Nudge dread: Does Behavioural Science really work?

Can we really guide and control human activity by constructing networks of carrots, sticks and semi-invisible hints? Behavioural science AKA “nudge” is key to the UK Government’s COVID response yet, as tech journalist and sceptic Andrew Orlowski says, its roots are questionable and its efficacy debatable. He tells Andrew Harrison why we humans stubbornly refuse to behave like herd animals… … and why Malcolm Gladwell has a lot to answer for.

  • “If you want to get people fit, it’s expensive to build more playing fields. It’s a lot cheaper just to send out tweets about Mars bars.”
  • “Behavioural science doesn’t tell you anything about people’s deep motivations which are gradually being erased from the picture.”

Presented and produced by Andrew Harrison. Assistant producer Jacob Archbold. Music by Kenny Dickinson. Audio production by Alex Rees. THE BUNKER is a Podmasters Production


See for privacy and opt-out information.