Automatic behaviour change

Interesting report from the Institute for Govenment, pulling together some of the evidence for ‘automatic’ behaviour change techniques. Many behaviour change initiatives to date have involved a ‘reflective’ approach (the standard model used by economics), which assumes that people make decisions rationally and will analyse the various pieces of information from politicians, governments and markets,
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Our hidden impacts

One of the important features of modern life that Life² helps people to deal with is the increased level of complexity within which people live. One example of this complexity is the chain of processes, people and impacts that sit behind even the most simple products or services we consume. As I noted in ‘Modern
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Older people’s well-being

At Life², we’re researching the topic of older people’s well-being, in preparation for a future project. Although we’re living longer and in better physical health than ever, many people are still suffering in their later years from preventable causes like depression, loneliness and isolation. The well-being of the over-65’s has been neglected to date, and
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Why equality matters

We’ve just added The Spirit Level by Richard Wilkiinson and Kate Pickett to our bookshop at Life², and I can’t believe it’s taken us so long to get round to doing so. I remember being impressed by this book when it first came out in hardback, and since then it has become well-known and exhaustively
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Making mental health accessible

The Mental Health Foundation do some good work in breaking down the big (and, for many people, scary) topic of mental health and showing how it relates to some more specific topics that can feature in many of our daily lives and experiences of life – including loneliness, happiness and fear. Their most recent report
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Change for the better

There seems to be change in the air: not the vacuous, meaningless version of it pedalled by David Cameron and other election hopefuls, but a sense that we need to address some more subtle issues relating to how people see and deal with the world if we are to secure a better future. We have
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Why should we use an agency?

A short while ago, I was asked by a fundraiser at a small-to-medium sized charity to draft them some notes about the benefits of using a fundraising agency, in order to help them convince their board to test it out. When working with small-to-medium sized charities, we’ve often had to go through this process of
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The science of happiness

Most of us seek it in our lives, yet it has proved to be something that politicians are unable or unwilling to put at the centre of policy making – until now. In recent years, the science of happiness has been a growing area, and we are now able to identify and measure (with scientific
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