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Applying behavioural frameworks and tools to research adds an additional rich layer of insight. It closes the say-do gap in research, it reveals non-conscious drivers of human behaviour and it considers the social, psychological and cultural influences that contribute to consumer decision making in context. Join us at this year's brand new event - the Behavioural Science Virtual Summit, hosted on BigMarker - a high performance virtual conference platform.

  • Explore different behavioural science frameworks to better understand consumer decision making
  • Develop your behavioural science toolkit with new tools and implicit techniques for measuring unconscious, in the moment behaviour
  • Examine notable applications of implementing and measuring the impact of behavioural nudges

Join MRS’ Behavioural Science Summit to hear how organisations are using behavioural science to truly understand why consumers make certain decisions in the moment and to develop ‘nudges’ to encourage behaviour change. Broaden your understanding of behavioural science, examine the potential of different tools and techniques and hear how to implement, measure and extend the impact of your own initiatives.

Spend a shorter day gaining new ideas from bite sized insight stories at the Behavioural Science virtual conference.  You’ll still have the opportunity to hear 10 innovative case studies and enjoy 2 panel debates as well as putting your questions to our excellent line-up of speakers, all hosted on BigMarker - a high performance virtual conference platform.

Hear contributions from Google, GSK, Barclays, BBC Media Action, Sport England, Dr Martens, IFB, ITV and others.

10.00 Opening address from the Chair

This opening session will aim to establish a common language and shared understanding of behavioural science and present an overview of the key trends, challenges and opportunities facing research and insight professionals.

Benjamin Buckby, Head of Behavioural Sciences, Corporate Culture

10.15 Google’s new understanding of consumer decision making

In this session hear how Google has developed an updated model of consumer decision making that better reflects the increasingly non-linear reality of decision making today, and accommodates the cognitive complexity of those decisions.
Explore Google’s multi-stage, multi-category research project which included an extensive review of human decision making and behavioural science literature, an analysis of online shopping journeys and category specific search queries and the implementation of a behavioural conjoint.

Alistair Rennie, Research Lead – Search, Google


10.30 Client Journeys: how behavioural science became embraced within organisations

We will hear from three organisations about how behavioural science models and concepts, along with behaviour-led research, have been embraced in three very different sectors. We will then showcase exactly how Behavioural Science has been used to not only unlock new insight into behaviour but to drive real and sustainable change.  We will learn about the barriers they had to overcome and what impact behavioural science made.

Chaired by:
Crawford Hollingworth, Founder, The Behavioural Architects
Client Panellists:
Shafik Saba, Global Marketing Director, Sensodyne - GSK
Naomi Shearon, Head of Strategy, Sport England
Pete Brooks, Chief Behavioural Scientist, Barclays 


11.10 Comfort break


11.20 Closing the say-do gap in sustainability

Closing the say-do gap on sustainability is probably one of the biggest behaviour change challenges our planet faces. This paper outlines the challenges and opportunities by integrating behavioural science with market research. Ipsos will explore the different ways in which the say-do gap is not the result of the non-conscious, rather it is the function of how we, as researchers, understand human behaviour.

Colin Strong, Head of Behavioural Science, Ipsos


11.35 Closing the reality gap at Dr. Martens: designing around shopper behaviour to win at retail

This session will look at how Dr Marten’s is using Behavioural Science to create effective designs to help shape and influence shopper behaviour. For this study, the challenge was to evaluate the impact a Dr. Martens store design re-fit had on brand perceptions and the shopping experience and to generate recommendations to further improve the design. The research was done in-situ at different Dr. Martens stores in Japan, UK and US using a mix of conscious and non-conscious techniques- unobtrusive observation, retail safaris with customers and exit surveys. Hear how by applying a Behaviour Science lens to the findings, guidelines and new concept ideas were generated based on shopper behaviour that were integral in informing future retail strategies.

Mark Pingol, VP, Behaviour, Savanta
Simon Lawrence, Global Strategy, Dr Martens


11.50 Are Virtual and Augmented Reality the ultimate behavioural research tools?

This paper will show how the recent advancements in Immersive Virtual and Augmented Reality provides researchers with a new and more powerful way to conduct behavioural research that captures intuitive, implicit responses.
The paper will show how inducing a sense of presence in respondents, combined with a non-conscious measure changed Kinetic’s understanding of how OOH advertising influences implicit choice. It will also demonstrate how VR was used to create empathy in others generating new insights for ITV audiences. Finally, it will show how Augmented Reality prompts real reactions from respondents to new products, which can be captured using new implicit measures that predict future choice.

Dr Alastair Goode, Cognitive Scientist, Gorilla In The Room  
Miranda Maguire, Head of Audiences: Factual, News, Sport, Daytime, ITV4 & CITV, ITV


12.05 System 3: imagining the future

What is system 3, how do consumers make decisions in System 3 and what tools and techniques researchers can use for measuring imagination?

