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Open Access Behaviour Change and Psychological Governance – ESRC

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Drawing on insights from research disciplines such as behavioural economics, neuroscience and psychology, 'Behaviour Change' policies have been the subject of much media commentary, exploring charges of the 'nanny state' and psychological manipulation. This seminar series investigates the uses of psychology in techniques of governing, providing a forum for researchers to consider the effects of psychological forms of governance on national populations and specific social groups. Potential alternatives to Behaviour Change informed by participatory, observational or interpretive social science methods will be elaborated as a rejoinder to economistic or behavioural science approaches. The seminars develop new approaches to evaluating the Behaviour Change agenda in its wider context – in relation to how our cultural ideas about the brain, mind, behaviour and self are changing. International and UK based academic participants at a range of career stages from political science, social policy, critical psychology, critical neuroscience, philosophy and human geography engage with non-academic policy makers and practitioners working on various Behaviour Change initiatives. They identify the practical, political and research challenges posed by the current policy enthusiasm for particular branches of positive psychology, wellbeing, happiness, flourishing and 'mindfulness'.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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