7 March 2011

Understanding society

Be the first to share

Understanding Society
Understanding Society is a major £15.5 million research study designed to provide valuable new evidence about the people of the UK, their lives, experiences, behaviours and beliefs.

Understanding Society follows 100,000 people in 40,000 households year by year and asks them questions about a wide spectrum of areas relating to their working and personal lives. The study focuses on:
* Peoples’ state of health
* Our experiences of crime
* Personal finances
* Bringing up children
* How involved we are in our local community
* Our working lives
* Our views and outlook, including about the political system

The focus is on the household, looking at how different members of a family relate to each other.

The power of the survey lies in the links that can be made about different aspects of peoples lives. These links will allow the researchers to understand the life journey that people take, whether it be why some people get to university whilst others ended up in poverty in old age. The study will catch major trends and have an understanding of why major changes in the way that we all live and work take place.

An earlier study – the British Household Panel Survey – helped decision makers to evaluate the impact of key policies designed to help the low paid and encourage mothers return to employment. Understanding Society has continuing potential to influence decisions that affect all our lives, whether we are parents, savers or users of public services.

The scale of the survey will allow the researchers to focus in on key sections of the community, such as older people, parents, people from ethnic minorities or people with low incomes.

With an initial budget of £15.5 million, Understanding Society is the largest single investment in academic social research resources ever launched in the UK. The study is based at, and led by, the Institute for Social and Economic Research (ISER) at the University of Essex, together with colleagues from the University of Warwick and the Institute of Education. The survey work will be delivered by the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen). Understanding Society both replaces and incorporates the successful, but much smaller, British Household Panel Survey (BHPS), which has been running since 1991.

Download early findings

Be the first to share
19 April 2015
Nudging to improve public policy, health care and our relationship with technology
On Nudging In Public Policy By Alon M. August, University of Redlands (USA) April 6, 2015 This thesis examines nudging, a technique aimed at making individuals act, choose, and behave in the ways deemed rational by policy makers. …
16 April 2015
Putting technology in its place
Kentaro Toyama is a former Microsoft Research Executive and now an associate professor at the University of Michigan. Toyama calls himself “a recovering technoholic”—someone who once was “addicted to a technological way of solving problems.” …
7 April 2015
[Book] Practical Empathy
Practical Empathy: For Collaboration and Creativity in Your Work by Indi Young Rosenfeld Media, 2015 Synopsis Conventional product development focuses on the solution. Empathy is a mindset that focuses on people, helping you to understand their thinking patterns and …
3 April 2015
Opportunities for UX innovation in wearables
Until developers of wearable devices get the user experience down pat, the technology will struggle to gain adoption, writes Steve McPhilliamy on Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry (MDDI). "Understanding user behaviors, attitudes, and lifestyles is the …
2 April 2015
The future of loneliness
As we moved our lives online, the internet promised an end to isolation. But can we find real intimacy amid shifting identities and permanent surveillance? A long read by Olivia Laing explores this blurring between …
30 March 2015
MIT Technology Review special report on persuasive technology
The MIT Technology Review has just published a special business report on persuasive technology, i.e. how technologies from smartphones to social media are used to influence our tastes, behavior, and even habits. Free registration is …
27 March 2015
Sharp methodological critiques on current Big Data practices
Two methodological critiques on Big Data that caught our attention: In the Financial Times, economist and journalist Tim Harford points out that sampling bias and statistical errors are, if anything, magnified in Big Data research, …
26 March 2015
Gov.uk’s open policy making toolkit – practical guidance on ethnography and more
The Gov.uk open policy making toolkit is a practical guide to techniques that can help you make better policy. The toolkit, which brings together the latest techniques to improve making and delivering policy, is based on …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

16 March 2015
Better Health and Wellbeing: Giving the elderly in Singapore sparkling golden years

Invitation: sharing session, Singapore, 30 March 2015   What are the hopes and fears of the elderly in Singapore? How can designers offer solutions that support the elderly in managing their health and wellness? What can healthcare professionals do to help them keep active? What role can technology play in the elderly’s daily lives? Design consultants […]

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

See all articles