Behavioural Economics and Sciences

The application of Behavioural Economics can transform the way organisations communicate. Carr Communications is the first communications firm in Ireland to invest in a dedicated Behavioural Economics and Sciences Team as part of its day to day offering. Our Behavioural Economics consultants offer clients proven, tested and added-value approaches to messaging and communication by applying their understanding of human behaviour. These approaches have already delivered highly effective results for our clients and inform the design of all of our communications.

Our team can work with you, to give you a deeper understanding of Behavioural Economics and help you to apply it across your organisation. The team’s approach is backed by rigorous methodologies and their vast experience to create highly effective evidence based communications.

Our current Behavioural Economics Open Programmes are:

To discuss how our team can help you, please email Amy Hume (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or call us on (01) 772 8900.


What is Behavioural Economics?

Behavioural Economics brings together thinking from Economics and Psychology to understand why people behave the way they do. People are irrational and do not always act in the ways we might expect. They frequently do things that are not in their best interests, and communication needs to take account of this irrationality rather than being based on assumptions of how people should behave in an ideal world.

Does any of this sound familiar?

  • Your customers fail to take up a generous offer due to the small hassle of filling out a form.
  • Your customers stick with their current provider even though you offer better value.
  • Your customers ignore important reminders to take action on their account, even when they are losing out as a result.
  • Your staff fail to respond positively to an exciting change within your organisation.

Behavioural Economics is the science of understanding why people behave irrationally. It provides insight into why people often behave in seemingly irrational ways and offers solutions that help change people’s behaviour.

Please click the following underlined links to our blogs for more practical examples and explanations of how Behavioural Economics can help people save for retirement and combat procrastination.

In June 2017, Carr Communications in partnership with Amárach Research conducted a survey experiment on a sample of 458 respondents currently in employment across Ireland. The resulting report, entitled "Employees’ Willingness to Go the Extra Mile Influenced by Framing" by Amy Hume and Karl Purcell, can be downloaded by clicking here.

The most recent study in this partnership, they investigated the proposed Latte Levy and the impact of framing on expected behaviour change. On average people believe that the ‘Latte Levy’ will bring about a change in their own behaviour, and even more so change the behaviour of others. This has the potential to divert 250,000 cups from going to landfill every day. The report is accessible here.


How can Behavioural Economics support changes in behaviour?

think say doOur team of consultants work closely with Carr Communications’ existing departments, creating solutions for clients’ issues in fields as diverse as financial services, internal communication and environmental protection. We have been doing this for years and we offer clients scientifically tested approaches to communication, by applying our understanding of human behaviour to inform the design of communications and behaviour change solutions.

Our approach is based around a simple three factor model of understanding what people think, say and do. Communications and behaviour change campaigns are designed to change what people think, say and do, so that’s where we start.

We use methods from Behavioural Economics which remove biased responses to gain a deeper understanding of what factors are driving current behaviour. We then analyse the results and devise a communication and behaviour change plan to bring about an impactful change in what your audience thinks, says and does.


What Behavioural Economics services does Carr Communications offer?

Consulting on Audience Behaviour Change
  • Behaviour Change Intervention Design
  • Problem Solving Workshops
  • Randomised Control Trials and Experiments for Business
Training in Behavioural Economics
  • Behavioural Economics and Public Policy
  • Behavioural Economics and Financial Services
  • The Language of Leadership
  • Bespoke Training Courses
Organisational Development
  • Internal Communications Audits
  • Recruitment Audits
  • Culture Surveys

We support the delivery of all of our existing services in PR, Training, Career Development, Employee Engagement and Internal Communications.

In addition, we provide direct consulting services to clients who have a specific problem they want to solve. For example, if a client believed their current marketing communications were failing to bring about the desired impact, we would evaluate the problem from start to finish, establish what behavioural biases are influencing decision making and generate solutions to bring about meaningful change.

To work with us, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with one of our experienced consultants to enquire about our training and consultancy offers.


How do we do it?

We apply our deep understanding of human behaviour, informed by behavioural economics, to help you develop solutions to behaviour change problems and maximise the impact of your communications.

We use tools like behavioural audit maps, ethnography, and behaviour change modelling to understand the behavioural barriers preventing behaviour change. We apply behaviour change frameworks informed by the latest behavioural economics and science research to design solutions to remove the barriers to communications and maximise the impact of your communications.


Meet the team

Carr Communications Behavioural Economics and Sciences Team

{slider Amy Hume, Consultant (MSc in Behavioural Science)    + Click to Expand}

Amy joined Carr Communications as a Consultant in 2016. She is fascinated by human behaviour, in particular how people engage in decision-making, often in an irrational fashion. She is interested in conducting experiments testing what are the most effective techniques for generating optimal responses to communications.

On a day-to-day basis, Amy researches issues ranging from citizen engagement in environmental decision-making, to how employees are motivated to work more effectively in organisations. In addition, she conducts online surveys and interviews on behalf of some of our European partners, making the most of her previous experience as a researcher within the University of Stirling Behavioural Science Centre.

Born and bred in Edinburgh, she has a first class Honours degree in Accounting and Economics from the University of Strathclyde, where she also donned as a part-time pizza chef and tour guide. She completed an MSc in Behavioural Science for Management at the University of Stirling. During the Masters programme, she developed a particular interest in self-control and how people engage in strategies to help reduce tendencies to procrastinate, as well as various policy issues ranging from the framing of New Psychoactive Substances as “legal highs”, testing a manipulation of the framing of the “Brexit” question, and changes to the processing of Vehicle Excise Duty.

