Let us warm you up on what is almost undoubtedly a cold February Friday morning, with some cracking material from around the web this week. It’s been a week that marked the centenary of women’s votes so in PPP we look at what this tells us about political gender equality issues today. We also explore the power of the text message in our Behaviour Change.
We also look ahead to next week and Valentine’s Day in the Values Lab, and round off with a date in Charlie’s Attic, where you’re guaranteed your dinner will be romantically candlelit, because the electricity’s been cut off. This week’s Attic includes the internet’s meme encyclopaedia and the glamorous name behind the Chupa Chups logo.
SMS vs the world
Hawaii was briefly plunged into terrifying confusion last month when a mobile alert was erroneously sent to all mobile phones, warning of an imminent missile attack. Although the alert was retracted and, happily, there was no missile attack, it highlighted the ability mobile technology has given government organisations to get the word out quickly.
This article from Wired points out the absence of such a system in the UK, which hasn’t had a national alert system since the Cold War’s four-minute warning sirens, and suggests the humble SMS might be a worthy consideration with trials already having taken place.
It’s timely then that the Nudge Unit has recently written up this interesting rundown of the merits of our old friend the text. It’s a popular medium for behaviour changers for a number of reasons, not least because of its low cost, ease of use, and its concise message-shaping brevity, but also because it’s so ubiquitous. Unlike more contemporary apps, there’s no need to rely on your audience downloading something – if they’ve got a mobile, they’re equipped. So although it might feel more 2002 than 2018, don’t write off the SMS as a key channel in changing behaviour.
Behaviour change with teens is always tricky – could it have something to do with a lack of self-control?
100 years of votes for women
This week marked the centenary of women’s suffrage in the UK, a momentous milestone in the journey towards political equality. As this Time article points out, that fight continues to this day, with women around the world still facing a lack of political representation and countless depressing instances of sexual harassment linked to a continuing gender power imbalance in many walks of life.
The article also points out some of the parallels between the protest movement then and now, such as marches with hats and banners serving as “sartorial markers that unmistakably link that pre-war moment to the anti-sexual assault protests we see now.” Like the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements today, the struggle for suffrage transcended borders, and in recent years has been recognised for its diversity in terms of race and sexuality.
So with closing the gender gap unfinished business, particularly in terms of politics with the UK languishing 38th in the world for female political representation, how might we look to bolster gender equality? It’s a big question, but here’s a decent bit of weekend reading – The Behavioural Insights Team have helpfully compiled this collection of the behavioural roots of, and behavioural insights’ potential role in helping to close, the political gender gap. Image taken from Time
Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day – if you’re stuck for ideas to make it extra special, how about proposing to your loved one with a doughnut engagement ring? But just who believes we all need someone to love, and who thinks that’s a load of romantic rubbish? We took a bottle of champagne and a plate of oysters on a seasonably romantic trip down to the Values Lab to find out.
The map shows us a pretty universal agreement that, indeed, everyone does need someone to love. Particularly strong agreement comes from confident Pioneers, at the bottom, and Prospectors, on the left.
Although traditional Settlers in the upper right also glow a warm romantic red of agreement, their neighbours the concerned Pioneers, on the lower right, are a little cooler on the importance of love. It’s hard to say why, but perhaps this most ethics and fairness-conscious cohort just think there are more important things in life, or maybe feel that to agree would be to stigmatise those without someone to love.