About UK Behavioural Economics

Principal: Yolanda Berry, MSc

UKBE uses Behavioural Economics to take a fresh approach to a variety of contemporary issues, focusing primarily on the area of recycling and sustainability. There are many different factors which influence people’s decisions, not all of them rational; UKBE’s in depth understanding of these factors guides its implementation of modest changes in current messaging, the effects of which can be potentially enormous.

Understanding the psychology which drives human behaviour

Behavioural Economics uses behavioural psychology to determine how certain factors affect the economic decisions of individuals and institutions, and what impact this has on society as a whole.

Behind every decision a person makes is a complex web of competing factors, some of which have more influence than others. UKBE’s expertise in behavioural economics provides the tools with which to untangle this web, and produce solutions tailored toward the elements of decision making in the target audience that really matter.

Small changes to messaging can have a huge impact

Implementing the right changes to current messaging of a campaign can greatly increase the success rate of the campaign. The small scale of the changes means they are often easy to implement and cost effective, yet because they are expertly devised using a metric-driven, evidence-based approach, their effect can be far reaching.

UKBE specialises in communicating effectively to a mass audience with a short attention span; this is vital for any campaign which targets the general public, and can be tailored to suit different demographics.

Using behavioural economics to improve recycling rates

UKBE is currently working with North Somerset Council on improving recycling rates. It is conducting several different trials to test improved methods geared toward getting local residents to choose to recycle their household waste where possible instead of sending reusable materials to landfill.

Yolanda Berry, MSc, Principal

Yolanda began her career in high tech customer support in California during the first .com boom. She was the point of contact for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory during the initial Mars Pathfinder mission, and as the leader of the support team of the company which wrote Pathfinder’s operating system, Yolanda was the first person to take a support call from another planet.

After moving to several different places around the world, Yolanda and her family settled in the UK in 2004. She worked for Somerset Wood Recycling, a non-profit social enterprise, where she started the Green Team, a successful initiative which helps long-term unemployed people back into work by giving them useful skills and experience while performing outdoor maintenance for North Somerset Council. The initial contract was extended another seven years due to its success and the project’s scope expanded to include a larger variety of work.

Yolanda completed her master’s degree in psychology in 2015, with a focus on Behavioural Economics. She now works with North Somerset Council on reducing waste costs by increasing recycling.