Changing Public Health and Safety Behaviours
Governments, regulators, agencies and charities aim to effect positive changes in society. Whether it’s motivating businesses, consumers, passengers, residents, pedestrians, sports participants or car drivers, there is a frequent wish to change people’s attitudes and behaviours.
Whether relevant to the general population or targeted at specific audience groups, behaviour change strategies may seek to reduce an unhealthy/unsafe behaviour (e.g. smoking, poor diet, speeding, unsafe leisure activity) or prompt healthy/safe practices (e.g. exercise participation, positive mental health practices, business compliance with health and safety laws).
People’s behaviour is affected by a range of psychological, social, cultural, demographic and environmental influences. Hence, to evoke lasting behaviour change we must first understand behaviour of the target audience and their surrounding environment.
Successful behaviour change
There are many examples of successful interventions that have facilitated and sustained change in enduring behaviours. These share some common features, such as:
- Being targeted at those most at risk
- Characterising the behaviours targeted for change
- Persuasive messages that tackle misperceptions and challenge norms, raise awareness and motivate
- Educating and empowering – increasing knowledge of hazards and how to behave in a safe and healthy way
- Framing and illustration to ensure the target audience identifies with the message
- Building confidence: self-confidence in ability to act and efficacy that making the change in behaviour will have the desired effect
- Providing a call to action
By drawing on behaviour change theories and the psychology of communication, interventions can galvanise sustained change in attitudes and behaviours by addressing psychological root causes.
We bring together expertise in psychology, social science and communications to develop, support and robustly evaluate innovative and effective behavioural interventions. Whether a regulatory, educational, communications or technology-based intervention, we can help develop and ensure effective strategies for promoting behavioural change.
Identifying people at risk
Interventions need to target those people most at risk of harm or ill-health. We help identify who is most at risk through assessment of socio-demographic, attitudinal and behaviour profiles of people involved in accidents, unhealthy lifestyles or at risk from environmental hazards such as flooding.
Understanding drivers of behaviour
The success of initiatives depends on understanding and addressing underlying attitudes and behaviours as well as practical barriers to behaviour change. We provide insight by conducting in-depth research, exploring personal experiences, motivations, perceptions, social dynamics, values and beliefs, and relating these to attitudes and behaviours.
We help develop communication plans, associated messaging and educational materials for use in behavioural interventions.
Developing & trialling behavioural interventions
We help you go from behaviour change theory to practice, translating principles into strategy and the design of programmes. This includes developing concepts, testing concepts and evaluating pilot schemes.
Evaluating behavioural interventions
We conduct process and outcome evaluations, feeding lessons learnt back into the next iteration of programmes.
What is special about Greenstreet Berman
We are an independent consultancy with a 20-year track record of successful delivery.
- We can draw on experience from across a very wide range of public health and safety matters and safety critical / high hazard industries
- We are Chartered Psychologists with applied expertise
- We understand risk perception and risk communication
- We can model risk related decision making, attitudes and behaviours
- We have worked for a wide range of Government departments, agencies, regulators and charities
- We offer evidence-based advice drawing on latest thinking