Department of Psychology and Behavioural Science

  • Permalink Gallery

    Moving from cheap talk to action: the case of diversity and inclusion

Moving from cheap talk to action: the case of diversity and inclusion

It is easy to talk about caring about diversity and inclusion. In fact, it would be hard to find a professional worker these days who would declare that they did not in public. It is also far too easy to write policies that are not enforced and make promises for change that go unfulfilled. This makes it all the […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    On being human: how behavioural science can help virtual working

On being human: how behavioural science can help virtual working

In 1816, Mary Shelley spent the summer in Geneva in the company of her family, Lord Byron and his physician John Polidori. The weather was dreadful due to the eruption of Mount Tamboro in Indonesia, and the group spent much of their time locked inside to escape the incessant rain. The group had stirring discussions on science and the […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Cinco lecciones de ciencias del comportamiento para las reuniones virtuales de equipo

Cinco lecciones de ciencias del comportamiento para las reuniones virtuales de equipo

Con el inicio de COVID-19, muchas empresas han hecho la transición de espacios de trabajo físicos a virtuales, con tiempo el limitado para planearla o si él. Después de que las organizaciones hayan atravesado el obstáculo inicial de cambiar a su fuerza de trabajo a un formato virtual, se encontrarán en la búsqueda de una definición de negocio como tal. […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Five behavioural science lessons for managing virtual team meetings

Five behavioural science lessons for managing virtual team meetings

With the onset of Covid-19, many firms have made the transition from physical workspaces to virtual ones, with limited or no planning time. After organisations get beyond the initial hurdle of shifting their workforce to a virtual format, they will be searching for a new definition of business as usual. During that time, it is important to bear in […]

Inclusión virtual durante el cierre sanitario por Covid-19

En marzo de 2020, como parte de la respuesta a COVID-19, empresas en el reino unido hicieron la transición de espacios de trabajos físicos a virtuales, con el tiempo limitado para la planeación o sin él. Un patrón similar ocurrió alrededor del mundo con diferentes fechas de inicio. Hoy en día, la mayoría de organizaciones han avanzado más allá […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Covid-19: overcoming obstacles to virtual inclusion for City of London workers

Covid-19: overcoming obstacles to virtual inclusion for City of London workers

In March 2020, as part of the COVID-19 response, firms in the UK made the transition from physical workspaces to virtual ones, with limited or no planning time. A similar pattern happened across the globe with different start dates. Today, most organisations have moved beyond the initial hurdle of shifting their workforce to a virtual format, and are now […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Long read: Cultural evolution, Covid-19, and preparing for what’s next

Long read: Cultural evolution, Covid-19, and preparing for what’s next

In 2015, in the wake of the West African Ebola epidemic, Bill Gates issued a warning (summarised in a TED Talk): Of the killers that could claim 10 million or more lives, the most likely was an epidemic. After any event, it is easy to point to those who predicted it, ignoring all those who predicted other possible futures or […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The neglected fact of diversity research: religious identity in the workplace

The neglected fact of diversity research: religious identity in the workplace

Some years ago, we started to wonder when (or when not), how and why (or why not) employees are expressing their religious identity at work.

This interest was driven by some highly visible cases were employees’ religious beliefs were in conflict with work. For example, two Catholic midwives sought to avoid supervising abortion procedures, a case that reached the UK […]

Happy employees and their impact on firm performance

A growing number of companies claim to place a high priority on the wellbeing of their workers – and there is a fast-growing industry of firms selling products related to employee wellbeing. But does investing in employee wellbeing actually lead to higher productivity and are there any tangible benefits to the business bottom line? Experimental evidence such as Oswald […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    It takes a village: career choices are influenced by society more than by upbringing

It takes a village: career choices are influenced by society more than by upbringing

My recent research (joint with Warn Lekfuangfu) considers the extent to which societal shifts have been responsible for an increased tendency for women to sort into traditional male roles over time, versus individual level childhood factors (for example, socioeconomic status, parental time inputs, peer effects). In other words, we are interested in the extent that childhood factors, which vary within […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

