CANCELLED – Psychology Colloquium: Dr Nicky Quinn (Macquarie University)
Title: Applying behavioural science to government policy
Abstract: In psychology, we take many principles of behavioural science as given. We know that we regularly make decisions that are ‘bad’ for us or irrational, we fail to follow through with even our strongly-held good intentions, and we show a range of biases in the way we interpret information. Although these principles are well understood in psychology, this way of approaching human behaviour is more novel in some areas of government policy making. This is problematic given that government policy is often the end place in the research translation pathway for the evidence we generate in academia. After conducting research and working in and with government for four years, I will be presenting on the application of ‘behavioural insights’ to government policy, and running randomised-controlled trials to test government policy and programs. This will include a series of trials we ran over the last few years, including in reducing the over-prescription of antibiotics, helping the unemployed back to work, reducing sexual harassment, and in attempting to reducing discrimination.