Saturday 24 Feb 2018 | 09:47 | SYDNEY
Saturday 24 Feb 2018 | 09:47 | SYDNEY

Policy: It's not all rational



16 June 2010 08:36

Below, a couple of data points I've stumbled across in the last two days that reinforce an occasional theme on this blog.

The rational discussion of policy that we encourage here at the Lowy Institute will only ever have so much effect on policy, since people behave less rationally than they would like to believe. No sense fighting it; the best we can do is to remain aware of our limitations through 'self-overhearing'.

The first data point is this, which I found on 3 Quarks Daily:

People making travel plans may unwittingly heed a strange rule of thumb — southern routes rule. In a new experiment, volunteers chose paths that dipped south over routes of the same distance that arched northward, perhaps because northern routes intuitively seem uphill and thus more difficult, researchers suggest.

Second, another of those highly watchable animated lectures, this one on the many different ways that people and cultures perceive time (thanks to Eddo for the link):

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