The Art and Science of Applying Behavioural Science

Please note: This event has been cancelled

3 Apr 2020, 9.00AM–5.00PM
University of Stirling
The Art and Science of Applying Behavioural Science

The Behavioural Science Centre at the University of Stirling invites researchers and practitioners to take part in a one-day event, entitled: The Art and Science of Applying Behavioural Science - Gathering Evidence on the Process of Collaborating with Non-academic Partners.

Theme of the talks

We invite researchers and practitioners who have run collaborative experiments to present their studies, but with a focus that differs from that typically sought in academic conferences. We want researchers to talk us through the process of collaboration - from the process of agreeing on a research question, study design and data collection, through to implementation of the results in practice. We are particularly keen to learn about compromises, amendments to the initial design and the lessons learnt along the way.

View Program Here


There is increasing recognition that experimentation merits a place in policy and business practice. A bewildering number of effects, heuristics and theories are being published and some suggest opposing treatment effects. It can then be difficult to predict the outcomes of interventions ex ante. Moreover, the diversity and complexity of contextual influences on behaviour can lead to interventions having the reverse effect than expected when implemented in a field setting (e.g. Mishra, Mishra and Masters, 2011; Robinson and Comerford, 2019).

At the same time, the award of the Nobel Prize in economics to Duflo, Banerjee and Kremer marks a formal recognition that experimentation offers uniquely valuable evidence for informing policy and strategy.

One critique of experimentation is that it can be time-consuming and resource intensive (Pawson, 2006). The goal of this event is to collate evidence from researchers and practitioners on techniques to run field trials efficiently.

The event is a forum for sharing experiences of collaboration between researchers and practitioners. While there is much written about the theory of evidence-based policy, there is little on the practicalities of managing a team comprising very different backgrounds, professional experiences and perhaps even goals.

The talks will be by researchers and practitioners and will cover the following:

  • How did the idea of collaboration get started?
  • How did researchers frame the goals of their research to overcome status quo bias and understandable caution in organisations?
  • What unanticipated difficulties have been encountered during the course of the project?

Supported by Economic Futures

Economic Futures has awarded a budget to help some presenters travel to the event. If you wish to apply for a contribution then please make your case in your submission.

 Economic Futures logo

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