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Columnist Crawford Hollingworth Rethinking the gap O to create a haven for birds in their back garden, make a shady ften, when encouraged to change particular space, or grow fruit. None of the messages specifically mentioned behaviours, people say they intend to change, but fail the word tree, as many people had negative associations about to follow through. Using the latest insights from trees being too big to plant in their backyards. This campaign behavioural science, however, there are new ways in strategy led to more than one million trees being planted in the which this intention-action gap can be reduced or eliminated: space of a year. Can we build stronger intentions for behaviour change using Similarly, research on how to encourage parents to use more lateral motivations and reasoning? reusable, rather than disposable, nappies found that the Can we make intentions stronger by harnessing societal personally motivating factor of having more space in the bin awareness to create more pressure to change? worked more effectively than a save the environment message. Can we make the desired behaviour change easier to achieve? A weeks worth of disposable nappies takes up a lot of space! One idea is to ask if we are building the intention to change in A recent experimental trial by Sofia Deleniv, Sarah Jane Fraser the most effective way. For example, recent work has found that it and colleagues at the Canadian governments Impact and might be productive to highlight a more direct personal gain to Innovation Unit found that Canadian build stronger intentions to change. homeowners with little prior knowledge Abstract or collective societal goals can of heat pumps were least convinced by sometimes lack a more appealing whats It might be productive environmental arguments for heat pump in it for me? angle and fail to turn to highlight a more direct adoption. Highlighting health benefits intention into action. A recent trial by personal gain to build stronger driven by better indoor air quality was Unilever and the Behavioural Insights intentions to change more effective, driving higher interest in Team found that using climate adoption. pragmatism and climate-optimistic A second approach is to make people framing via influencers on TikTok and more aware of others approval of a behaviour. Even if consumers Instagram increased intentions slightly, but it had no impact on approve of a behaviour and intend to carry it out, they probably whether consumers then put any of 14 specific sustainable wont do it if they believe other people dont think its important, behaviours into action. dont approve of it, and wouldnt do it. This phenomenon is The more someone feels an action or behaviour benefits them particularly pertinent for sustainable behaviours. or aligns with their identity, the more likely they are to do it. Social change organisation Rare recently built a Climate Accommodating an action to suit their identity in some way Change Index and found a substantial gap between what people might be more effective than getting them to change their point thought others should be doing and what they thought others of view. believed what it terms the normative bubble. For example, Recent work by The Behavioural Architects (TBA) for the New eight out of 10 Americans believe people should be wasting less South Wales Department of Planning and Environment in food, yet they also assume only five out of 10 Americans known Australia, encouraged Sydney citizens to plant a tree in their to them think this as well. Reducing this gap by building social garden. Rather than calling on (guilting) people to do their bit for awareness, with stronger communication about what other the environment and climate change, TBAs strategy invited them 48 Impact ISSUE 42 2023_pp48-49_Crawford.indd 48 16/06/2023 17:17