Change through Behavioural Insights

Executive Summary

Traditional policymaking assumes that people always make decisions for the common good, whereas behavioural insights give them social, psychological and emotional incentives to do so.

Behavioural interventions address “cognitive biases,” which are natural tendencies in some people to ignore rules, regulations, incentives and penalties – even when this goes against their self-interest. For example, the optimism bias could lead people to continue consuming unhealthy food even when they have enough information to believe that it might affect their health. Behavioural interventions can take the form of “nudges”; tools that influence peoples’ decisions without imposing restrictions or altering their incentives, thus preserving their freedom of choice.


Additional background

Published at the World Government Summit, the report was developed in collaboration with the Ideation Center, the leading think tank for Strategy& Middle East, part of the PwC network, is titled “Triggering change in the GCC through behaviors insights: an innovative approach to effective policymaking,” and focuses on how governments can design behavioural interventions to support policy objectives.

The report identifies key objectives in GCC countries’ national plans and visions where the behavioural approach could complement conventional policymaking. This is especially clear in areas such as achieving environmental sustainability, improving national health, ensuring tax compliance, etc.