Defra - Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Science Search

Science and Research Projects

Return to Science Search homepage   Return to Project List

Nudging the S-Curve - SD14006

Description
Across a wide domain of human enquiry, and most notably in the fields of physics and biology, the ‘S-curve’ or logistics curve is a well-established tool. At its simplest, it describes, mathematically, how some kind of change permeates or diffuses through a system or population. The typical S-curve shape shows an initial period of slow change; a period of acceleration, and rapid change; and a period in which change slows down as some sort of limit to growth is approached.

This project seeks to better understand the S-curve in order to promote pro-environmental behaviour change. The three key research questions are:
• What is the actual mechanism by which an S-curve occurs?
• Why does an S-curve pattern appear in some cases, but not others?
• Is it possible to intervene in such a way as to nudge development along an S-curve path?
Project Documents
• Final Report : Triggering widespread adoption of sustainable behaviour   (389k)
• Information Leaflet : Practical Guide Number 4 - Triggering Widesprad Adoption of Sustainable Practices   (95k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2005

To: 2006

Cost: £21,150
Contractor / Funded Organisations
Brook Lyndhurst
Keywords
Behaviour change              
Cross-cutting              
Social Research              
Sustainable Development