Scottish Government report: Influencing Behaviours – Moving Beyond the Individual – A User Guide to the ISM Tool
Wednesday, June 5, 2013
A user guide to the individual, social and material (ISM) approach to influencing behaviours.
The ISM user guide is designed for policy makers and practitioners whose work ultimately aims at engaging people and influencing their behaviours.
ISM is based on ‘moving beyond the individual’ to consider all of the contexts that shape people’s behaviours – the Individual, the Social and the Material. By understanding these different contexts and the multiple factors within them that influence the way people act every day, more effective policies and interventions can be developed.
This user guide introduces and explains the Individual, Social and Material contexts and the different factors that influence behaviours, with various examples that illustrate the applicability of ISM for successfully influencing behaviours. The guide then outlines how the tool can be used in a workshop setting to develop new strategies and ideas, and gives an example developed in a workshop at the Scottish Government (purchasing an electric vehicle). It also briefly notes how ISM can be used to evaluate new and existing interventions.
An accompanying technical guide provides all the background on the development of the tool, and the contextual factors and influences.That guide is effectively a short introduction to the field of behaviour change, seen through the Individual, Social and Material contexts. It also outlines the three main behavioural disciplines that have been brought together within ISM, and provides recommendations for further reading.