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Behavioural science

Understand behaviour, biases and heuristics to overcome barriers and drive desired outcomes

We humans may be armed with lots of information and the best intentions, but we still don’t always behave in a rational way. We are driven by subconscious biases and heuristics, which help us deal with the decision-making demands of our busy lives.

Behavioural science is the scientific, evidence-based study of human behaviour in order to influence desired changes.

At Research Partnership, we apply the principles of behavioural science in our market research design and analysis to help you understand the market landscape and how your stakeholders make decisions, as well as to map the patient journey and shape your communications. We provide guidance on how to create interventions that elicit required behaviour.


Our approach addresses 4 key tenets of behavioural science theory:

System 1 vs System 2 thinking
Theory: System 1 operates automatically and quickly. System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations.

The sub-conscious mind
Theory: Our subconscious is the part of the mind of which one is not fully aware but which influences one's actions and feelings.

Biases and heuristics
Theory: We all hold a range of biases and make shortcuts
in order make decisions.

Influence of context
Theory: We make different decisions depending on the circumstances, situation, company or timing.

Research Design

In our research design, we apply certain techniques to help you get closer to understanding real behaviour:

Projective techniques
Drawn from a choice of exercises such as personification, laddering and belief mapping, projective techniques are used to understand whether decision-making is done intuitively or deliberately and which biases might be driving behaviour.

Bias adjustment techniques
If we know a bias will impact results, such as with demand assessment, we include research techniques, such as adjusting overstatement, to account for it.

In-the-moment techniques
Where we know context will have a significant impact on behaviour, we use methods such as mobile interceptions to ensure we are collecting insights in-the-moment.

Analysis and interpretation

The EAST framework
In our analysis of the insights we use the EAST framework, a simple model based on the key principles of behavioural science theory, to make recommendations on how to drive changes in behaviour to desired outcomes. The framework, developed by a team of behavioural science experts for the UK government, seeks to understand what is limiting desired behaviour and to plan interventions to overcome it.

We use this framework to structure our solution and to guide our recommendations.

East framework - providing solutions to encourage required behaviour

Our Research Directors are on hand to help you uncover the biases and heuristics driving unwanted behaviour and help provide guidance on how to change it.

Behavioural science resources:

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