What we Read & Watch

Pandemic Podcast: Who has been pulling the strings of fear? With Laura Dodsworth

“Fear has, as we know, been the key driver underpinning the relentless Covid-19 response and on the Pandemic Podcast we’ve already taken several deep dives into its devastating — and continuing — impact.
Laura Dodsworth, whose new book A State of Fear paints a chilling picture of the strategies and tactics deliberately used to engineer compliance with the raft of draconian measures flowing from Boris Johnson’s first lockdown announcement in March last year. We will be exploring the roles of the multitude of advisors and the Behavioural Insights Team, also known as ‘the nudge unit’.”

The Critic: The metrics of fear – how the UK has been scared into submission

The Critic: The metrics of fear – how the UK has been scared into submission

Fear is the most powerful of emotions and, as emotions are stronger than thoughts, fear can overpower the clearest of minds. We shouldn’t feel bad about being frightened. From an evolutionary perspective, it is key to our survival, it protects us from danger. And that is precisely what makes fear one of the most powerful tools in behavioural psychology.
Britain has been a world leader in behavioural insights since David Cameron set up the “nudge unit”. We now export behavioural psychology to governments and corporations around the world. The Government has used behavioural psychology to influence behaviour and encourage compliance during the Covid-19 epidemic. But has the nudge become a shove?