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Influencing behaviour: the mindspace way

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The ability to influence behaviour is central to many of the key policy challenges in areas such as health, finance and climate change. The usual route to behaviour change in economics and psychology has been to attempt to 'change minds' by influencing the way people think through information and incentives. There is, however, increasing evidence to suggest that 'changing contexts' by influencing the environments within which people act (in largely automatic ways) can have important effects on behaviour. We present a mnemonic, MINDSPACE, which gathers up the nine most robust effects that influence our behaviour in mostly automatic (rather than deliberate) ways. This framework is being used by policymakers as an accessible summary of the academic literature. To motivate further research and academic scrutiny, we provide some evidence of the effects in action and highlight some of the significant gaps in our knowledge.

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