This project forms a case study on using alternative, inter-disciplinary, methods from the domain of complex systems, for understanding population level behaviour change. The case study aims to describe the character of alcohol consumption, at a population level, in Britain over the last thirty years and to identify causal and contingent explanations for some of the changes in that character.

The project will use exploratory data analysis methods across a suite of existing individual level datasets (such as the General Household Survey from 1978 to 2010) to construct a socio-demographic time series describing population level alcohol consumption. Two transitions in the time series will then be examined in detail through computer simulation of established theories from sociology and social psychology (for example, the theory of planned behaviour).

Principal Investigator:  Robin Purshouse