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Free Content Editorial: Behavioural change

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In the last editorial attention was focused on the role played by capitalism as the basis for economic organisation and, ultimately, the well-being of society. Emphasis was given to 2 major themes - the nature of self interest and the importance of a short versus long-term perspectives. It was argued that it was important to distinguish between enlightened self-interest, which is the form advocated by Adam Smith (and many proponents of social business) and selfish self interest of the kind which led to the financial crash of 2007 and the subsequent recession. Further analysis proposed that selfish self interest is more prevalent when people take a short-term view of the future without considering what might be the long-term consequences of their behaviour.

In this editorial, we turn our attention to behavioural change. We discuss how policy makers are using social science research into behaviour to gain a better understanding of how they can create policies which will have a societal impact and enable positive behavioural change.

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Document Type: Editorial

Publication date: September 1, 2011

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