The Hunter Blog:
optimised, and innovated
Exploring our hidden quirks, judgmental biases, and apparent irrationalities
Most New Year’s resolutions have a success rate in the teens – in some studies fewer than 8% of us ever stick to our plan (Journal of Clinical Psychology, 13th Dec, 2012). There must [...]
The UK Department for Transport’s airing it’s THINK! drink drive advert again. It’s good, but is it focusing on the right area?. Ahead of tonight’s TV airing Department for Transport I picked up a promo tweet [...]
It’s nothing personal. We’re good at living short and brutal lives. Indeed we’ve even codified an approach to life that ameliorates the shortness and brutalness: ‘Eat drink and be merry, for tomorrow we die’, ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’, ‘Make hay while the sun shines’ [...]
We’ve all seen them – poorly constructed sentences in long winding emails about diplomats, infrastructure projects, or legal bequeathes that promise eye-watering commissions for helping move money out of Nigeria.
I saw this YouGov poll graph recently. Nice clearly defined colours. Clearly labelled axis. It tells you everything you need to know. (Sort of.) [...]
Wisdom, and crowds () 1
If you have a jar full of marbles, you have have a lot of marbles. Also, you have an interesting phenomenon; if you ask a group of people to guess the number in the jar, the average of all the guesses will be pretty much spot-on. The wisdom – it is said – of crowds.
Rebekah Phillips and Faye Scott of the Green Alliance think tank in London (UK) recently authoured a paper called ‘Neither sermons nor silence’.
We’re happy to have helped in some small way by making time to chat through the issues of mass marketing campaigns and behaviour change with Rebakah. You can view the report page [...]
The inestimable Maria Popova (@brainpicker) drew my attention to the very first car advert in a weekly publication, first printed in 1898, through a tweet, posted last week. It was [...]
A ‘tree top’ view, versus a ‘nose pressed against the tree’ view changes the way we construct our understanding of the world. This may be no surprise. However, the fact that it substantially changes the way we [...]
Driving habits () 4
Habits are nasty, and nice. Nasty, because the habit cueing mechanism – which enacts the entire sequence of behaviour – does not require the original supporting ‘goal’ to be remembered, or even exist. Nice, because the habit cueing mechanism [...]
You are at work. You walk by a meeting room and peek inside. The voices are muffled, but it’s clear they’re shouting. A ‘he’, is shouting. You look closer. Someone – a client, a boss, a supplier, you are not really sure –shouts at one poor person while the others look [...]
Rarely can you avoid the situational, group, proximal and distal influences that shape our behaviour: Our world is a spaghetti-mess of behavioural influences and cognitive illusions unknown, unrecognised, and unchallenged. But don’t try and tell anyone [...]
The UK House of Lords Select Committee Behavioural Change Report was released on 19th July 2011. It’s an interesting read. However, more interesting is the transcript of evidence taken before The Select Committee that led to the report [...]
Back in the mid 1930’s Kurt Lewin described behavior as a function of the situation – as something we do based on what others’ are doing. We herd. Today, on reading that, most of us shrug uninterestedly. But at the time it ran counter to [...]
It’s all very well talking about how you can change recycling behaviour by adjusting the bins, but what if you’ve got only paid-for media space at your disposal? Changing behaviour by broadcasting to millions should be more efficient. But as Lord Leverhulme [...]
Pimp My Cause is a not-for-profit website designed as a marketplace for charitable causes to connect with marketing businesses who want to support by working for free.
It is the brainchild of Paul Skinner, and boasts small NGOs that wouldn’t normally [...]
Recycling paper in offices is such an old story you’d think we’d have it nailed by now. We haven’t. In my experience recycling bins in offices create only one type of behaviour; passive-aggressive all-staff notes [...]
Like you, I am a fair-minded, considerate, person. The news I read, the stories I engage with, the information I glean is considered, compared, and compartmentalized against my existing understanding, which is itself, considered [...]
Channel your factors () 0
Context is important. In fact, it’s one of the big three (quasi-stationary equilibria, and construal being the others). One of the suprising things about context is that small differences in situation can elicit large shifts in behaviour – the relationship is [...]
Asked to write a blog for Green Alliance think tank about communication and sustainability. Oliver wrote about normative behaviour – more specifically the injunctive norm (what we’re told is approved of) and the descriptive norm (what we see others doing) employed in service of sustainable behaviour. The Green Alliance blog has many guest bloggers [...]
The French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss (1908-2009) – the father of modern anthropology – notes that Western societies constructed distal concepts such as geography and astrology before developing the proximal ones [...]
I was reading Charles K Atkin’s ‘Mass Communication Effects on Drinking and Driving’ ink to PDF download) and a paragraph jumped out. He quotes Smart (1988) saying that “alcohol advertising is, at best, a weak variable affecting alcohol consumption” [...]
The Hunting Dynasty’s founder, Oliver Payne, was interview by Ali Morton, a Planner at JWT advertising agency, as part of their report The Future Quotient: 50 Stars in Seriously Long-term Innovation…
I was asked to write a blog by The Guardian Sustainable Business section for World Food Day. I assumed many World Food Day blogs would focus on production, business, aid, farming, and global…
Graham Linehan is an Irish writer most famous for the TV comedy series Father Ted, The IT Crowd, and Black Books. He has recently written a stage version of The Ladykillers playing in London. He was recently invited to debate it’s merits on BBC…
We work hard to avoid loss. Harder than we do to find gain. This discovery won a Nobel Prize in 2002 for Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky for their Prospect Theory: It’s that significant. So why don’t we use it more? In most cases we…
BusinessWeek recently called Apple on its pricing strategy pointing out out their use of the ‘Douglas Bader’ anchor (come in high, and then dive). It’s a technique the airlines have mastered with flight delays (not with the flying itself, thankfully), but Micheal Gove…
You perform better if you’re being watched. Better as in more equitably. More ‘proper’, some might say. Why? The Authority Effect: we’re sensitive to whether our actions are being observed by others. It’s true even…
When Google split their stock one staff member questioned the emotional effect on staff. An unfamiliar issue in the halls of Googleplex: logic rules (and the rules are logical).
There’s always more space at the edge: when Henry Ford perfected the construction line (not the first moving conveyor belt as many believe – that was Sandvik in 1901) he fulfilled a desire for motorised transport…