On Wednesday 25th April, Prof. Theresa Marteau from University of Cambridge, presented current research from the field of psychological and behavioural sciences, in particular, public acceptability of behaviour change interventions.
Title: Public Acceptability of Behaviour Change Interventions
Abstract: Public support of an intervention is a critical consideration for policy-makers considering implementing the intervention through policy. Support for large-scale interventions to change behaviour in health and other contexts is highest for information-based interventions such as public awareness campaigns (of limited effectiveness) and lowest for price-based interventions such as taxes (of higher effectiveness). When a proposed intervention is unpopular, yet has the potential to have an impact – be it on public health, the environment, or other domain – policy makers may seek to increase public support. This paper reviews the evidence for three potentially mutable predictors of public acceptability: perceived effectiveness, perceived fairness and lay theories of human behaviour.
About the speaker
Professor Theresa Marteau is Director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit in the Clinical School at the University of Cambridge, and Director of Studies in Psychological and Behavioural Sciences at Christ’s College, Cambridge. She studied psychology at the London School of Economics and Political Sciences (LSE) and the University of Oxford.
Her research interests include:
- development and evaluation of interventions to change behaviour (principally diet, physical activity, tobacco and alcohol consumption) to improve population health and reduce health inequalities, with a particular focus on targeting non-conscious processes
- risk perception and communication particular of biomarker-derived risks, and their weak links with behaviour change
- acceptability to publics and policy makers of government intervention to change behaviour.
She is a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences and the Academy of Social Sciences. In 2017 she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in recognition of her contribution to Public Health.