Centre for Behaviour Change


The Human Behaviour-Change Project (HBCP)

The Human Behaviour-Change Project (HBCP) is creating an online ‘Knowledge System’ that uses Artificial Intelligence, in particular Natural Language Processing and Machine Learning, to extract information from intervention evaluation reports to answer key questions about the evidence. It is a collaboration between behavioural scientists, computer scientists and systems architects.

The Knowledge System will continually search publication databases to find behaviour change intervention evaluation reports, extract and synthesise the findings, provide up-to-date answers to questions, and draw inferences about behaviour change. Practitioners, policy makers and researchers will be able to query the system to obtain answers to variants of the key question: ‘What intervention(s) work, compared with what, how well, with what exposure, with what behaviours, for how long, for whom, in what settings and why?’

Resources from the project can be found below. Many of these are hosted on Open Science Framework, and we continue to publish to our Wellcome Open Research collection. You can also visit the HBCP website at www.humanbehaviourchange.org and follow us on Twitter @HBCProject.

Join the HBCP mailing list

Read the latest news and updates from the HBCP project by joining the mailing list - to read past issues and join the mailing list, click on the link below.

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Key publications

Editorial: The Human Behaviour-Change Project: An artificial intelligence system to answer questions about changing behaviour
Michie S, Thomas J, Mac Aonghusa P et al. Wellcome Open Res 2020, 5:122

Read here

Representation of behaviour change interventions and their evaluation: Development of the Upper Level of the Behaviour Change Intervention Ontology
Michie S, West R, Finnerty AN et al. Wellcome Open Res 2021, 5:123

Read here

Development of an Intervention Setting Ontology for behaviour change: Specifying where interventions take place
Norris E, Marques MM, Finnerty AN et al. Wellcome Open Res 2020, 5:124

Read here

Delivering Behaviour Change Interventions: Development of a Mode of Delivery Ontology
Marques MM, Carey RN, Norris E et al. Wellcome Open Res 2021, 5:125

Read here

Ontologies relevant to behaviour change interventions: a method for their development
Wright AJ, Norris E, Finnerty AN et al. Wellcome Open Res 2020, 5:126

Read here

Online tools 

Theory and Techniques Tool

The Theories and Techniques Tool allows you to explore the links between Behaviour Change Techniques and their Mechanism of Action. The BCT-MoA links in the heat map were identified in the MRC-funded programme of research, the Theory and Techniques of Behaviour Change Project. The project investigated links from the published scientific literature and links agreed by experts in consensus exercises, and produced a final ‘triangulation’ between these two sources of evidence.

Theories & Techniques Tool

HBCP Information Extraction System Demonstration

HBCP Prediction System Demonstration


The Human Behaviour-Change Project: Where are we now?
Michie et al (CBC Conference, 2020)

View presentation

Development of the Behaviour Change Intervention Ontology
Norris et al (CBC Conference, 2020)

View presentation

Application of the HBCP system to research, policy and practice
West (CBC Conference, 2020)

View presentation


Overview – Human Behaviour-Change Project
Professor Susan Michie, HBCP Principal Investigator, provides an overview of the project and the ‘Big Question’ that the HBCP Knowledge System is being developed to answer.Watch here

Ontologies – Human Behaviour-Change Project
Janna Hastings, HBCP Ontology Consultant, explains what an ontology is and why they are useful for the behavioural and social sciences.
Watch here

Computer Science – Human Behaviour-Change Project
Pol Mac Aonghusa, HBCP Co-investigator, discusses the computer science aspect of the project.
Watch here

Public Health – Human Behaviour-Change Project
Professor Mike Kelly, HBCP Co-investigator, discusses the importance of the project for evidence-based public health.
Watch here