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Are you well-calibrated? Results from a survey of 1,154 BIT readers

We recently invited blog readers to test whether their decision-making was affected by cognitive bias – and more than 1,000 of you took us up on the offer. Our survey showed people ten statements, then asked: whether they thought each statement was true or false, and how confident they were that their answer was correct. This […]

May 21, 2018


The benefits of rebalancing childcare

Kids in Finland are unique among their international counterparts – they are the only children to spend more time with their dads than with their mums. Could the Finnish model of childcare have lessons for the rest of us? Some research suggests that kids who spend time with their fathers in addition to their mothers […]

May 11, 2018


Inflated expectations? Our research on how to ask people about inflation

New results published in the Singapore Macroeconomic Review Central banks around the world want to know how people expect prices to change. Why does it matter? Suppose I want a new television. If I expect the price of that TV will be higher next year, I might choose to buy it immediately. I might even […]

May 3, 2018


Green means go: how to help patients make informed choices about their healthcare

More than four million people are waiting for specialist care in the NHS. At worst, people can wait more than a year for treatment. In many cases people have the option to choose an alternative, nearby service with shorter waiting times—but do not do so. Why is this? Sometimes people have a strong preference for […]

April 20, 2018


Measuring the impact of body worn video cameras on police behaviour and criminal justice outcomes

Introduction One of the most significant technical innovations in policing in recent years has been the emergence of the body worn video camera (BWVC), a form of closed circuit video. Though police forces across the world have begun to use the new technology to increase efficiency and improve policing outcomes, there have been relatively few […]

December 5, 2017


The Nest Learning Thermostat: Making energy savings easy

How many of us have our heating programmed to automatically come on when we get home? In which case, how often do we come home late, to find the heating has been on unnecessarily? Or perhaps we find ourselves watching TV, suddenly a little hot, realising we could have turned the thermostat down half an […]

November 30, 2017


Improving road safety: new results

On 17 August 1896, Bridget Driscoll – a 44 year-old housewife from Croydon – was travelling to a folk-dancing display in Crystal Palace. On her way there she was hit by a car. She died minutes later from the resulting head injury, becoming the first pedestrian in the UK to be killed by a motorised […]

October 25, 2017


Britain’s census matters. Can we boost participation and save money?

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) plays a vital role in British life. Without ONS statistics, government and local authorities would not be able to calculate or understand inflation, immigration, or employment reliably, nor could government design and implement effective policies to manage those issues. Statistics determine how public funds are allocated and spent in […]

September 13, 2017


A first for children’s social care: findings from our new trial

For children growing up in turbulent households the outcomes are stark. Young people in receipt of social care attain drastically lower than average GCSE grades, have an increased chance of suffering poor physical and mental health and, worryingly, are more likely to have offspring who endure a similarly detrimental childhood. Social services play a crucial […]

July 7, 2017


Texting parents about tests and homework can improve maths results and reduce absenteeism

Today the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) published the results of a trial showing that texting parents information about upcoming tests and homework directly improved their child’s attainment in maths by the equivalent of an extra month in the classroom. I ran the trial as part of my PhD, with Harvard Kennedy School’s Todd Rogers and […]

July 15, 2016