Request a Proposal
Welcome to Rapport, containing tips, truths, news and views, blogs, tweets, articles and films covering a range of topics currently affecting Research Partnership and the pharma market research world
  • Posted by Dan Coffin
  • August 21, 2020
  • Articles

Why pharma must trust the science of behaviour

Why pharma must trust the science of behaviour

In a recent interview with PME Magazine, Dan Coffin explained why the application of behavioural science will be key to better health far beyond COVID-19.

Last month, as the world began to tiptoe its way out of lockdown, a Sky News anchor declared that COVID-19 had ‘exposed behavioural science’ as ‘a load of nonsense’. The rationale? That behavioural scientists’ influence over the UK government’s COVID response caused a delay in lockdown that cost thousands of lives. The scientists’ logic was that if restrictions were imposed too early, ‘behavioural fatigue’ would soon set in and people might sleepwalk back into dangerous habits before the pandemic had peaked. Increases in road traffic that began three weeks into lockdown suggest the thinking had some merit. But the subsequent death toll – and hindsight – tell a different story. Today, months into a crisis where we’re consistently told to ‘trust the science’, the science of behaviour is under the microscope. However, to debate behavioural theory solely through the lens of the coronavirus – using death as the guiding metric – is to minimise its value. Human behaviour is complex, but understanding what drives it – and designing communications that encourage people to do things differently – is key to facilitating positive change. Dismissing behavioural science as blather – a bitter irony in Sky News’ case, given the broadcaster’s mastery of conscious bias…

read more »