Referencing Covid-19, Professor Manika’s inaugural seminar (Wednesday, June 17th, 2020) focussed on her research interests and publications relating to effect of the knowledge-behaviour gap on health behaviour change.
The inaugural address was the third of a series of mini, online Summer series of seminars, organised by Professor Balmer, for faculty members of the Marketing and Corporate Brand Research Group.
In a highly topical, interesting, and thought-provoking presentation, Professor Manika stressed how her studies revealed there to be a difference between what people know and what they think they know; the latter affecting health behaviour change more than the former. She also noted how the more someone objectively knows, the less the risk they perceive they have. However, the more someone thinks he/she knows the greater the risk they conceive they have. Furthermore, the more people think they know the less likely to seek health information via mass media and friends/family. As such (thinking about Covid-19), pandemic information needs to be relevant and applied to the self to engender preventative action etc.
Professor Balmer (Head of the Marketing & Corporate Brand Research Group) formally introduced Professor Manika to the group, and Dr Geraldine Cohen (the longest-serving member of the research group) read out highlights of Professor Manika’s career to date. A lively discussion ensued after the address and the Q&A session which was chaired by one of the research group’s more recent members, Dr Pavel Laczko.
Commenting on the presentation Professor Balmer reflected:
“Unquestionably, Professor Manika’s research findings have clear policy and practical implications and, as such, this chimes with Brunel’s corporate brand promise where our research seeks to marry the practical with the theoretical. Moreover, the insights from her studies are highly germane for policy makers’ responses to Covid-19 in terms of their stratagems. Furthermore, her conclusions are also relevant for the design and execution of health-related, government communications, in addition. Professor Manika’s presentation made us all think and that’s no bad thing!”