Behavioural Science Market Research

Behavioural Science

The world of behaviour is messy. The world of behaviour change, equally so; and therein lies your organisation’s opportunity!

When asked, human beings have little trouble offering their self-declared reasons for why they do the things they do. In fact, gathering people’s own points of view over the past 20 years is how we made our name. The conscious part of our brain however, hasn’t evolved to be aware of many of the innate influences driving our actions.

Combining an understanding of our cognitive biases with the adoption of a more inquisitive mindset means we can often arrive at counterintuitive and unexpected answers to the problems plaguing the business world. Behavioural Science-inspired solutions embrace this and provide access to a much larger solution set than otherwise would ever be considered.

Recognising that outside the confines of traditional market research can lie a great deal of magic waiting to be discovered, we set up our own Behavioural Science Unit, the DJS BSU.

The BSU brings together market researchers, behavioural scientists and academics from a host of institutions as well as Sir Henry Royce Memorial Prize winning statisticians. Together, this multi-disciplinary team study the mind from multiple perspectives and interrogate your organisation’s problems through different lenses, providing fresh, integrated solutions for you to deploy.

We design and test novel ideas across a range of areas to find what works and what doesn’t. Because of our work, fewer people are likely to cause sewer blockages due to flushing things other than pee, poo and paper, more people with long-term health conditions are now physically active and more people are willing to go to their doctor if experiencing the warning signs of cancer – the power of behavioural science insights are as fascinating as they are humbling.

Whilst your organisation’s challenges are going to be unique, below is a flavour of some of our insights and associated applications for you to have a look through:

  • People need the Capability, Opportunity and Motivation if they are going to change their Behaviour. Using the COM-B model has helped our clients create tangible changes in people’s behaviour by identifying which interventions are going to have the most impact.
  • Behaviour doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It operates in context – always. Understanding this it becomes easier to appreciate just how powerful perceptual norms can be at influencing problematic behaviours. Measuring these norms relative to people’s own behaviour can reveal perception gaps and help pinpoint where action is most needed within your organisation and/or across your customer base.
  • Human beings do not have access to perfect introspection of their own motivations. This is why it is important to listen to what participants say, but to interpret it laterally rather than only literally. This can lead to some fascinating nuggets of value-enhancing insight you just wouldn’t come up with if you rigidly stuck to a literal path.
  • Trying to change behaviour through comms that raise awareness of an issue by emphasising how widespread a problematic behaviour is can backfire due to the often-overlooked psychological phenomenon, negative social proof. Re-framing a message to focus less on facts and logic and more on humour and emotion can be more compelling. 
  • Humans aren’t instantly programmable like a piece of software. Behaviour change can take time as people move through a series of stages when modifying their own behaviour. The Transtheoretical Model (TTM) can be used to understand how ready people are to change and how best to encourage them along in their behaviour change journey.

Our team is ready to help your organisation chart its way forward, so give us a call to talk about in what ways an understanding of how humans really think and behave can be harnessed to your businesses’ benefit.

For further information:
Contact Alex McCluckie, Research Director, on or 07773 347 193.


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