There is a large literature around behaviour change, drawing from a number of disciplines including psychology, sociology, anthropology, economics, and neuroscience. Within these disciplines there does not seem to be a particularly outstanding group of literature or debate and it is highly contestable what the strongest groups of literature seem to be. There are a number of debates relating to behaviour change in a number of fields and at its widest interpretation ‘behaviour change’ could be said to encompass the majority of disciplines such as psychology and cognitive science.
That said, for development policy the two most relevant debates are probably those in relation to the conceptualisation of behaviour change and the application of behaviour change. Section 2 outlines the debates surrounding the theories/models of behaviour change, and in particular the three commonly cited models:
- Social Learning Theory / Social Cognitive Theory
- Theory of Planned Behaviour
- Stages of Change / Transtheoretical Model
Section 3 looks at the application of behaviour change measures, particularly the concept of ‘nudging’ in public policy, and examines the debates about the effectiveness of such interventions and the ethics of their use.