Paul Dolan

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    It’s personal rather than political: lost wallets are no less likely to be returned to political party supporters

It’s personal rather than political: lost wallets are no less likely to be returned to political party supporters

In a new take on a wallet drop study Paul Dolan, Kate Laffan and Laura Kudrna investigate whether being associated with a political party has an impact on the likelihood of getting a lost wallet back. Compared to a control group, they find no differences for the political parties – and, in fact, a higher likelihood of return for Green party affiliation. That […]

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    Happiness research draws our attention to both structure and agency

Happiness research draws our attention to both structure and agency

Happiness research draws our attention to how the structure of society impacts upon our wellbeing just as much as it does to individual behaviours and characteristics, writes Paul Dolan. Being happier, therefore, involves both structure and agency. 

Research into happiness has increased in recent years and we know a lot more than we once did about its determinants. Researchers have typically […]

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    Five minutes with Paul Dolan: “Happiness is experiences of pleasure and purpose over time”

Five minutes with Paul Dolan: “Happiness is experiences of pleasure and purpose over time”

How can we be happier? What is happiness? These questions are often asked yet seldomly answered in a satisfactory manner. In an interview with Joel Suss, editor of the British Politics and Policy blog, Paul Dolan explores these questions and discusses his new book, Happiness by Design. Released yesterday, the book is a culmination of years of research into […]

The Behavioural Insights Team’s report on energy use is good first step, but there are still concerns about compensating behaviours, experimental design and the quality of evidence.

Paul Dolan reviews the new report from the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Insights team on Behaviour Change and Energy use, and is surprised that it fails to mention the possibility that interventions to change energy use may be offset by behaviour changes elsewhere. He also emphasises the importance of getting the experimental design correct in future studies, and has some concerns […]

We can use nudges to construct our ‘choice environment’ to improve wellbeing

In this latest Behavioural Public Policy article, the LSE’s Paul Dolan, a former member of the Government’s Behavioural Insights Team, summarises why he thinks nudges work. Did you skip the gym again last night? Did you buy and then devour that giant size chocolate bar on special offer for a pound? Such choices might make you happier, but they might […]