Category Archives: Behavioural science

Ideas that add up #214

Outside national elections, most people ignore politics altogether. In 2010 the pollsters YouGov asked US voters, “Suppose that you alone could determine whether a Democrat or a Republican represents your Congressional district by paying a specific dollar amount. How much … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #198

Such [ultrasocial] traits emerge so early in our lives that they appear to be innate. By the age of 14 months, children begin to help each other, for example by handing over objects another child can’t reach. By the time they … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #186

Every area of technical/functional organization of modern society can be regarded as a type of instrumentalisation that we are doomed to submit to. Technology stands, in many cases, between ourselves and nature. And it regulates our relationships instead of us … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #161

“The Russian is completely confused and disorientated by modern life,” Nikolai Naritsyn, a Moscow-based psychoanalyst who has written on the subject, told me. “Where do financial crises come from, what do the laws they pass in parliament mean, why has … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #147

At the heart of this kaleidoscopic work stands Vladislav Surkov, the then Kremlin official hailed as one of the ideologues of “managed democracy”, who directs Russian society as if it were one giant reality show. The mercurial Surkov has helped … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #127

Marketers use extrinsic values like social status to help sell cars or to encourage us to shop conspicuously. But many social marketers also advocate the use of such extrinsic appeals to drive environmentally-friendly behaviour. This is despite studies repeatedly showing … Continue reading

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Ideas that add up #125

When you’ve been ripped off, when you’ve been conned, when you’ve been dragged into somebody else’s madness…it makes you mad too. The closer you get to their madness, it’s not as if the closer you get to some truth. You begin … Continue reading

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