In her spare time, Amy enjoys hosting dinner parties, baking and watching her favourite sports – Formula 1 and rugby.

{slider Jenny Robinson, Consultant (MSc in Behavioural Science)    + Click to Expand}

Jenny has been working with Carr Communications since late 2016.  She is a Consultant, specialising in commercial applications of Behavioural Science, and in particular understanding irrational consumer behaviours with respect to financial services.  She enjoys taking academic insights from the Behavioural Science literature and applying them to business problems, considering how the actual rather than idealised consumer will behave.  She finds people endlessly fascinating.

Jenny has an MA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from University of Oxford.  Ever since she asked, “but why would we assume people are rational when they just aren’t?” as an economics undergraduate, she has been interested in the more human, less dismal, side of the science.  Jenny has extensive commercial experience across a range of industries.  She has worked in sales and marketing, international trade flows analysis, refinery tax optimisation and oil trading performance evaluation for a multinational oil company.  Whilst working as a strategy consultant she gathered requirements for workflow planning in the utilities sector, and agreed legal arrangements for an international chemicals divestment.  She has persuaded companies not to waste their money on systems architecture that won’t solve the problem at hand, pursuing people-based strategies to achieve the desired outcomes.

Before joining Carr she worked in a UK bank, latterly in innovation and new product development, working across a broad range of retail financial services to ensure good customer outcomes aligned to strategic and commercial goals.  She has developed and implemented successful commercial test and learns, enjoys solving meaty problems and embraces the ambiguities and complexities of operating within complex and regulated environments.

Working in financial services led her to lots of questions about how people make decisions: why don’t customers tell the truth in insight sessions; why do people ignore the letters that we send them; why don’t people save more?   Seeking answers, she took a year out to study for an MSc in Behavioural Science for Management from the University of Stirling.  During that course she ran survey experiments to identify sources of bias in people’s estimates of their own longevity; wrote extensively on the behavioural economics of pensions accumulation and undertook a study of how pensions decumulation decisions can be affected by priming consumers to consider their own expected longevity.  She now combines her academic knowledge with her commercial experience to add value to clients.

Jenny’s favourite ways to spend time include hanging out with her husband and sons; reading anything from trash to literary fiction and playing her violin.  Most mornings she can be found people-watching, drinking tea or doing both simultaneously.


External Consultants

{slider Professor Liam Delaney    + Click to Expand}

Liam Delaney is the AIB Professor of Behavioural Economics at University College Dublin. In his current role, he is promoting the teaching of behavioural economics at UCD and contributing to a new research programme in this area. He is a founder and co-ordinator of the Irish Behavioural Science and Policy Network (IBSPN).

Liam Delaney was SIRE Professor of Economics at the University of Stirling from 2011 to 2016. He was codirector of the Behavioural Science Centre in Stirling Management School, a thriving research centre that he developed in 2012. He was also PhD Director of the Scottish Graduate Programme in Economics and one of six directors of the major pooling initiative for Economics in Scotland, the Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE). He was also Director of Research in the Stirling Management School and Deputy Head of School and developed the School's structure and research potential, including coordinating the 2014 REF submission and drafted the School's research strategy. He was also a Marie Curie Career Integration Fellow and an investigator on the ESRC-funded Scottish Centre on Constitutional Change.

Previously, Professor Delaney was Deputy Director and a senior researcher in the UCD Geary Institute, and a lecturer holding a tenured appointment with the UCD School of Public Health and Population Science and the UCD School of Economics. He lectured econometrics, health economics and behavioural economics in University College Dublin and supervised postgraduate students in economics and public health.

He was the Irish coordinator of the Survey of Health, Aging and Retirement in Europe, principal investigator of the Irish University Study and led a number of studies relating to human behaviour, well-being and health. Dr. Delaney received his Ph.D. in economics in 2005 from Trinity College Dublin. He was a postdoctoral research fellow with the Economic and Social Research Institute from 2004 to 2005.

In 2009, he received the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland's Barrington Medal. He was a 2011 Fulbright Fellow at Princeton University. His main research interests lie in using novel measures of well-being and time preferences to shed light on long-running questions about the determinants of health and well-being. He has published in journals such as Social Science and Medicine, Demography, Health Psychology, Fiscal Studies, Journal of Health Economics, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Economics Education Review, Journal of European Economics Association, Economic Inquiry, and Journal of Economic Psychology.

{slider Dr. Daniel Crosby    + Click to Expand}

Educated at Brigham Young and Emory Universities, Dr. Daniel Crosby is a psychologist and behavioral finance expert who helps organizations understand the intersection of mind and markets. Dr. Crosby recently co-authored a New York Times Best-Selling book titled, Personal Benchmark: Integrating Behavioral Finance and Investment Management.

He also constructed the “Irrationality Index,” a sentiment measure that gauges greed and fear in the marketplace from month to month. His ideas have appeared in the Huffington Post and Risk Management Magazine, as well as his monthly columns for and Investment News. Daniel was named one of the “12 Thinkers to Watch” by and a “Financial Blogger You Should Be Reading” by AARP. When he is not consulting around market psychology, Daniel enjoys independent films, fanatically following St. Louis Cardinals baseball, and spending time with his wife and two children.


Contact us

Tel: (+353.1) 772 8900

Our office hours are:

  • Monday to Friday: 9am to 5.30pm
  • Saturday - Sunday: Office is closed

Client support is available 24/7. Please call (+353.1) 772 8900 out of normal office hours to hear mobile numbers of our staff on duty. We can also be contacted by email outside normal office hours.