Gain an understanding into how consumers use their imagination to plan out purchases, both consciously and unconsciously; hear how researchers can measure the landscape of the imagination and how brands can capture territory within it; examine how System 3 is key for innovation. Finally, take a look at how human imagination can inform the way AI/machine learning is done.

Leigh Caldwell, Partner, Irrational Agency


12.20 Lunch


12.50 Incorporating anthropological approaches in research

As market researchers, we know how important it is not to rely on what people tell us. We know the value of observation, of contextualisation, and of effective interpretation. We also know how hard it can be to identify the difference between ‘what people say they do’ and ‘what people actually do.’ We may spend so much time overcoming these challenges that we overlook the things that aren’t said. This session will demonstrate the value of incorporating anthropological thinking into our research to enable a better understanding of social and cultural influences on behaviour – and of what’s unknown both to ourselves and to other people. Breaking Blue will discuss the practicalities of anthropological observation, and the benefits it can deliver. We’ll also explain the value in layering an anthropological approach throughout the research.

Dr Adele James, Behavioural Science Lead, Breaking Blue
Hannah James, Graduate Research Consultant, Breaking Blue


13.05 A nudge in the right direction: embedding physical nudges in the UK’s most dangerous pedestrian crossing

For the last two years, So-Mo have been working with Liverpool City Council in consultation with the Department for Transport to create a physical nudge-based intervention, designed to tackle the UK's most dangerous pedestrian crossing.

This case study will demonstrate how data science, ethnographic research and other applied behavioural science based techniques have been used to design an intervention tailored to the specific needs of a target population.  The team will also  share proposals outlining how they propose to trial the design in both Liverpool and Hull.

Nicola Wass, CEO, So-Mo
Dr Holly Hope Smith, Head Of Behavioural Insights, So-Mo
Andy Codd, Road Safety Coordinator, Liverpool City Council


13.20 Testing behavioural nudges to reduce insurance fraud

Undetected, opportunistic fraud is estimated to cost the insurance industry up to £1 billion per year. Prior research by the IFB identified insurer operational communications (i.e., consumer touchpoints during application, renewal and claim processes) as possible avenues for helping prevent such fraudulent behaviour. To explore this, Decision Technology was commissioned to run research designing and testing behavioural interventions, or ‘nudges’, inserted into these processes to prevent dishonesty by consumers.
The findings were staggering, with potentially game-changing implications for the industry. Furthermore, these interventions were found to be true behavioural ‘nudges’, working implicitly without affecting consumer perceptions of the insurer or the process.

Dr Benny Cheung, Director, Decision Technology

13.35 Comfort break 


13.45 Panel debate: from consumer psychology to behavioural design

This session will examine the journey research and insight professionals are embarking on. From building behavioural frameworks and skillsets to better understand behaviour and decision making, towards applying behavioural design to drive behaviour change.

  • Discussing how research and insight can better capture behavioural biases, emotions and real-world context to improve consumer understanding
  • What are the barriers and opportunities to adopting non-conscious, behavioural science-based research methods among research and insight professionals?
  • Going beyond research and insight and exploring opportunities to apply behavioural science to design for behaviour change
  • Stepping stones to embedding behavioural insight capability within your organisation

Chaired by Joe Glassfield, Behavioural Design Director, Corporate Culture
Caroline Hayter, Co-Founder and Strategist, Acacia Avenue
Richard Chataway, CEO, BVA Nudge Unit UK 
Max Mawby, Director, Kantar's Behavioural Practice


14.15 BBC Media Action: implementing powerful social and behaviour change initiatives

Since 1998, BBC Media Action has been implementing powerful social and behaviour change initiatives across 25 countries in the key themes of governance, health and resilience. Programming is informed by theories of change and extensive research which help to develop effective behaviour change initiatives which are tested through rigorous mixed-method research techniques.
This session will focus on two cases studies examining the different techniques used to inform and measure behaviour change outcomes and pathways and how the findings have been used to further develop media and communication projects.

Sally Gowland, Senior Research Manager, BBC Media Action
Sonia Whitehead, Head of Research, BBC Media Action


14.30 Behavioural science: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

This closing presentation will consider how behavioural science is evolving and will focus on the three factors that are influencing the future. Firstly, the bad; the so called ‘replication crisis’ - but how it is actually making behavioural science stronger and (perhaps ironically) more robust. Secondly, the ugly; whilst the majority ‘nudge for good’, those who use ‘sludge’ are beginning to face pushback. The societal permission and ethical and legal remit to tackle sludge is growing rapidly. And finally, the good; the streamlining of behavioural science, where there will be fewer recognised biases and heuristics and only the most robust, with the strongest evidence base will remain. These three factors will fuel the development of stronger scientific tools for market research, to both understand human behaviour and to influence it… Now that is an exciting vision!

Crawford Hollingworth, Founder, The Behavioural Architects


14.50 End of conference

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