New insights from science and behaviour change could lead to better outcomes, and at a lower cost, than the use of many conventional policy tools.

MINDSPACE: Influencing behaviour through public policy was published by the Institute for Government and the Cabinet Office on 2 March 2010.

The report explores how behaviour change theory can help meet current policy challenges, such as how to:

  • reduce crime
  • tackle obesity
  • ensure environmental sustainability

Today's policy makers are in the business of influencing behaviour - they need to understand the effects of their policies. The aim of MINDSPACE is to help them do this, and so get better outcomes for the public and for society.

Behavioural government

Behavioural Government - using behavioural science to improve how governments make decisions builds on the Behavioural Insights Team’s past work on applying behavioural insights to policymaking and the Institute for Government’s previous projects on better policymaking. Governments are increasingly using behavioural insights to design, enhance and reassess their

policies and services. However, officials and ministers are themselves influenced by the same heuristics and biases that they try to address in others. This report explores how this happens – and how these biases can be addressed or mitigated.

It can be seen as a sequel to the 2010 MINDSPACE report.

Blogs

MINDSPACE grows up – behavioural economics in government

Reaction

"brilliant"

Sir Gus O'Donnell, former Cabinet Secretary

"This is the best report of its kind - it is reflective and practical at the same time. It introduces us in a critical and sophisticated way to the ideas behind behavioural change and offers realistic ways forward about how to do it and make it work"

Professor Gerry Stoker, Professor of Politics and Governance, University of Southampton

"An excellent report, and a great summary of behaviour change policy."

Daniel Ratchford, Strategic Director of Environment and Leisure, London Borough of Sutton