Furthering Human Behaviour Science
As behaviour change ‘geeks’, Human Behaviour Change for Life’s (HBCL) directors Jo and Suzanne are passionate about furthering the science of human behaviour change. The HBCL extended team brings a wealth of research knowledge and expertise built up over many years, including undertaking scientific peer reviewed studies and reviews, investigation in the field in many countries around the world, and quantitative and qualitative social science research. Further examples include the research Jo undertook for her Masters in behaviour change (completed in 2018), which included examining the role of habit and how pro-animal welfare habitual behaviours can be developed in people. This work has now been published and Jo and Suzanne hope to continue the research she started. Jo, Suzanne and several members of the HBCL Specialist Team are authors on several scientific papers, both together, and separately. Jo and Suzanne share a particular interest in furthering the understanding of how to create effective measures aimed at shaping the behaviour of children.
We are committed to maintaining scientific rigor; utilising results that can influence further research, add to current understanding, and inform best practices. We do this by using a standardised approach to investigations, sticking to the facts, and limiting the influence of bias to create evidence-based research.
We support organisations and researchers to create and publish robust, evidence-based research underpinning their behaviour change projects and wider work. If you have a project, idea, or research question that you think we can help with, please do get in touch… We would love to hear from you.
At HBCL, we first strive to understand an issue, we then identify strategies for change, and measure the impact of our work. Throughout the process, we use a monitoring and ‘Research & Development’ approach and embrace multiple disciplines and co-creation with various stakeholders wherever possible.
Ultimately it is our goal to create a large body of published work, including the work we do as part of our consultancy services, to help further the understanding of human behaviour. Currently, several of the HBCL team of specialists also regularly contribute to the scientific literature applying the science of human behaviour change to various contexts.
We believe it is important to take an evidence-based approach – testing, learning, and identifying new areas to aid innovation and development. With several research projects identified, we are keen to hear from those interested in either supporting or collaborating on research, so please do get in touch.
“Behaviour change research is inspiring, applicable to so many settings, and can bring about real-life change.”
Tamzin Furtado, HBCL Specialist
We can conduct research that provides understanding and insight into behaviour, attitudes, motivations, barriers, opportunities and much more. We can help with putting together the evidence-base for your work and, where relevant, ensure that HBC principles are incorporated right from the beginning.
“Human behaviour is so complex, it is at the root of many issues, but if attitudes and motivations aren’t investigated and understood we have little chance of creating sustained change.”
Tamlin Watson, HBCL Specialist
“Improving our understanding of what influences the behaviour of different people, societies, and cultures means that we can work together to generate positive change for our planet and its inhabitants.”
Jo Hockenhull , HBCL Specialist
We’re able to design and carry out different types of research whether you need compelling facts and figures, or powerful themes, quotes, and stories, we can help to create a method that will provide you with what you need to take your work further. Our team includes specialists in various quantitative and qualitative methods or a mixture of the two - whether you need robust statistics, a thematic analysis or other methods we can design and implement the appropriate methodology. We can help with gathering, analysing and interpreting results using a variety of tried and tested scientific approaches.
“The behaviours (both of equine owners and farriers ) regarding their existing practices was unnoticed previously and while interviewing them during HBCL project we came to know that each sentence they utter carries either a driver or a barrier to behaviour change and gives space to be worked on.”
The Brooke, HBCL Client
We draw on our track record, experience, knowledge, and evidence base regarding designing interventions to create an innovative plan for an approach that is then tested, evaluated and developed accordingly. It is important that measuring change and impact is intrinsic in the intervention design.
“I believe that behaviour change is a scientific endeavour, and we can measure the impacts of interventions and validate if subsequent changes in behaviour result in better outcomes for the animals (as in my experience) or the community or the planet. In other words, we can develop a model, select our variables and test them because behaviour change can be measurable and accountable and when you can prove significant differences then you can make decisions based on facts…and I love that!”
