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Will England Get Knocked Out Of The World Cup On Penalties? Will England Get Knocked Out Of The World Cup On Penalties?

Imagine that the England men’s football team reaches the quarter finals of the World Cup in Qatar. Which of the following outcomes do you think is most likely: A) England get knocked out; B) England get knocked out on penalties; or C) England take a 1-0 lead, with Harry Kane scoring first, but get knocked...

Nov 28 2022 • 3 min read

Nov 28 2022 • 3 min read

What Really Makes People Happier Within Countries Over Time? What Really Makes People Happier Within Countries Over Time?

Imagine that you’ve been offered a job from two different companies. Company A pays £35,000 per year, while others at the same level within the company earn £38,000. Company B pays £33,000 per year, while others at the same level earn £30,000. Where do you think you would be happier? When researchers asked subjects this...

Nov 10 2022 • 3 min read

Nov 10 2022 • 3 min read

How Might Online Platforms Influence What We Think Is Important? How Might Online Platforms Influence What We Think Is Important?

Imagine that you’re browsing the housing market online in search of a new home. Once you’ve selected an approximate location, how might you narrow down your search? There’s a good chance that you might use the filters typically available on your platform of choice: namely price and the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Which at...

Oct 21 2022 • 3 min read

Oct 21 2022 • 3 min read

Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Friends of Friends Closer Keep Your Friends Close, and Your Friends of Friends Closer

Imagine that you are looking to change jobs. And you think that there might be people in your social network who can help you to get into a new industry. Who do you think is going to be most useful at helping you out? Do you think it might be someone who is close to...

Oct 3 2022 • 4 min read

Oct 3 2022 • 4 min read

Join The Thousands of Others Who Have Already Read This Post on Social Norms Join The Thousands of Others Who Have Already Read This Post on Social Norms

Would you adjust your alcohol intake if you were told that most people drink less than you? Have you ever opted for something labelled ‘most popular’ when you were unsure which option to choose? The above tactics are examples of descriptive social norms, which in recent years have become a go-to marketing method across the...

Sep 6 2022 • 3 min read

Sep 6 2022 • 3 min read

Can Your Online Banking App Improve Your Carbon Literacy? Can Your Online Banking App Improve Your Carbon Literacy?

Imagine that you are planning to travel from Bristol to Birmingham next week. As you consider the methods of transport available to you, you are taking three criteria into account: price, journey time, and carbon footprint. You find that comparing prices and journey times is easy enough. On that basis you rule out flying and...

Aug 18 2022 • 4 min read

Aug 18 2022 • 4 min read

What Do 19th Century Farmers Tell Us About Smartphone Notifications? What Do 19th Century Farmers Tell Us About Smartphone Notifications?

Imagine that you are a 19th century cattle farmer whose herd grazes on common land shared by many other farmers (and many other cows). You are trying to decide whether to add one more cow to your herd. On the positive side, an extra animal would bring you additional income. On the negative side, another...

Jul 28 2022 • 3 min read

Jul 28 2022 • 3 min read

To Make Better Policies, Should We Focus on Individuals or Systems? Spoiler Alert: It’s Both. To Make Better Policies, Should We Focus on Individuals or Systems? Spoiler Alert: It’s Both.

Imagine that you are a government health minister who’s been transported back in a time machine to December 2019, when the Covid-19 virus was first identified. Your challenge is to decide, with all the benefits that hindsight can bring you, how to approach the impending disaster. You can adopt a ‘system-level’ response: shutting down transport...

May 20 2022 • 3 min read

May 20 2022 • 3 min read

What Does the Virtual Property Market Tell us About the Psychology of Ownership? What Does the Virtual Property Market Tell us About the Psychology of Ownership?

How much would you pay for a virtual property? Not one of those ones made of bricks and mortar, but a digital one made of pixels that exists only in the virtual world. If your answer is around £375,000, then you have something in common with the person who recently purchased Mars House – a...

Mar 28 2022 • 3 min read

Mar 28 2022 • 3 min read

What’s in a Name? How Naming Something Changes the Way We Think About It What’s in a Name? How Naming Something Changes the Way We Think About It

Have you ever wondered why so many peoples across the world and through the ages have decided that they need a God of Thunder or Lightning? Be it Thor in Norse mythology, Zeus in Ancient Greece, Vajrapani in Buddhism, or Indra in Hinduism, the gods of extreme weather often play a particularly powerful and prominent...

Feb 22 2022 • 3 min read

Feb 22 2022 • 3 min read

Great Expectations: Comets, Cures, and Culture Great Expectations: Comets, Cures, and Culture

Adam McKay’s latest film, Don’t Look Up, tells the story of our response to a comet heading directly for Earth. One of the film’s main storylines is the battle between two tribes: those who believe in the threat posed by the comet, and those who do not. In the end, these contrasting beliefs both become...

Feb 11 2022 • 3 min read

Feb 11 2022 • 3 min read

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