What power does to you – the psychological consequences of power

We often blame the behaviours of those who have power and abuse it on the individual and his or her personality. That is, we make what psychologists call a dispositional attribution. But there is more to individual and personality differences when it comes to understanding the behaviour of those in power. In fact, what is often occulted are the […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    The invisible entrepreneur: from unemployment to unstable self-employment

The invisible entrepreneur: from unemployment to unstable self-employment

Since the 2008 financial crisis, entrepreneurship has become the preferred public solution to combat unemployment. Public discourses in many EU countries, including the UK, portray entrepreneurship as socially desirable and feasible. However, this ‘solution’ makes the unemployed responsible for creating their own jobs by asking them to stoically transition between unemployment and self-employment with little or no institutional support.

Thus, the […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Design brands adjust their retail strategy to consumers’ personalities

Design brands adjust their retail strategy to consumers’ personalities

The luxury market is one of the most rapidly expanding industries around the world. Despite the financial crisis in 2008, the market for personal luxury goods has grown three times in size over the last 20 years. The industry has undergone, over the last decade, two major changes that have reshuffled the luxury landscape.

First, there has been an evolution […]

Apps like Tinder commodify the intangible

“One of the most basic processes in higher brains is the ability to carry out perceptual categorization – to ‘make sense’ of the world,” stated neuroscientist Gerald Edelman, in his neuroscientific analysis of consciousness. So what happens when the world becomes too noisy to make sense of?

As part of a small-scale MSc research project, I investigated young adults’ conceptualisations […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Developing a tool to understand corporate culture from the outside

Developing a tool to understand corporate culture from the outside

Since May 2016, we have led an academic research project to develop a new approach to measuring corporate culture. This research has produced the Unobtrusive Corporate Culture Analysis Tool (UCCAT).

UCCAT is a theoretically based and scientifically tested methodology for analysing and benchmarking corporate culture. Uniquely, rather than gathering employee interviews and questionnaires to assess culture, UCCAT analyses publicly available […]

Employers may discriminate against autism without realising

Autism is a lifelong developmental disability that affects how people connect and relate to others and also how they experience the world around them.

Most non-autistic people are not aware of the complex ways in which autistic people* experience the world and are not adequately prepared for interacting or working with autistic people. Autism is a ‘hidden’ disability, with no […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Luxury brand forums set the scene for status competition between consumers

Luxury brand forums set the scene for status competition between consumers

Beauty, by Rachel Hinman, under a CC-BY-2.0 licence
We live in a world where we spend increasingly more time online. In fact, online activities are intertwined with many different aspects of our lives, from checking our Facebook profile in the morning over breakfast, to posting photos of our gym achievements on Instagram.

Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) companies have been seizing the […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Untied to economic fluctuations, insurers are less likely to generate systemic risks

Untied to economic fluctuations, insurers are less likely to generate systemic risks

In a nutshell, macroprudential regulation is made up of two building blocks: surveillance and supervision. Surveillance is concerned with identifying, assessing and monitoring the build-up of systemic risks, i.e., those regarding the financial stability of a country or region. Supervision is aimed at preventing, mitigating and managing systemic risks.

A key lesson from the recent global financial crisis is that […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    Innovations are rarely (if ever) the product of a single individual

Innovations are rarely (if ever) the product of a single individual

We grow up learning about great inventions and scientific discoveries in history. Chances are, it won’t take you more than a few seconds to name the discoverer of penicillin, the formulator of the theory of evolution by natural selection, or the inventor of the telephone. These “lone geniuses” changed history through their individual brilliance, creativity, and tenacity. Right?

Not exactly. For […]

  • Permalink Gallery

    A new tool uses the observations of patients to assess the culture of hospitals

A new tool uses the observations of patients to assess the culture of hospitals

Organisational culture feeds into every aspect of organisational performance: for example the innovation of new products, competitiveness, and customer service. Yet, assessing the culture of an organisation remains a methodological challenge.

Typically, researchers have relied on employee self-report measures (interviews, surveys), yet responses to such methods are often a product of the culture itself. For example, research indicates that ‘risk-taking’ […]