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Seminar Series: The role of emotions – Cultural interventions and behavioural change 

What is the role of art in influencing behaviour change? This discussion brings together ideas from neuroscience, psychology and anthropology to explore the interplay between emotions and human adaptability, with a particular focus on ‘dual-process’ models and how impulsive reactions can be circumvented to enable more deliberative processing.

The role of art in influencing behaviour change.

Artistic and cultural practices hold promise as an ecologically valid foundation for transformative behaviour change through supporting emotional regulation. Dual-process models perceive emotions as a source of impulsive bias and propose interventions like nudging that aim to circumvent emotional influence and capitalise on deliberative processing. However, research across neuroscience, psychology, and anthropology shows a more intricate interplay of emotion and cognition in facilitating human adaptability. Cultural practices and arts-based interventions present an alternative framework that harnesses emotions for behavioural modification. This study offers a critical evaluation of the dual-process theory, examines evidence related to nudging interventions, and posits that practices that incorporate emotional engagement through cultural immersion and arts could potentially offer a more ecologically valid approach to fostering intentional change.

Pier Luigi Sacco is Professor of Economic Policy, University of Chieti-Pescara, Senior Advisor to the OECD Center for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions, and Cities, and Affiliate Researcher at the metaLAB (at) Harvard.

About Creative PEC’s Seminar Series

Creative PEC’s new Seminar Series presents cutting-edge research from across the world, bridging conversations across academia, policy and creative practice. The series aims to spark discussion on emerging research and implications for creative industries policy.

Who the seminars are for:
– Creative industries researchers
– Policymakers (local, regional + national)
– Anyone keen to find out more about emerging creative economy research

Each seminar will be held online, and begins with a deep-dive on new research followed by a Q&A. Make space for an hour each month to keep up to date with the latest ideas in creative economy research.

For any questions about the Seminar Series, please get in touch with us at

Online Zoom Webinar

Wednesday 24 April, 3.00pm (BST)

Sign up here

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