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Thinking About Behaviour Change

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an interdisciplinary dialogue


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How should we think about and understand human behaviour? What’s the role of theoretical models? How can – and should – such models be used in practice? And what can we learn from the many different academic and practical perspectives on the subject?

This book, aimed at anyone with an interest in behaviour change, offers a fresh and challenging take on these questions. It comprises a Dialogue, which sets out key debates in a lively and accessible way, and 21 commentaries written from a wide range of standpoints, including academic, commercial and public sector.

The initial dialogue was constructed at the invitation of the University College London (UCL) Centre for Behaviour Change, following an event with the title ‘Models of behaviour change: how useful are they?’ hosted by the Centre on 2nd June 2014.

Its content draws on the event itself, and on interviews with Jamie Brown (UCL), Nicola Christie (UCL), Anthony Finkelstein* (UCL), Heather Gainforth (UCL), Graham Hart (UCL), Kate Jeffery* (UCL), Mike Kelly (NICE when interviewed), Susan Michie (UCL), John Owens (King’s College London), Alan Penn (UCL), Jeremy Watson (UCL) and Robert West* (UCL). Interviewees who were also speakers at the CBC event are marked with an asterisk.

Further chapters contributed by:

  • 2. Katherine Hardyment - Associate Director, Good Business
  • 3. Alan Cribb - Professor of Bioethics and Education, Centre for Public Policy Research, King’s College London
  • 4. Richard L. Wright - Director of Sustainable Behaviour, Unilever
  • 5. Nigel Shardlow - Director of Planning, Sandtable Ltd
  • 6. Robert Holtom - Freelance Consultant and Writer
  • 7. Chris Mills - Research Fellow, UCL Faculty of Laws
  • 8. Michael P Kelly - Honorary Senior Visiting Fellow, Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge
  • 9. Antonio Cabrales - Professor of Economics, Department of Economics, University College London
  • 9. Angel Sánchez - Professor of Applied Mathematics, Grupo Interdisciplinar de Sistemas Complejos, Departamento de Matemáticas and Institute of UC3M-BS of Financial Big Data, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid
  • 10. John Fox - Professor, Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University
  • 11. Michelle Baddeley - Professor in Economics and Finance, UCL Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London
  • 12. Dale Southerton - Director, Sustainable Consumption Institute and Professor of Sociology, University of Manchester (former Director, Sustainable Practices Research Group)
  • 12. Daniel Welch - Research Associate, Sustainable Consumption Institute
  • 13. Peter Fonagy - Freud Memorial Professor of Psychoanalysis, Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health Psychology, University College London
  • 13. Liz Allison - Director, UCL Psychoanalysis Unit
  • 13. Chloe Campbell - Research Fellow, UCL Psychoanalysis Unit
  • 14. Maurice Biriotti - CEO of SHM and Professor of Medical Humanities, UCL
  • 15. Peter Jones - Professor of Transport and Sustainable Development, Centre for Transport Studies, UCL
  • 16. David Tuckett - Director, Centre for the Study of Decision-Making Uncertainty, UCL
  • 17. David Newkirk - Corporate advisor and educator; formerly CEO, Executive Education, University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business and Senior Partner, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • 18. Deborah Arnott - Chief Executive, ASH (UK)
  • 19. Rob Farrands - Director, Figure Ground Consulting
  • 20. Jonathan Rowson - Director, The Social Brain Centre, RSA
  • 21. Victor J. Strecher - Professor and Director of Innovation and Social Entrepreneurship, University of Michigan School of Public Health

What people are saying about the book:

This is a wonderful cornucopia of disciplinary perspectives on the age-old question of why we humans so often act against our own values and goals – undermining population and planetary health, to name but two global problems arising from this.
Theresa Marteau, Director, Behaviour and Health Research Unit, University of Cambridge

Analysing the theories that provide insight into behavior change is critically important for public health. Doing so in the interdisciplinary context is crucial for patients. Whether you want to understand, research, or implement behavior change, this book will provide you with the tools and roadmap to do so.
Karina W Davidson, Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry & Cardiology Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons

Changing human behaviour is an example of what we at UCL call a 'grand challenge' – an issue of global significance which requires a truly interdisciplinary response. This book rises to that 'grand challenge', and shows what can be achieved if we talk and listen to each other.
Prof G David Price Vice-Provost (Research) University College London


Book author(s) Edited by Simon Christmas, Susan Michie and Robert West
Book genre(s) Behaviour Change, Academic
Total pages 348
ISBN-13 (Paperback) 9781912141036
ISBN-13 (Ebook) 9781912141074
ISBN-13 (PDF) 9781912141104


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