James Watson, Associate Advisor, Behavioural Insights Team

DSC0095James is an Associate Advisor at the Behavioural Insights Team. The team, commonly known as the ‘Nudge Unit’, first began life inside government in 2010. It aims to use insights from the growing body of academic research in the fields of behavioural economics and psychology to encourage, enable and support people to make better decisions.

First joining the team in August 2015, James has worked on a variety of projects in schools and colleges. This included a set of interventions aimed at improving numeracy and literacy levels among further education college students. More recently, his work has focused on tackling crime through behaviour change, including multiple trials in partnership with a large police force and an initiative to protect banking customers against fraud. Prior to this he worked at the University of Bristol testing parent engagement interventions designed in collaboration with Harvard University.

Presentation: Improving road safety: what can we learn from behavioural insights?
Can small changes make a big difference? And how can we measure their impact? From traffic fines to parental engagement in schools, this talk will introduce how behavioural insights can tackle a range of problems applicable to the behaviour of young road users. The talk will also focus on the importance of evidence-based policymaking and how the Behavioural Insights Team uses randomised controlled trials (RCTs) to test the effectiveness of its interventions.