UCL Faculty of Laws


Workshop on behavioural public policy: theory and practice

09 November 2015, 10:00 am–6:00 pm

Public Policy

Event Information

Open to





UCL Gustave Tuck Lecture Theatre, Wilkins Building, Gower Street, London WC1E 6BT


Professor Richard Moorhead, University College London


Dr Chris Mills, University College London

Fay Niker, University of Warwick
Download a copy of ‘Examining the Role of Guilt in Behaviour Modification Policies’

Dr Ben Colburn, University of Glasgow
Download a copy of ‘Covert Explanation and Preference Formation’

Michael Hallsworth, The Behavioural Insights Team

Dr Adam Oliver, London School of Economics

Professor Michelle Baddeley, University College London
Download a copy of ‘The Economics of Nudging’

Professor Susan Michie, University College London

About the workshop

Developments in behavioural economics and cognitive psychology continue to raise issues that go to the heart of contemporary public policy design. By allowing policy-makers to gain a better understanding of how people behave in our day to day lives, this research leads the modern drive for evidence-based policy design.

Yet, the understanding of human behaviour that this research provides raises questions about the pervasiveness of human fallibility and our tendencies toward irrationality. These blunders and biases have lead many to support paternalistic interventions that, backed by modern psychology, seek to correct age old problems in human behaviour.

As a result, policies influenced by this research challenge traditional approaches to government intervention in health, finance, the environment and more. Recent years have seen an ever increasing interest in the moral and political implications of this research in the UK and abroad. 

This one-day event, organised by UCL’s Centre for Ethics and Law, seeks to bring together academics from economics, law, philosophy, politics, and psychology to discuss these issues in an accessible and interdisciplinary manner. In line with the centre’s aims, the topics for discussion will range across both normative and empirical concerns that many have with this important development in policy-making.

This workshop is supported by UCL Centre for Behaviour Change