Setting new standards in behavioural science

Nick Barron

Steve Martin, the UK CEO of INFLUENCE AT WORK, our behavioural science partners, has joined the Executive Team of a new group designed to set new global standards in behavioural science.

The Global Association of Applied Behavioural Scientists (GAABS) brings together a group of world-renowned academics and leading practitioners to set a standard for bona-fide behavioural science practice. By providing a seal of approval for eligible members, GAABS seeks to safeguard ethical and scientifically sound applications in the currently unregulated field of behavioural science and provides a signal of quality and reliability for any organisation commissioning behavioural science services.

Behavioural science is a rapidly-growing field, with a growing range of applications in public health, education, business, technology and communications. Worldwide, there are more than 200 behavioural insights teams within governments alone. Many of those currently offering behavioural science consultancy have no relevant qualifications or scientific expertise.

GAABS’ Advisory Board comprises several of the discipline’s founding fathers such as Nobel Prize winner and Thinking Fast and Slow author, Daniel Kahneman and National Academy of Sciences member Robert Cialdini, author of Influence—The Psychology of Persuasion. Other leading academics joining GAABS include Jennifer Lerner from Harvard Kennedy School, Paul Dolan from the London School of Economics, Pelle Guldborg Hansen of Roskilde University, Dilip Soman of University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management and Adam Alter from NYU Stern School of Business.

Management of the organisation will be undertaken by an Executive Team of applied behavioural scientists and researchers including Steve Martin, Faculty Director of the Behavioural Science in Business Executive Program at Columbia University and Professor Liam Delaney at the LSE.

Professor Kahneman said, “Given the increased interest in applied behavioural science, the formation of a society representing the skills, conduct and practices of professional members is a sensible move at the current time.”