morning the distinctly unpleasant stench of urine is there to greet you and your customers. Yuck!
You decide enough is enough, creating a sign like you spotted in San Francisco.
Here you are using the fear of public shaming to stop people peeing — threatening to post footage to YouTube so the pee-perpetrator will be embarrassed.
Your neighbour, Jill, is also sick of the pee and...
There are three stages of using behavioural economics. In this video behavioural expert Bri Williams explains the one thing successful businesses do differently, how to move through each stage, and what to do at the critical juncture where you'll either succeed or fail.
We talk about different stages of grief and different stages of learning. Well in my experience, there are different stages of behavioural economics, too.
By the end of this video you’ll know the one thing...
When we hear about behavioural science and evolutionary psychology, it can sound daunting and, worse still, far removed from our day to day decisions and interactions. Low on relevance, high on hyperbole.
But I’m guessing you are more familiar with the tenets of behavioural science than you realise. I’m even going to guess that you hold a lot of the insights into human nature in your hand, twice, maybe three times a day.
Ahh, the humble tube of toothpaste.
If you’re up for...
Is the world moving more quickly, really?
I've been thinking a lot about the speed of change lately, largely because every book or podcast seems to lament how quickly things are moving and the challenge this poses in keeping up.
You've heard it too, no doubt. "Things were so much simpler 10, 20, 50 years ago".
Yes and no.
What if the pace of change is an illusion?
Like this. The image appears to be moving, but it's actually not.
Where a lot of...
What kind of habits do people struggle most with, and what can we do?
In this article I’m going to share three types of habits, and the best strategies to use with each.
A few years ago I wrote a book called The How of Habits, and since then I’ve provided a free “habits inventory” tool on my website that people can fill out to self-assess areas they’d like to improve.
I get the de-identified, aggregate data that indicates what people would most like to get...
I never would have imagined I would become vegan, but as someone who is deeply into behaviour change I thought I’d share the reason it happened.
In case you are still a little fuzzy about what a vegan diet entails, it is plant-based without meat, eggs or dairy. I had become vegetarian earlier in the year so eliminating meat wasn’t a significant step. Dairy was. So why did it need to happen?
I had developed an ice-coffee habit, enjoying one most lunch times. Was this a...
I was excited to present at the world's biggest and best festival of behavioural science, created by Ogilvy.
It kicked off in Sydney and travelled around the globe, finishing in New York 14 hours later.
Here's my 'tight ten' in which I explain my behaviour change model.
For some, moderation works. My mother, for example, can leave food on her plate and limit herself to two squares of chocolate a night.
For others, elimination is better. I am prone to eating everything on my plate and gobbling two ROWS of chocolate. I am therefore better to serve smaller meals on smaller plates, eliminating the decision whether and how much to leave. Eliminating chocolate from the house also works best for me.
Whether you are wired to moderate or eliminate will have a large...