Semiha Denktaş is professor in psychology, vice dean and research director at the Erasmus School of Social & Behavioural Sciences, and the Chief Diversity Officer van de Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam. She studied Clinical & Health Psychology in Utrecht and Ingegration & Migration Studies in Rotterdam. Denktaş is expert in behavioural change interventions, in nudging and is the chair of the strategic pillar Behavioural Change in her school. She is also the scientific chair of Behavioural Insights Group Rotterdam (https://www.bigrotterdam.nl) and Healthy’R (https://healthyr.nl).
Health and especially health behaviour are regularly topic of societal debate. The social and economic cost of unhealthy behaviour is significant: early death, lower social and labour market participation, high medical costs and loss of quality of life. Lifestyle diseases that are related to behaviour are often perceived as the result of the individual ‘own choice’. Many contemporary disorders are after all linked to smoking, an unhealthy diet, insufficient exercise or alcohol consumption. However, human behaviour is determined by multiple factors, and not only by individual choice. In this talk I will discuss these factors.