This seminar series aims to investigate as yet unanswered aspects of the debate over Behaviour Change and the use of psychology in techniques of governing.  Specifically, we do not know enough about the effects of psychological forms of governance on national populations and specific social groups. Nor do we know what alternatives to Behaviour Change might look like if they were informed by participatory, observational or interpretive social science methods rather than economistic or behavioural science techniques and paradigms.

The seminars will discuss the Behaviour Change agenda in its wider context – in relation to how our cultural ideas about the brain, mind, behaviour and self are changing.  Participants from a range of social science disciplines will identify research, practical and political challenges posed by the current policy enthusiasm for particular branches of positive psychology, wellbeing, happiness, flourishing and ‘mindfulness’ in order to examine two original aspects: (a) the cumulative effect, or unintended consequences of the use of psychology in public policy, and (b) the underlying assumptions and principles on which they are based.

There will be 5 seminars and 1 Postgraduate/early career Summer School in this series held at the Universities of Aberystwyth, Birmingham, Bristol, Durham, and at Collaborative Change social enterprise in Lancaster:

Seminar 1 24th March 2014 Changing spaces, urban planning and neuroarchitecture bristol uni logo
Seminar 2 23rd June 2014 Psychological resilience. Governing the brain,  mind and behaviour uni logo
Seminar 3 15th and 16th December 2014 Re-Theorising ‘Behaviour Change’ Durham-University-Logo
Seminar 4 11th May 2015 Silver Bullets Need A Careful Aim. Dilemmas in applying behavioural insights collaborative change logo
Seminar 5 15th Sept 2015 Critical Dialogues on Psychology, Behaviour and Brain Science: Graduate and Early Career Summer School aber-uni-logo copy
Seminar 6 14th Dec 2015 The Politics and Economics of Attention bristol uni logo


3 thoughts on “About

  1. Interesting work…could you perhaps give more info on when the Bristol events will be on, or perhaps on who the coordinating partners/academics are in Bristol? Thanks!

    • Dear Warren,
      Thanks for getting in touch. The organisers for the Bristol seminar are Dr JD Dewsbury and Dr Maria Fannin. I have just put up some biographical information for them on the Organisers page, with links to their university webpages and contact details. The Bristol event is now due to take place in March/April. Further details will be posted when the speakers and schedule are confirmed.
      Best wishes,

  2. Thank you Jessica, this info is very helpful. I’ll look forward to the updates and the upcoming events then…best, Warren

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