I'm often happily wrestled from my desk and find myself plonked behind a lectern, at the front of a classroom or out in the field. As an instructor, I am a big believer in providing capability, not simply training. Over the years I have become adept at taking complex material from the behavioural, social and psychological sciences and making it lively, accessible, memorable and relevant. But of course I would say that. Let's hear what some former students had to say (fingers crossed).
"Steve was so kind, patient and understanding. He never hesitated to go over concepts with us any number of times. He was readily available before/after hours to answer our questions. He guided us through the process while allowing our syndicate to come to our own conclusions. He then fully supported our decisions in research design and campaign strategy. He very much deserved the trophy he received from us. We will miss him very much."- MA, NATO, 2020
"Steve was a great coach and leader. He gave us the room to grow and gently pulled on the leash to keep us on track. I found him to be genuine and likeable and would welcome him as an instructor on any course in the future. He has my sincere appreciation." - LM NATO 2020
"Steve Rowland was great. His passion for his work is contagious, as is his friendly and caring nature." - SA, NATO, 2020
"This course was the most interesting and eye-opening I have ever taken. We were equipped with a unique way of looking at a problem and identifying all the elements. I would like to thank you for your dedicated work and for sharing the valuable knowledge base you possess." - H, NATO, 2019
Steve - he went out, gave it his all. He cared a lot about our final product and pushed us to create the best research possible. He was very encouraging when I went about doing some online ethnography and he really helped set up our syndicate for success on the mid-term. A great guy, great coach - we were all emotional on the last day! - J, NATO, 2020
Since 2008 I have co-conducted, analysed, consulted on and written reports on hard-to-reach populations peppered throughout Colombia, Iran, Jordan, Pakistan and elsewhere. I have also been lead or co-researcher on topics as diverse as the moral components of conflict, the landscape and future of computational social science, dynamic economic behavioural indexing in Afghanistan, and whether conducting kind acts increases wellbeing. Although my heart and background is in qualitative research, I can construct a perfectly-serviceable quant survey and know a mean instrument when I see one.
Much of what has been picked up in the field I teach in the classroom. I have consulted on, lectured in, and seen through from beginning to end training courses for various NATO militaries. Such courses need to be both digestible for those whose formal education stopped at 16 and challenging enough for PhDs.
Alongside book ending courses - prep at the beginning, authoring 55,000 reports at the end - I am often the go-to for syndicate coaching, teaching qualitative data gathering, coding and writing up research findings. I also help teach behavioural modelling, the fundamentals of behavioural and social science and hypothesis testing. Teaching days are peppered with quizzes, real world and lab examples, and vivid-yet-educational illustrations including, say, what The Simpsons can teach us about normative affiliation, biases and psychosocial needs.
The importance of being ethical ...
Any piece of research or training that I am involved in tends to be shot-through with a strong ethical underpinning. Whilst moral concerns might be satisfied by operating within firm ethical foundations what is often overlooked, and where part of the appeal lies, is that conducting research, training, campaigns and initiatives ethically produces better results.
By regularly absorbing and synthesising literature relating to the ethics of behavioural science - I love writing ethical frameworks - I feel better-placed in conducting my work knowing that it is appropriate, relevant, realistic, accounts for second and third order effects and so on.
I could fill this website and dozens more on the importance and role of ethics in behaviour change. At some point I may well do. In the meantime, if you need something writing on ethical research and implementation, are crying out for a consultant, or just want to informally chat about the necessity and power of ethics, then please do get in touch.