Behavioural insights

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Behavioural insights in policy and practice

Research shows that suggestions, influences, biases and lapses in judgement can make effective decision making difficult.

Behavioural insights explore the science of how people make decisions, and we use evidence to design improvements to Victorian public services and policies.

Behavioural insights strengthen public policies

Applying a behavioural insights lens to real world problems helps us to consider how people behave in everyday life. By blending insights from psychology and behavioural economics into public policy development we can improve the effectiveness of our interventions.

An infamous example is the nudge, where seemingly insignificant changes to how a choice is framed can result in markedly different outcomes. You can see an example of ‘the nudge’ through Alfred Health’s work to nudge healthier beverage choices.

Levers like nudges account for human behaviour in the design and delivery of policy, and support the Victorian Government’s commitment to deliver better outcomes by making government more citizen-centric.

The importance of evidence

Central to behavioural insights is the principle of testing. Where possible, public policy should be supported by robust evidence.

Randomised Controlled Trials (RCTs) are a favoured testing mechanism that compare the effectiveness of trialled interventions against what would have happened if nothing had changed. This approach allows practitioners to understand what works and what doesn't. The Behavioural Insights Unit can provide you with more information on how to run your own RCT.