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House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee – Behaviour Change

27th Jul 2014

The Behavioural Insights Team welcomes the recent letter from the House of Lords Select Committee, following up its 2011 report on Behaviour Change. We would like to highlight Lord Selbourne’s opening statement on BIT:

“The work of the Behavioural Insights Team (BIT) is to be commended. In particular, we are impressed by their work in pioneering the use of Randomised Controlled Trials to determine the effectiveness of interventions. It appears that BIT’s interventions have seen considerable success – indeed we were supplied with supplementary evidence providing examples as diverse as tax collection and organ donation.”

We are pleased that the Committee supports ‘more effective use of the behavioural sciences in designing policy’. We also agree with the Committee’s recommendation to publish additional evaluation data, and we’ve been working to ensure our work is published in peer-reviewed academic journals: current examples can be found here and here.

Unfortunately, academic publication (particularly in economics) is a slow process, and we currently have various articles under review at different journals. We will present these to the Committee as soon as they are accepted and published. In the meantime, we would like to highlight our recent report EAST, which summarises much of our work since 2012, and which presents the lessons we have learnt about what works in this field – and (importantly) what does not.

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