We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website.If you continue without changing your settings, we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies on the Ipsos MORI website. However, if you would like to , you can change your cookie settings at any time.

Acceptable Behaviour?

Public opinion on behaviour change policy

Acceptable Behaviour?

Many of the biggest challenges we face as societies around the world could be largely solved if people changed their behaviours and habits.  It’s no surprise then that behavioural economics or “nudge” approaches are of increasing interest to governments and policy-makers.  In these austere times, relatively cheap ways to deal with major issues is hugely attractive.

But at the same time, politicians have been cautious about wholeheartedly backing behaviour change policies – perhaps because they are concerned about how acceptable their citizens (and voters) will find government interference in their decisions. 

Our report, Acceptable Behaviour? looks at exactly this issue – asking citizens across 24 countries how acceptable they find different levels of government intervention on four key policy issues:

  • smoking;
  • eating unhealthy foods;
  • saving for retirement; and
  • living in an environmentally sustainable way.

The findings throw up some interesting surprises and paradoxes. Large parts of the world are not as opposed to government intervention as might be first imagined. But whilst people are willing for governments to intervene in specific areas, when asked about government intervention at a general level there is still strong resistance.

As far as we are aware, this is the first report that addresses these issues internationally.  We are also delighted to have a foreword from Dr David Halpern, the Director of the UK government’s Behavioural Insight Team, and one of the world’s leading thinkers on these issues.

At the Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, we are committed to sharing messages from our research, in the belief that a better understanding of public behaviour will lead to better public policy.

We hope you find this report interesting and if you would like to discuss any of the issues it raises, then please get in touch.

Add to My Ipsos MORI Bookmark & Share Print this page

Contact Us

Bobby Duffy
Bobby Duffy

Managing Director, Social Research Institute

Email

Social Media

Connect with Ipsos MORI online