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CHIARA VARAZZANI

Q&A

Chiara Varazzani is hugely influential in the behavioural science sphere for public policy within the Australian Government. As Principal Behavioural Insights Advisor to the Victorian Government, she provides research-based insights to influence real change.

Chiara’s areas of specialism include neuroeconomics and evidence-based public policy. As well as designing and implementing trials in a broad range of policy areas (including education, public health, service delivery, public transport and gender equality) she also acts as a Founding Columnist for the Behavioural Scientist.

We’re excited to hear from her at Nudgestock Global, and caught up with her beforehand to ask a few questions…

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What is your favourite nudge?

“I personally find the ‘anti-charity’ nudge very motivating: If I don't meet my exercise quota per week, I'll pay up to $400 a month to a cause that's against my values.”

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Tell us about a development in your field that surprised you the most this year?

“Recently I've been intrigued by the concept of ‘marginal behaviours’. Marginal behaviours are behaviours that balance on the verge of acceptable and unacceptable, for example allowing your neighbour's children to play together with your children during the COVID-19 lockdown. It's an interesting way to deal with the limitations of self-reported behaviours and intentions, especially during a pandemic when measuring real behaviours in a timely manner is challenging.”

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And finally, tell us a fact we wouldn’t know about you…

“Before moving to Australia, I spent one year travelling overland across three continents, one ocean and several deserts. I slept in a tent on the roof of a car for more than 300 nights over that year. Behavioural science came in handy when dealing with customs officers. It was ‘nudging across borders’.”

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Nudgestock Global session title: Nudging fast and slow. On the pace of behavioural science in government.

Find Chiara on Twitter: @chiaravara

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