‘How do you solve a problem like behaviour?’
Published by University of Leicester Press Office for University of Leicester in Health and also in Education
Expert social scientist to give Inaugural Lecture at University of Leicester on Tuesday 12 March.
The lecture is free of charge and open to all, 5.30pm in the Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1, University of Leicester.
A leading healthcare researcher will explain in a free public lecture at the University of Leicester why many social scientists have been vexed for years concerning why different groups of people behave the way that they do.
Professor Graham Martin, from the University’s Department of Health Sciences, will give his inaugural lecture, “How do you solve a problem like behaviour?” at the University of Leicester on Tuesday 12 March.
The lecture will investigate some key problems that have faced scientists for years. These include, for example, how people are able to influence and motivate others to change their behaviour without alienating them or undermining the things that they do best. The lecture will focus upon the exciting and cutting edge research of the past, present and future conducted in this field.
Behaviour has been at the centre of social scientific research for a long time. Much research has been conducted into making patients behave differently, for example, the encouragement to lead healthier lifestyles. A more recent focus has been how to make professionals behave differently.
Graham Martin, Professor of Health Organisation and Policy, said: “Up until fairly late in the 20th century, healthcare professionals were trusted by everyone (governments, managers, patients, and each other) to get on with their job with minimum interference.
“This has changed for various reasons, for example, malpractice, the need to save money and the need for more accountability. By the 1980s and 1990s, professionals were no longer autonomous but more-or-less actively managed and regulated by these various parties: their behaviour was seen as something for others to control, or at least influence.
“Since then, we’ve seen this will to control professional behaviour wax and wane, with governments apparently big on ‘freeing’ frontline professionals to do their jobs without interference—while simultaneously finding more and more subtle but important ways of controlling their behaviour.
“I want to talk about what these look like, what they achieve, what their unintended consequences are, and in particular, how to find a middle ground that makes sure that professionals are accountable and properly regulated, without making them into the slaves of management or simple ‘rule followers’ who do what they are told without using the very thing that makes them professional: their judgement and expertise. Finding this middle ground is hugely difficult, but I’ll talk about some ideas about how it can be achieved.”
“How do you solve a problem like behaviour?” will be held at the Ken Edwards Building, Lecture Theatre 1, University of Leicester, University Road, on Tuesday 12 March at 5.30pm. The lecture is free and open to the public.