In a world where the frequency of global crises is increasing, the context for scientific solutions to understand human behaviour is rapidly changing. Behavioural science looks at human actions across multiple fields of study including the latest research in cutting-edge psychology. It focuses on how emotions, the environment, and social factors influence human decisions and how biases and framing can lead us to make certain decisions.
Behavioural scientists are particularly interested in how people perceive, communicate, and respond to the world around them. They use their understanding of human behaviour to design environments that help people make better decisions. Using insights drawn from fundamental research, behavioural science can help improve lives and promote healthy, resilient adjustments to an increasing range of pressing social problems including climate change, health pandemics and cybersecurity threats.
In a world characterised by rapid and far-reaching technological change, we use innovative research frameworks to improve the understanding of the complexities of human behaviour. A significant portion of human cognition happens without conscious awareness through the mediation of technology. New technologies influence humans in complex ways and are generating behaviours that challenge the fundamental aspects of what it means to be human.
Insights from behavioural science have a significant role to play in understanding sociotechnical systems and the broader effects of disruptive technologies on Australian institutions. Our expertise in understanding the complex interplay between human behaviour and technological change is advancing knowledge in this area, with particular significance for the government and defence sectors. Our research will play an essential role in managing the impact of disruptive technologies in complex environments, from smart cities to future battlefields.
We have research capabilities and unique expertise in interdisciplinary methodology, cutting-edge theory and case-study applications including:
Dewsbury, JD. (2015). ‘Non-representational landscapes and the performative affective forces of habit: from Live to Blank’. cultural geographies, 22, pp. 29-47. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1474474014561575
Dewsbury, JD. & Bissell, D. (2015) ‘Habit Geographies: the perilous zones in the life of the individual’, cultural geographies, 22 (1), 21-28. https://doi.org/10.1177/1474474014561172
Lapworth, A. (2016). ‘Theorising bioart encounters after Gilbert Simondon’. Theory, Culture & Society, 33, pp. 123-150. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0263276415580173
Lapworth, A. (2020) ‘From coronavirus tests to open-source insulin and beyond, ‘biohackers’ are showing the power of DIY science’, The Conversation, May 11th, 2020
Roberts, T. (2017). ‘Thinking technology for the Anthropocene: Encountering 3D printing through the philosophy of Gilbert Simondon’, cultural geographies, 24, pp. 539-554. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F1474474017704204
Sharpe, S. (2013) ‘The aesthetics of urban movements: habits, mobility, and resistance’. Geographical Research, 51 (2), pp.166-172. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1745-5871.2012.00781.x
Williams, N. (2016) 'Creative processes: From interventions in art to intervallic experiments through Bergson', Environment and Planning A, vol. 48, pp. 1549 - 1564, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0308518X16642769
Whilst an emerging initiative within the School of Science, Behavioural Science is closely linked with Cultural Geography and its vibrant research of weekly reading groups (‘Non-representational Theory and Geography’) and bi-monthly research workshops (‘Space, Performance, Art and Technology’). We also collaborate with UNSW Canberra Cyber. We are proud of our internationally diverse team of researchers at all levels, and actively support the UNSW ALLY Network for LGBTIQ+ people.
We offer postgraduate course in:
We promote and encourage: