BRU Programmes

Who we work with and on what topics?

We have a programme of research on obesity and food choice funded by the Department of Health. A first study pre-tested formats for calorie posting on restaurant menus using eye-tracking (paper). We are presently designing and conducting experiments on portion size. More…

We work with the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC), focussing mostly on financial products. We have completed research on personal loan calculators (paper), car finance (paper) and mortgage switching (paper).

In work for the Commission for Regulation of Utilities we have pre-tested the provision of “Estimated Annual Bills” for energy tariffs (paper) and investigated consumer attitudes and choices regarding the adoption of smart meters (paper).

A programme of research with the Pensions Authority has examined comprehension of pensions and the effect on decision making. We have tested benefit statements (paper) and different ways of presenting information on investments (paper) and annuities (paper).

We work with the Commission for Communications Regulation (ComReg) to investigate how consumers choose communications products. Our experiments have examined choices with respect to mobile handset packages, broadband speeds and premium rate services.

We are conducting a series of studies funded by the OECD and the Water Industry Commission of Scotland, designed to inform a strategic review of water regulation and charges in Scotland. Our experiments investigate how people resolve various trade-offs between charges, services, and risks. More…

We have three research programmes with the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM), on farmers’ noncompliance with EU Nitrates Regulations (more), behaviour to combat the spread of tuberculosis (more), and the challenge of anti-microbial resistance. More…

A rolling programme of research funded by the Environmental Protection Agency has investigated how the presentation of environmental information affects consumer choice, the framing of taxes on car emissions and the long-term impact of the Green-Schools Programme on environmental understanding and behaviour. More…

We are starting an new project in Autumn 2019, funded by AIB, which is examining how well people in Ireland understand climate change and whether there is a link between comprehension of the problem and willingness to support personal and national actions to reduce emissions. More…

We are working with Sport Ireland to improve physical activity and sports participation among socially disadvantaged communities in Ireland. This two phase programme first reviewed international research, then to designed trials of interventions in Ireland. Results are due in late 2019. More….

We study public perceptions of mineral exploration and environmental risks, in collaboration with the Geological Survey of Ireland. This forms a part of a wider EU-funded Horizon 2020 project about innovation in exploration techniques. Data is presently being collected. More…

We work with Irish Water to assist their lead mitigation programme. The first two strands of this programme involved an analysis of communications sent to homeowners and reviewed the relevant literature on behavioural change. A trial testing new communications is set to be undertaken in 2019. More…

Research funded by the OECD is looking at online disclosures about personalised pricing. We are presently conducting experiments to investigate the effects of disclosure on consumer decisions. More…

An experiment undertaken in collaboration with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland involves testing the BER certificate. We tested different formats to see how well they communicate information about household energy efficiency. Results are due in late 2019. More…

We undertake research on decisions involving financial products for the Central Bank of Ireland. The most recent report (review) consisted of a review of financial product features that cause consumers difficulty.

We designed and regularly conduct a training course for European Commission staff on how to apply behavioural science to policy.