Top 8 sunday reads

Here’s a few of my favourite links and video’s from the past week on all things behaviour change related . And just a suggestion to follow the Twitter streams at #behaviourchange and #behaviorchange for a constant source of inspiration and fresh thinking

1.The Unexamined Society by David Brooks. He reminds us that we’re in the golden age of behavioural research, so we can do better. Hat tip to @carolharnett

2.An essay from Mark Earls, and an extract from Digital Advertising; Past, Present and Future. As the champion of Herd theory, he reminds us again of the power of the social, and why we need get beyond the idea of “influencers” as a driver of behaviour.Via @creativesocial

Too many of us are still using ideas about human behaviour transposed (uncritically) from the old world. Take, for example, the notions about influentials and influence being peddled by the social media gang. On the one hand, the science is quite clear that most human social networks are not structured in the hub-and-stroke way that the influential hypothesis would require; on the other hand, things are a lot messier in the real world on- and offline. Influence is often mutual and many-directional. It’s not a one-way street, like some kind of human-enabled information micro-broadcast system!

3. False Choices. The bright lights of The Big Society.  A challenge to the Big Society, and the challenge that comes from the “paradox of choice”. Via @theRSAorg

4. Another reminder on the impact of our environment in the choices we make. In this case, the power of smell. Hat Tip @johnxkenny

5. A detailed report by the British Psychological Society on Understanding Bipolar Disorder. Available free for download through July

6. Another nicely presented plan by the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insight Team – this one focused on nudging people toward energy efficiency.

7. A reminder of the power of emotional storytelling. Hat tip @anna_planna


8. And for something a little light – some emergency safety advice. Via American Red Cross Oregon Trail Chapter and Failblog. Hat Tip @KarenSnider