Behavioural Science


Behavioural science is a relatively new concept - it stems from research in psychology, behavioural economics and social psychology. Behavioural science allows us to take a range of concepts and frameworks, that help us to understand behaviours, how people think, perceive things, make decisions and ultimately apply these to improve the impact of everyday organisational processes and systems. 

Some concepts and examples of behavioural science 

Confirmation Bias

This is a common bias that we use in all aspects of our life and work. We have this natural tendency to look for information or evidence that confirms what we already believe and devalue information that conflicts with our beliefs. 

For example, we might try to justify an expensive purchase we don't actually need, or assess an interview candidate slightly more favourably if we have a positive initial impression based on some affinity such as the university we both went to. 

Status quo Bias

Status quo bias is a preference for things to stay as they are. We often avoid change and if we're presented with an option we tend to stick with existing ways of doing things or defaults set of options. 

This is very common in organisations that are going through change. For example, redundancies are often the default way of cutting costs rather than talking to staff and co-creating common solutions. The second option seems too far in the future and difficult to conceptualise.