Pioneer in behaviour change recognised

Ella Rhodes on Professor Susan Michie's Lifetime Achievement Award.

A pioneer in behaviour change research has been named winner of the British Psychological Society Research Board’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Professor Susan Michie, Director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London and a chartered psychologist in the clinical and health areas, is recognised throughout the world for her work creating a coherent language of behaviour change. Her ground-breaking research synthesises interventions through the use of machine learning techniques (see the January issue: tinyurl.com/y6j73oka).

Michie’s research has established a taxonomy to ensure the same labels and definitions are used across the field of behaviour change interventions. She also developed the Behaviour Change Wheel which brings together behaviour change theories around a central model of capability, opportunity and motivation, with interventions which can address gaps in any of those three conditions.  

Michie is principal investigator on the Human Behaviour Change Project, funded by Wellcome, a collaborative project bringing together academics and IBM computer scientists to develop an artificial intelligence system. The system will have the ability to scan literature in the field to find the best interventions for certain behaviour change challenges and provide new insights on those interventions and surrounding research.

Also a Fellow of the European Health Psychology Society, American Society of Behavioral Medicine, Academy of Medical Sciences and Academy of Social Sciences, Michie has published more than 400 peer-reviewed papers, nine books and has received a grant income of more than £96 million across the course of her career. Michie has also been involved in working with policy makers including at the House of Lords, and has worked as an advisor and expert consultant for the Department of Health, Public Health England’s Behavioural Insights Expert Advisory Group and NICE.

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