The Social Versus Individual Debate Misses the Point about Behavioural Economics

Crawford Hollingworth, founder of The Behavioural Architects

Behavioural Economics (BE) is inspiring considerable debate and discussion amongst academics, policymakers, think tanks and industries, not least the marketing industry. One strand of thought is that BE is individualistic in its approach and lacking social insight. For example, in October’s Admap Mark Earls and Alex Bentley positioned behavioural economics as follows:

“The newer approaches, such as neuromarketing or behavioural economics, are also essentially individualist merely new flavours of an old recipe.”

However, the RSA’s 2011 report ‘Transforming Behaviour Change’ seeks to show how behavioural economics allows us to approach behavioural understanding and behavioural change in a holistic way, embracing both social and individual contexts and influences equally

“We cannot change ourselves without changing each other: Most behaviour change does not occur at the level of the individual alone. Not only do we rely on other people to achieve the changes we seek to make, but such behaviours spread through social diffusion,” Continue reading


The Chemistry of Temptation

By Crawford Hollingworth, Founder, The Behavioural Architects

Out of Sight, Out of Mind – Our Battle with Self-Control

As Oscar Wilde wrote “I can resist everything except temptation.”

Crawford talked about self-control in an earlier article on ‘21st Century Piggy Banks’ and how humans often have poor levels of self-control and overestimate their abilities in this department. This week he delves a little into the scientific evidence that exists around self-control. In this post, he looks at how science is delivering some real breakthrough insights into why we find temptation so hard to resist!

 Stress and Physical Exhaustion Erode Self-Control Continue reading