Guest co-editors:

Michael Sanders (King’s College London)
Eliza Kozman (Behavioural Insights Team, University College London and King’s College London)



The role of other people in our decision-making is widely held to be important - from prominent philanthropists crowding-in donations, leaders inspiring their followers, celebrities endorsing products (or politicians), or high achieving students inspiring the next generation. So called "messenger" effects enjoy pride of place at the start of the UK Government's "MINDSPACE" report (Dolan et al. 2010), and as such they have been widely attempted by government agencies around the world. However, these effects, particularly where and when they are most- and least- likely to be effective, and which kind of messengers are especially influential - are little understood in practical terms.

In this symposium, we are hoping to attract papers from public administration settings, both large and small, in which messenger effects, and particularly role model effects (those in which the 'messenger' is a more senior or experienced figure who provides a template for the behaviour of others), are tested using field experimental, or quasi-experimental methods. Although papers exploring precise mechanisms are welcomed, so too are papers in which the 'messenger' or 'role model' conflates multiple sources of influence. Null results are very welcome.



Please send the guest editors (, a title and a short abstract of about 300 words, plus your contact details by the end of April 2020.

We will convey a decision about which abstracts are accepted to develop into potential papers in early May, with feedback. On this basis, authors will develop their proposals into full papers until the end of June 2020, with publication in mid 2021. Please note that final manuscripts will be submitted by the guest co-editors to JBPA for double-blind peer review with final decisions regarding publication being made by JBPA editors. The submitted papers will need to conform to JPBA’s guidelines for paper submissions: