Complex systems modelling of alcohol consumption dynamics in Britain 1978-present

Achieving societal benefits by changing the behaviour of individuals is a cornerstone for contemporary public health policy, in key areas such as obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption. However, predicting the behavior changes (e.g. change in drinking patterns) that might result from any policy intervention (e.g. minimum pricing) is challenging due to the complexity of the implementation environment. This talk will describe early work into the use of complex systems methods for identifying causal and contingent explanations for changes to patterns of alcohol use in Britain over the last 30 years, as a precursor to developing predictive capability. The talk will focus on a microsimulation approach, in which the social psychology model ‘Theory of Planned Behaviour’ (TPB) is used as the basis for a simulation of drinking and drunkenness over time. The model is parameterised using data from the Offending, Crime and Justice Survey 2003, with life course data for key TPB variables imputed from the British Household Panel Survey 2003-2009. The talk will conclude with perspectives on macro-level model validation.

Thursday, 21 November, 2013 - 12:30 to 14:00
Robin Purshouse, Daniel Moyo
Presenter(s) biography: 

Robin Purshouse, Senior Lecturer, Department of Automatic Control & Systems Engineering (ACSE), University of Sheffield. Daniel Moyo, Research Associate (ACSE), University of Sheffield.