Archivio per 3 ottobre 2014

03
Ott
14

MINDSPACE Influencing behaviour through public policy

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

In 2009, Sir Gus O‟Donnell, Cabinet Secretary and Head of the Home Civil Service, asked Matt Tee, Permanent Secretary for Government Communication, to review the implications of behavioural theory for policy-making. The Cabinet Office commissioned the Institute for Government to produce this report, exploring the application of behavioural theory to public policy for senior public sector leaders
and policy-makers. It is a key part of a programme of work designed to build capacity and capability in this area across the Civil Service.
We have approached the topic collaboratively. The programme began with a behaviour change summit in May 2009, which brought together senior policy, strategy and insight officials from across government, alongside a number of external experts.

Influencing people‟s behaviour is nothing new to Government, which has often used tools such as legislation, regulation or taxation to achieve desired policy outcomes. But many of the biggest policy challenges we are now facing – such as the increase in people with chronic health conditions – will only be resolved if we are successful in persuading people to change their behaviour, their lifestyles or their existing habits. Fortunately, over the last decade, our understanding of influences on behaviour has increased significantly and this points the way to new approaches and new solutions.  So whilst behavioural theory has already been deployed to good effect in some areas, it has much greater potential to help us. To realise that potential, we have to build our capacity and ensure that we have a sophisticated understanding of what does influence behaviour. This report is an important step in that direction because it shows how behavioural theory could help achieve better outcomes for citizens, either by complementing more established policy tools, or by suggesting more innovative interventions. In doing so, it draws on the most recent academic evidence, as well as exploring the wide range of existing good work in applying behavioural theory across the public sector. Finally, it shows how these insights could be put to practical use. This report tackles complex issues on which there are wide-ranging public views. We hope it will help stimulate debate amongst policy-makers and stakeholders and help us build our capability to use behaviour theory in an appropriate and effective way

See on behaviouralinsights.co.uk

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03
Ott
14

Revealed: Long-Suspected Danger of Anti-Anxiety and Sleeping Drugs — PsyBlog

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Massive study of 100,000 people finds evidence for long-suspected danger of anxiety and sleeping drugs. anxiety disorders, like diazepam and temazepam, have a number of known side-effects like daytime sleepiness, falls, an increased risk of dementia — and they are also addictive. Now, though, a new study has found evidence for a long-suspected danger of these drugs as well as common sleeping pills: an increased risk of death.

See on spring.org.uk

03
Ott
14

Cities as complex adaptive systems | Department of Geography

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

Understanding the role played by cities and city dwellers, as entities in the ecological world system, is crucial if humans are to direct social development onto a sustainable trajectory. More than half of humanity now lives in urban environments and as their numbers escalate, their actions will have ever-increasing significance in determining the future livability of the earth for humans.

Given the current status of the world ecological system, will it continue to have the ability to provide indefinitely the material necessities for human existence on earth? A tractable method for integrating the vast quantity of information required to answer these questions has been emerging too slowly to counteract the status quo of unsustainable practice and too slowly, some contend, to steer clear of the dire consequences forecast as a result of this inability.

Since human practice has a direct affect on how the issues raised by these questions ultimately play out, it is evident that a framework of understanding for integrating and analyzing the role of humans in cities, as ecological actors on a planetary scale, is necessary. But the issues are multiscalar in both temporal and spatial dimensions. Ecological outcomes arise as the result of complex interactions between social systems (economic, political, ethnic, and many others) and natural systems (forests, wetlands, prairies and many others) and defy simple cause and effect explanation. Thus tractability has been an acute problem because causes and effects are distributed unevenly in space and time and any particular effect may have multiple causes (or vice versa) also dislocated in space and/or time.

Mathematical predictions regarding the future course of human systems have been notoriously inaccurate except over the shortest of horizons precisely because, in their generality, they cannot account for every possible contingency. 
This reserach has two, intertwined purposes. One is to make the case that the city can be conceived of as being ‘a part of’ rather than ‘apart from’ nature because doing so allows for a rational analysis of cities in terms of their ecological function as components of the world system. The second purpose is to make this case convincingly while at the same time avoiding the methodological problems created by social unpredictability and mathematical tractability that have bedeviled previous attempts at answering big questions.

See on geog.ucalgary.ca

03
Ott
14

Dead stuff: The secret ingredient in our food chain – John C. Moore

See on Scoop.itTalks

When you picture the lowest levels of the food chain, you might imagine
herbivores happily munching on lush, living green plants. But this
idyllic image leaves out a huge (and slightly less appetizing) source of
nourishment: dead stuff. John C. Moore details the “brown food chain,”
explaining how such unlikely delicacies as pond scum and animal poop
contribute enormous amounts of energy to our ecosystems.

See on ed.ted.com

03
Ott
14

Complex network theory and the brain

See on Scoop.itBounded Rationality and Beyond

We have known for at least 100 years that a brain is organized as a network of connections between nerve cells. But in the last 10 years there has been a rapid growth in our capacity to quantify the complex topological pattern of brain connectivity, using mathematical tools drawn from graph theory.
Here we bring together articles and reviews from some of the world’s leading experts in contemporary brain network analysis by graph theory. The contributions are focused on three big questions that seem important at this stage in the scientific evolution of the field: How does the topology of a brain network relate to its physical embedding in anatomical space and its biological costs? How does brain network topology constrain brain dynamics and function? And what seem likely to be important future methodological developments in the application of graph theory to analysis of brain networks?
Clearer understanding of the principles of brain network organization is fundamental to understanding many aspects of cognitive function, brain development and clinical brain disorders. We hope this issue provides a forward-looking window on this fast moving field and captures some of the excitement of recent progress in applying the concepts of graph theory to measuring and modeling the complexity of brain networks.

Complex network theory and the brain
Issue compiled and edited by David Papo, Javier M. Buldú, Stefano Boccaletti and Edward T. Bullmore

http://rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org/site/2014/network.xhtml

See on rstb.royalsocietypublishing.org

03
Ott
14

Towards a Global Systems Science

See on Scoop.itTalks

Dirk Helbing, ETH Zurich


Talk given at the European Conference on Complex Systems 2014 in Lucca, Italy

http://youtu.be/UHp0lV6ppQQ

See on youtube.com

03
Ott
14

Rise of neuroscience in executive education – Financial Times

See on Scoop.itThe Brain Might Learn that Way

Rise of neuroscience in executive education
Financial Times
Do you believe you can survive on little sleep and be productive at work? The study of neuroscience could provide the answer.

See on ft.com




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