Hector Delgado, HBCL Specialist
Piloting, or testing, is a vital part of the research process to ensure the approach taken is going to work. Whether testing surveys before sending to a wider audience, testing messages and images when developing campaign messaging, or testing the likelihood of an intervention to make a difference, we can take you through the process.
It is vital to know whether or not your project is having the desired impact. We use established techniques to assess the impact at each stage of your project lifecycle. We can support you and your team to integrate these mechanisms right from the beginning or provide you with retrospective insight.
Assessing a project’s impact is not just about numbers on a page – it’s about telling the stories of research and projects - whether through compelling numbers, or inspiring case studies, we will bring your work to life in a way that speaks to your different audiences.
“As more organisations apply HBC across many important challenges - including health and climate change, for example - increasing numbers of successful behavioural change interventions will contribute to the HBC evidence base. Therefore, my vision for HBC is the development over the next five years of a positive feedback loop of more successful interventions, building an evidence base of effective case studies.”
Heather Maggs, HBCL Specialist
We have built a large portfolio of reports and papers for different clients, some of which are available on request. Our specialist team have published hundreds of relevant papers, too extensive to list here. Recent research papers by the HBCL Executive team include the following (most recent first):
White, J. and Sims, R. (2021) Improving Equine Welfare through Human Habit Formation. Animals, 11, 2156.
Bell C, Rogers S. (2021) Attitudes of the Equestrian Public towards Equine End-of-Life Decisions. Animals. 11(6):1776.
White, J., Prescott, K., and Rogers, S. (2021) Applying the science of behaviour change to the management of strangles. UK-Vet Equine, 5:3, 110-14
Hockenhull, J.; Bell, C.; White, J.; Rogers, S. (2021) Response of UK Horse, Pony and Donkey Owners to the Early Stages of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Animals, 11, 1215.
Bell, C.; Rogers, S.; Taylor, J.; Busby, D. (2019) Improving the Recognition of Equine Affective States. Animals, 9, 1124
Rogers, S. (2017) How can we use the science of human behaviour change to improve animal welfare of research animals? Animal Technology and Welfare, 16, 119-121
White, J. and Rogers, S. (2017) Keynote Presentation: Making Animal Welfare Sustainable – Human Behaviour Change for Animal Behaviour: The Human Element. In S. Denenberg (Ed.). Proceedings of the 11th International Veterinary Behaviour Meeting, Samorin, Slovakia, September 2017 (pp.54-58). CABI.
Rogers, S. (2014) Horses—Happy, Brave Athletes or Stressed and Lonely; Vet Times: Peterborough, UK, 2014; Available online: (accessed on 29 August 2019).
Books and Book Chapters:
Rogers, S. (Ed). (in press, 2022) Canine Behaviour in Mind. Published by 5M Publishing, UK. Includes a chapter on applying the science of human behaviour change to improve canine welfare.
White, J., and Rogers, S. (to be published 2022) Chapter in The Routledge Handbook of Animal Welfare, Routledge, UK.
Rogers, S., and White, J. (2021) Animal welfare: the human element. Chapter in Changing Human Behaviour to Enhance Animal Welfare. Edited by Somerville, R., CABI Publishing, UK
Rogers, S. (Ed). (2018) Equine Behaviour in Mind. Published by 5M Publishing, UK. Includes a chapter on applying the science of human behaviour change to improve equine welfare.
"HBCL have undertaken two evaluation commissions for us the Research & Impact team here at Canal & River Trust. Both were considering the relationship between communities and how they use and interact with their local waterways; exploring the intersectionality of activity by water and human wellbeing. The work they have produced has been powerfully comprehensive and full of rich insight. They faced multiple hurdles in both projects not least the endlessly shifting COVID restrictions and all the associated people wrangling challenges of primary data gathering in the real world. They overcame them all with admirable perseverance and produced pieces of work that have continued to be invaluable for developing our evidence base for both learning and accountability. They have become our go-to consultant for any social research we need to outsource, particularly qualitative, that relates to pro-environmental or pro-conservational behaviour."
Anna Baatz, Canal & River Trust
“When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”