Behavioural Science is the study of human behaviour. Through an understanding of behavioural science, you can better understand why people act the way they do. In turn, this understanding can help you influence, motivate and change the behaviour of people.
In the study of Behavioural Science, there are biases and nudges. Understanding common human behaioural biases enables us as practitioners to identify behavioiural insights. Biases are the unconscious behaviour people do every day, while a ‘nudge’ is a technique used in behavioral campaigns to influence people and their everyday behaviour (i.e. through an understanding of a bias we can nudge people in the right direction). Nudges in behavioural science can only be used to point someone in the direction of a good decision.
For marketing and advertising practitioners, an understanding of behavioural biases can heighten the effectiveness of your creative campaigns. Specifically, behavioural biases become particularly helpful in behavioural change campaigns where you are looking to change a consumer's behaviour. However, it can also be used to help influence smaller actions such as liking a social media post or going in-store vs. online.
The best approach is to layer different behavioural science biases on top of each other to create an even stronger effect (i.e. social proof, the messenger effect, costly signaling etc…).
For more practical examples of how to influence people we recommend checking out How to Win Friend and Influence People by Dale Carnegie.
In this blog, we will explore one behavioural science bias - The Pratfall Effect.