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Aug 28 2016

Gave a public lecture on human irrationality as part of National Science Week

Earlier this year, I decided to lead a public lecture given by the RMIT Behavioural Business Lab on human irrationality as part of National Science Week. We were very happy to see some 50 engaged Melbournians attend our event, which was held in RMIT’s Storey Hall at 7pm on Thursday August 18th.

The idea was to give the attendees a sense of human irrationality by going through a series of human biases. The biases that I focused on were:Screen Shot 2016-08-28 at 10.50.14 PM

  • The decoy effect
  • Defaults
  • Framing
  • Anchoring
  • Overconfidence
  • Conjunction Fallacy

I had many more examples up my sleeve but hit my time limit. What made the experience a lot more interactive was the use of TurningPoint’s live poll technology. Attendees were able to answer questions that were presented live on screen, which we could then reflect back on as a group. Most of the standard biases were displayed by the group and I think it was an effective learning tool.

After my presentation, we opened up for questions. I thank my colleagues, Jo, Janneke, Rob, and Swee Hoon for their insights. I was particularly impressed with Jo’s personal knowledge of the UK Nudge Unit’s use of social norms to encourage tax payments, and Janneke’s personal knowledge of the Dutch campaign to increase organ donation rates.

You can watch a recording of the presentation here.