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Title: Applying behavioural science to communication to encourage cooperation in social and intrapersonal dilemmas
Author: Kolodko, Julia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 6296
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2018
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This thesis examines how behavioural science can be used in communication to promote cooperation in social and intrapersonal dilemmas. Specifically, it presents three research projects, one aimed at improving health choices and two aimed at encouraging people to act pro-environmentally. The objective of the first study was to test whether making health consequences of healthy/unhealthy foods and drinks salient would make people more likely to choose healthy options. This manipulation relied on a well-researched hidden zero effect and aimed to apply it in a more real-world context. Results were inconclusive, with the manipulation having a significant impact on choices made in an online experiment but not in a follow-up field experiment. The other projects aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of a behavioural change framework, i.e. the Behavioural Change Wheel (Michie, Atkins & West, 2014), in communication and environmental decision-making. The aim of the Twitter project, described in Chapter 3, was to encourage participants to tweet anti-littering messages. The interventions had a significant impact on intent to tweet and actual behaviour. I developed and describe a novel tool that allows one to measure real behaviour and merge online academic research with social media. The last project was conducted in collaboration with LitterGram, an anti-littering start-up. I developed an e-mail-based intervention, aimed at encouraging users to use the app more, with the objective of establishing a desired social norm of clean public spaces. The intervention was effective in increasing usage. Together, these three projects indicate that it is possible to influence behaviour through the means of written communication, in online settings and outside of the context of public policy. This work provides new tools and methodologies of how to conduct such research methodically and relying on behavioural science theory. Implications, limitations and directions for future research are discussed in Chapter 5.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; HD Industries. Land use. Labor ; HM Sociology