This research primer is provided by the IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center. 

Download the Full Research Primer here: What You Need to Know About Incorporating Behavioural Science into Public Relations

The IPR What You Need To Know About Incorporating Behavioral Science Into Public Relations: A Primer helps organizations deliver more research-based, theoretical insights driven by behavioral science. Behavioural science aims to understand human behaviour and decision-making. It encompasses disciplines examining the psychological underpinnings of behaviour, such as cognition, neuroscience and social psychology, and how they intersect with fields involving behaviour, like economics, politics, and communication.
 
 Many of the strategies from behavioural insights are already part of the public relations repertoire. However, the behavioural sciences now provide the empirical evidence and frameworks for understanding why they work. This critical thinking approach can help public relations evaluate assumptions and become more effective in this ever-changing business environment.
 
This primer includes:
 
  • What is Behavioral Science?
  • Behavioural Economics and Nudges
  • Behavioural Insights and Public Relations
  • The Ethics of Behavioural Insights
  • Comparisons for Data Science

Behavioural science aims to understand human behaviour and decision-making. It encompasses disciplines examining the psychological underpinnings of behaviour, such as cognition, neuroscience and social psychology, and how they intersect with fields involving behaviour, like economics, politics, and communication.

By taking an interdisciplinary approach, behavioural scientists incorporate multiple facets of behaviour with rigorous empirical methods to develop a more complete picture of why we act the way we do.

Dr. Terry Flynn is one of Canada’s leading public relations/communications management scholars and an important bridge between the academy and the profession.

Following a 20-year communications consulting career, Terry joined the faculty of McMaster University after completing his Ph.D. studies at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. During his professional career, he built an international communications practice specializing in crisis and risk communications working with such organizations as: the Town of Walkerton Ontario (e-coli crisis); the U.S. Navy Public Health Agency (leukemia cluster); the U.S. Army Centre for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine (base closures and environmental cleanups); the Chemical Manufacturers’ Association; the American Gas Association; Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada; and the Vinyl Council of Canada.

Tim Li is a Ph.D. candidate at McMaster University and the research assistant for the IPR Behavioral Insights Research Center. 


About the Institute for Public Relations: Founded in 1956, the Institute for Public Relations is an independent, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the science beneath the art of public relations™. IPR creates, curates, and promotes research and initiatives that empower professionals with actionable insights and intelligence they can put to immediate use.  IPR predicts and analyzes global factors transforming the profession, and amplifies and engages the profession globally through thought leadership and programming. All research is available free at www.instituteforpr.org and provides the basis for IPR’s professional conferences and events.

All materials copyrighted by the Institute for Public Relations.

 

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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