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Links for 2023-06-22

  • Status quo bias

    Interesting aspect of behaviour, from an interview with Pete Lunn, the head of the Behavioural Research Unit at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI):

    “Status quo bias is a little bit different, it’s quite fascinating actually. It sounds like a fancy piece of academic language to say that people don’t like change, and there’s a bit of truth in that, but it’s more subtle than that, he said. “It’s like this — if you say to somebody ‘We’re going to change the way your town is laid out, we’re going to make it more friendly for pedestrians and cyclists,’ let’s say and you say there’s a plan to do it. A lot of people instinctually resist that. Actually, these sorts of policies are typically fairly popular but there’s a substantial minority who will really quite resist it,” he said. Lunn said: “If instead of telling them that it is a plan you say ‘oh, there is this town that has this layout, do you like it or not?’, you get completely different responses. It is as if when something is a plan for change we instinctually, psychologically react to it more negatively.” He said that if somebody else is proposing a plan some people will look for the negatives while they are less likely to do so if they are being asked a question in a more open way.

    (tags: status-quo bias behaviour planning future nta change ireland esri objections)