Behaviour works as usual
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Human behaviour is at the core of the COVID-19 crisis and many other health, social and environmental challenges.
At BehaviourWorks, we have dedicated our careers to using insights from the behavioural sciences to understand and influence human behaviour in a way that benefits individuals and society as a whole.
As part of Monash University, BehaviourWorks Australia remains committed to working through the crisis, and we believe that many of our products and services can be used at this time to help organisations gather the evidence they need to make good program and policy decisions.
How are we supporting staff and partners?
We have always been a flexible and adaptive organisation and now, with our colleagues in the Monash Sustainable Development Institute, we have been able to move quickly in terms of putting in measures to minimise disruption during the crisis and support our staff and partners adapt to these new circumstances.
Meetings and knowledge sharing have moved online and we are offering our partners a range of other online collaboration options.
Over the years, we have also developed a number of practical tools that organisations can use internally and several of these products lend themselves to online delivery, so we plan to develop these up as well.
BehaviourWorks also provides a range of professional and bespoke behaviour change training options and our specialist teams are rapidly converting many of these to online delivery as well.
We are being supported in all of the above endeavours by Monash University, which has provided full access to all of its resources and digital platforms, libraries, software and video conferencing facilities, including Zoom, Moodle and webinars.
We are well prepared, and stand ready, to assist current and future partners address their research needs.
Please direct your questions and enquires to: email@example.com.
While continuing to work on existing research projects, we are also proactively seeking opportunities to help current and future partners use behaviour change to address the COVID-19 crisis.
A key project is the SCRUB survey on Covid-19 behaviours. The ‘living survey’ surveillance system looks at why citizens do – or do not – enact key public health behaviours and messages. This work is aimed at providing policymakers with actionalbe insights. Please visit our blog for updates on this study.
We have also:
- Workshopped sensitive and effective communications of key messages during the crisis with a State Government agency.
- Worked with a group of behavioural scientists to develop the website: StandAgainstCorona.The website presents a list of four actions that people can commit to in order to prevent infection.
- Conducted an online hackathon to help the Office of Innovation in the State of New Jersey (US) understand COVID-19 screening behaviours. The office has adopted our website interventions, which encourage honesty in filling out the form (to reduce the number of people trying to fast track being tested) and joining up for a flu tracker (which has tens of thousands signed up). The site received over 600,000 hits in the first 12 hours.
- Designed processes for even more Rapid Reviews and scans with a 24-48 hour turnaround for urgent behavioural questions.
- With AustralianSuper we are exploring, as part of a wider research study, how the current crisis is affecting retirement confidence.
BehaviourWorks’s researchers have been highly active in the media, with many mainstream outlets seeking out our expertise. These articles are intended to provide helpful support and advice.
To date, our researchers have written the following articles, or participated in media interviews:
- 2 June. In Monash Lens: Getting the most out of your telehealth consultations during COVID-19.
- 20 May: Emerging from COVID-19 lockdown: What former prisoners can teach us.
- 1 May. Is school closure necessary to combat COVID-19?
- 7 April. In The Conversation. More Australians are worried about a recession and an increasingly selfish society than about coronavirus itself.
- 31 March. In The Conversation, Coronavirus is a wake-up call: our war with the environment is leading to pandemics.
- 27 March. In The Conversation. “Stay positive, Scott Morrison: when you berate people for bad behaviour, they do it more”.
- 25 March. In The Conversation, Coronavirus and you: how your personality affects how you cope and what you can do about it.
- 24 March. Monash Lens. COVID-19: Emotional and behavioural reactions to the unexpected.
- 24 March. in The Conversation. Why are we calling it ‘social distancing’? Right now, we need social connections more than ever.
- 24 March. ABC Radio 774. BWA Research Fellow, Mark Boulet, warns listeners about the impact that hygiene and health products can have on the waste system.
- 21 March. Dr Peter Slattey interviewed by the BBC on why some people stick to social distancing yet others don’t.
- 13 March. Monash Lens. COVID-19: Toilet paper panic trickle-down effect (warning of the risk that toilet paper alternatives such as wet wipes, napkins and thicker paper may lead to another major “monster” waste issue).
- March 5. In The Guardian, a behavioural science perspective on The Great #toiletpapercrisis of 2020 (Even as behavioural researchers we couldn’t resist the urge to buy toilet paper). The story was picked up by dozens of media outlets and BWA Director, Liam Smith, was interviewed by the BBC.