Research

MINDSPACE: A simple checklist for behaviour change

January 16, 2011 10509

Influencing behaviour is central to public policy. Recently, there have been major advances in understanding the influences on our behaviours. Policy-makers are taking notice. In May 2010, I was an author of the ‘MINDSPACE’ report, which shows how to make that happen.

For policy-makers facing policy challenges such as crime, obesity, or environmental sustainability, advances in behavioural science offer a potentially powerful new set of tools. Applying these tools can lead to low-cost, low-pain ways of ‘nudging’ providers, consumers and citizens into new ways of acting by going with the grain of how we think and act. This is an important idea at any time, but is especially relevant in a period of fiscal constraint.

In simple terms, we can seek to change behaviour in two main ways. First, we can seek to change minds. If we change the way they think about and reflect upon things, then we can change their behaviour. The success of these kinds of interventions has been somewhat mixed. Second, we can seek to change people’s behaviour by changing their contextual cues. If we change the ‘choice architecture’, then we can change their behaviour. It turns our behaviour is a lot more ‘automatic’ and somewhat less ‘reflective’ than we have previously thought.

We have gathered up many of the robust effects on behaviour that operate largely, though not exclusively, on the automatic self. We have expressed them under the pneumonic MINDSPACE: messenger, incentives, norms, defaults, salience, priming, affect, commitments, and ego.

MINDSPACE can be used as a checklist for policy-makers or anyone interested in changing behaviour, and those involved in influencing how people think about the appropriateness of behaviour change interventions.

Related Articles

Free Online Course Reveals The Art of ChatGPT Interactions
Resources
March 28, 2024

Free Online Course Reveals The Art of ChatGPT Interactions

Read Now
Apply for Sage’s 2024 Concept Grants
Announcements
March 7, 2024

Apply for Sage’s 2024 Concept Grants

Read Now
New Podcast Series Applies Social Science to Social Justice Issues
Impact
February 28, 2024

New Podcast Series Applies Social Science to Social Justice Issues

Read Now
New Dataset Collects Instances of ‘Contentious Politics’ Around the World
Resources
December 13, 2023

New Dataset Collects Instances of ‘Contentious Politics’ Around the World

Read Now
The Risks Of Using Research-Based Evidence In Policymaking

The Risks Of Using Research-Based Evidence In Policymaking

With research-based evidence increasingly being seen in policy, we should acknowledge that there are risks that the research or ‘evidence’ used isn’t suitable or can be accidentally misused for a variety of reasons. 

Read Now
Fake News, Misinformation Focus of New Microsite

Fake News, Misinformation Focus of New Microsite

A new Information Literacy Microsite from sage can be your new home for pressing research on the digital age and the ways to combat mis-, dis-, and misinformation.

Read Now
Surveys Provide Insight Into Three Factors That Encourage Open Data and Science

Surveys Provide Insight Into Three Factors That Encourage Open Data and Science

Over a 10-year period Carol Tenopir of DataONE and her team conducted a global survey of scientists, managers and government workers involved in broad environmental science activities about their willingness to share data and their opinion of the resources available to do so (Tenopir et al., 2011, 2015, 2018, 2020). Comparing the responses over that time shows a general increase in the willingness to share data (and thus engage in Open Science).

Read Now
0 0 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

1 Comment
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments