Category Archives: Society

An unruly pair

(featured image: OGL/Wikimedia) Rules, can’t live with them, can’t live without them. But if it’s rules for thee but not for me, then trouble awaits Here is an easy riddle: what do Novak Djokovic and Boris Johnson have in common? … Continue reading

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Viral decisions

Featured image: Laura Billings/Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0 The extreme conditions a pandemic puts us in shines a stark light on the fundamental challenges of decision making – both at a personal level, and in policy making Imagine being asked not … Continue reading

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Our internal drivers

Featured image: <drivers.jpg> (image: HeungSoon/Pixabay) In the face of multiple, conflicting motives, how can we make the best decisions? The very first humans were already economists. At least, that is what we would conclude if we were to believe the … Continue reading

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The favourable dictator

(featured image: Jeanne darq/Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0) Social beings that we are, we regularly rely on favours from others, but bluntly asking is rather awkward. Are there better ways? Yes, there are! It is hard to imagine our … Continue reading

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Why slowing down climate change is hard (and how it might be done anyway)

(featured image: <flooding,jpg> Sue Thompson/Flickr CC BY-ND 2.0) Countries get together to discuss how to address climate change, but it’s people’s behaviour that needs to change If, one evening, you were to discover that your house is on fire, I … Continue reading

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The good death

Featured image: <verdiende rust.jpg> image: Martine/Flickr CC BY-NC 2.0) Decisions are a matter of trade-offs, and end-of-life decision-making is literally a matter of trading off life and death. But our society exhibits a status quo bias that raises big ethical … Continue reading

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Ethical liars

(featured image: Will Temple/Flickr CC BY 2.0) Our morality is not quite so black-and-white as we sometimes like to believe One of my earliest memories, I must have been four or five, is when my mother, to her embarrassment, forgot … Continue reading

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Like me

(featured image: Goran Has/Flickr CC BY 2.0) Is it irrational to favour people with whom you have something important in common? Imagine the prime minister of your country is not someone you naturally align with: in fact, you’d rather see … Continue reading

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A right to entitlement

(featured image: jEd dC/Flickr CC BY NC ND 2.0) We often assume we are entitled to something, but that is literally only half of the story Years ago, my (British) colleagues and I had what we thought was a brilliant … Continue reading

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Good people… but not that good

(featured image: User18526052 via Freepik) The good news is that we are prosocial; in other news, it comes with strings and conditions attached Take a look around you. Unless you’re in the middle of a nature reserve, miles from human … Continue reading

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