Interpreting public behaviour and emotions

At Counterpoint we’re interested in the ‘hidden wiring’ of human behaviour.  We use different approaches to help us understand behaviour from a variety of angles–from ethnography to neuroscience, from psychology to anthropology. Add to this our familiarity with popular culture, social media and our data skills and the result is a rich and rewarding understanding of the complexities of human choice and action.

For many decision-makers, both in the public and the private sector, human behaviour has become something of a riddle: They find it contradictory, unpredictable–in a word difficult to read.  The failure to anticipate shifts in sentiments or preferences, or to interpret signals correctly leads to a growing disconnection between policy-makers and citizens, between the corporate sector and individuals.The result is a difficulty in devising bold and innovative policies and business strategies.

We gather and interpret new insights about human behaviour and motivation and provide our clients and partners with a renewed ability to understand the public and successfully implement visionary policies and strategies.

Some examples of our work

The Bridges Project: New expertise for policy in an age of uncertainty


The Bridges policy project applies cutting edge research on human emotions and behaviour to specific policy areas in order to help tailor policy more effectively. We work for a number of governments world-wide. Recent areas have included education, state modernisation, climate change, attitudes toward immigration and housing. 

What drives the populist vote: diagnosis and policy implications


Political strategy project focused on the hidden wiring of populism.  What emotions do populist politics play on? fear? shame? nostalgia? how should this knowledge lead other parties to reframe their electoral offers and review their electoral strategies?

Climate change and denial: changing public behaviour and attitudes


Research, analysis and debate facilitation for German policy-makers and industrialists on the deep drivers that prevent collective action on climate change.











Strategic advice to manage new forms of cultural and social risks

Decoding cultures and making sense of context

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Interpreting public behaviour and emotions

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Crafting the right conversations

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News & events

River Europe Canals Netherlands Bike Amsterdam

The roots of contemporary populism in the Netherlands

Here is something we published a couple of years ago on the rise of Dutch populism, its relationship to inequality and to deep cultural...

Red bus europe

Europe’s riddle: Migration, community experiences and public opinion

Counterpoint examines the local experience of migration and integration across five European countries in light of the 2014-2015 migration crisis. Our research in Sweden,...


The wide open space of the French elections

So far, so good.  But what could go wrong in round 2? This is a good time to review the dynamics of the French...